Cannes & that ‘Half Naked Fakir’- Ambassadors of Indian Identity 1920-2013

Cannes 2013:  Two much admired Actors.  Kudos Amitabh Ji. I first saw you in  Sholay, then  Coolie  ; you’re still my Hero thru’ myriad  sagas  of  Love, Pain, Loss, Beautiful moments..  I  secretly feel tho’, pardon me, your best is yet to come. YOU  have that unusual Voice, like a 1.15 billion strong, in times as  challenging as  India 2013…




A Paper in ‘ Academia.Edu* ( The Half  Naked Fakir),got my attention along with yesterday’s screaming  Cannes’-glaring-red-carpet -2013-indian-WHAT ON EARTH ARE THEY WEARING ? flavour-

Much as I love our silver screen darlings, am thinking of  what Heroes and Heroines in Media’s glare really want : Global Attention. Gandhiji earned  it when he shrugged at dress code and walked into Sir Churchill‘s Dinner in a dhoti. He did more than that, as a result. How did he pull that one off ?

Just say am invited to Cannes or the Grammys’ (sigh) and walked in, in  rural Indian gear, Khadi and barefeet… ! Not all of us can get much good with a provoke like that, but if I had the Presence of our National Champs, from Sports persona, to Actors, Politicians, Writers… yes I would. Esp if it could inspire the next Oscar winner.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

MK GANDHI : Bapu Ji, you made the Oscars!


Peter Gonsalves Published in Gandhi Marg, vol. 31, no. 1 (April-June), Gandhi Peace Foundation,  Gandhiji’s personal and sartorial authenticity …  the dhoti-clad Mahatma of India’s millions.

English: Giving massage, 15 min. daily, to a l...

English: Giving massage, 15 min. daily, to a leper patient, the Sanskrit scholar Parchure Shastri, at Sevagram Ashram, 1940. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winston Churchill disparagingly referred to Mohandas Gandhi as the ‘half-naked fakir’. Gandhi regarded the expression as a compliment. He felt unworthy of being called “a fakir and that (too) naked – a more difficult task.” He then implored Churchill: “[T]rust and use me for the sake of your people and mine and through them those of the world.”
A recent collection of visual images from around the world reveals Gandhi’s impact on popular culture as ‘the conscience of humanity’. But it also demonstrates how globally identifiable the man in the dhoti is…

Gandhi’s journey towards sartorial integrity :
By ‘integrity’ is meant the quality of wholeness, completeness, moral soundness, honesty, genuineness, freedom from corrupting motives;

Vidya Ballan is a serious favourite of mine. Just thinking – with this kind of immense talent and looks, what Opportunity to provoke the next Oscar winning Indian Story .

sartorial integrity’ : a state in which one’s moral well-being affects the way one dresses and presents oneself to others. It is a state of perfect symmetry between one’s identity and appearance, between one’s substance and form. To be a sartorially integrated person means to reflect the honesty of character through the dignity of bodily decorum in the face of all costs, difficulties, and imperative urges.

It is common knowledge that clothing is an important way through which one’s personality is communicated. Yet, how does dress add credibility to the wearer? To an external observer, sartorial consistency with the values one lives by can only be measured holistically, that is, within the broader framework of other verbal and nonverbal signals. The quality of ‘completeness’ is natural to a well integrated life and a strong indication of its credibility. In the presence of sartorially integrated individuals one is aware of their genuineness, that they are not merely playing a role or dressing solely to impress.

For most of us, attire is a given datum, a product of our culture and context. We usually follow the status quo or the dominant trends in fashion promoted by our peers and associates. Gandhi, too, began his clothing experiments in similar circumstances. But he gradually evolved, thanks to his habitual soul-searching in pursuit of deeper significance. He interpreted and reinterpreted the personal and social meanings of his sartorial identity through nearly sixty years of his life: from a shy and impressionable adolescent eager to imitate the English dress code, he learned to discover his Indian identity and its implications amidst the rabid racism… he dared to choose the poor man’s dress (khadi, dhoti…)  as a statement  ….

Dear Ash… there is no limit to what you could do, if you – the real you – designed your own Global Impressions. C’mon Girl, you’re worth it

English: Mahatma Gandhi's room at Sabarmati As...

English: Mahatma Gandhi’s room at Sabarmati Ashram. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Filed under bridges, Cannes, culture, Earth, Entertainment News, Faith, friend, India, Indiblog, letters from a People, Life, Movies, peace, people, Races, Uncategorized, world

6 responses to “Cannes & that ‘Half Naked Fakir’- Ambassadors of Indian Identity 1920-2013

  1. It was informative…especially about Mahatma Gandhi and his interaction with Churchill…!!!

  2. for the first time I feel I should clap for Gandhi ji and accept that indeed he was a Mahatma .. thanks to your thoughtful post. !! All these days I just found him an opportunist to be frank !! The post changes my viewpoint to an extent… although I will have my share of reasoning ..
    Nice Post !!

  3. Kramer

    Not just at the Oscar’s or Cannes! the extreme attention and importance to the external in any public space is both scary and sad.

  4. InnerDialect

    Reblogged this on I N N E R D I A L E C T.

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