The saree is being deployed as the latest political weapon in India’s elections as the world’s largest democracy prepares to go to the polls.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unveiled a collection of “political sarees”, hoping the women’s garments will act as mobile billboards for voters making up their minds in coming weeks.
India’s election commission announced on Sunday that the country’s electorate, numbering over 900 million, will go to the polls in seven phases between 11 April to 19 May, with results due on 23 May.
So the first big campaigning stunt by the incumbent BJP was to launch the new line of sarees, featuring pictures of Indian soldiers, fighter jets and Narendra Modi, the prime minister, printed on them.
They were unveiled on Sunday at the state BJP headquarters in Jaipur, Rajasthan, hoping a recent rise in nationalism after the recent conflicts with Pakistan would spur party supporters to literally wear their loyalties.