Panjab University polls: When tailors make leaders!

By Mannat Mundi, Chandigarh, Sep 1 : They might not be shaping their political careers, but they are definitely making leaders out of them! With the frenzy for the Panjab University Campus Students' Council (PUCSC) polls at its peak, tailors in the vicinity are working overtime to fulfil the increased demand for particular styles of kurta-pajamas.

As the election fever grips Panjab University, it is the tailors in various boys hostels of the university are making a killing. With the elections scheduled for Wednesday, white kurta-pyjamas of particular styles, a traditional favourite among the student leaders, are back.

Amid rigorous campaigning, the student leaders are seen flaunting the latest trends in kurta-pyjamas, preferably the "home-spun" ones from Punjab's towns.

When it comes to showing off, the flamboyant Jatts - Punjab's landed community - are never lagging. Not only is the characteristic dress code - Muktsari kurtas (from southwest Punjab's Muktsar belt) - being flaunted by many but the bright-coloured turbans are also making style statements.

"Our turbans are our crowns. They are an important part of our personality and we are experimenting with the colours," PU Students Union (PUSU) supporter Harry Mida told IANS.

Unlike the traditional loose kurta-payjamas, the ones preferred by PU student leaders are snug and short while the pyjamas are like well-fitted slim pants that balance the traditional attire with current fashion trends.

Caption: PU leaders in kurta payjama

"While some student leaders prefer it because of the scorching heat, some feel it gives them a sense of leadership," Aman Deep Singh and his father, who have been helping in designing the 'perfect neta look' for these student leaders for a decade, told IANS even as he was busy with stitching trendy kurtas.

This time it is straight-fit kurtas with stylish pockets and rounded three-fourth sleeves that the father-son duo have come up with.

"Having seen so many elections, the rage for white kurta-pyjamas among students has only increased. Earlier, we used to receive only one or two orders per day, but this year the demand has risen to 6-7 per day. I have delivered more than 200 stitched pieces in the last three-four weeks," said Shingara Singh, a tailor at boys' hostel No.6, who has spent all his life stitching kurta-pyjamas.

Student leaders affirm that tailors in Muktsar, besides Kotkapura and other areas in Punjab, are much in demand as it is the white 'Muktsari style' of kurtas that are being worn the most.

"We get our kurta-pyjamas made from a tailor in Muktsar. But some people from the party don't like to experiment much when it comes to clothes," said Robin Brar of the Students Organization of PU (SOPU).

"Each year we order plain white kurtas from Kotkapura, without much adornment on them, for the student elections," PUSU leader Ravinder Dhaliwal pointed out.

Manoj Lubana, a National Students Union of India (NSUI) leader, told IANS: "This attire makes it easy for new students to figure out that we are from student parties contesting the elections. Besides, it is a dress which is neat, comfortable and smart."

Echoing similar views, Students Federation of India (SFI) leader Prabhpreet Singh said the kurta-pyjama helped one get recognised as a representative of a student outfit. "It's the traditional dress of leaders, which gives them a feeling of being part of a democracy," he said, justifying the outfit.

(Mannat Mundi can be contacted at mannatrules@yahoo.com)

--IANS (Posted on 01-09-2013)

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