How Indian freedom fighters beat struggle with style

Courage, character and style brought us to this day - 15th August, 1947. Our national heroes were monuments of nobility, strength, inspiring an entire nation to follow their dream. And because you are what you wear, they all had a style that complemented their strong character.

5. Rani Laxmi Bai

A scarf around her head, tied like a turban, bent traditional gender roles. Even though she went out to battle in a sari, she dressed it up like a man. She never left her palace without her sword, hanging proudly by her side. Rani Laxmi Bai was not fond of grandeur, and her simple approach to life appeared in her sense of style as well. She wore cotton or muslin saris, and she draped them in a practical manner, rather than a stylish one.

4. Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Uncompromising to his radical ideologies, Bal Gangadhar Tilak made an equally unapologetic statement with his magnificent moustache under a robust red turban, and a porcelain white shawl. White is the color of royalty, a strong character, poise and perfection. His taste in overcoats was also rather unorthodox and quite fabulous.

3. Subhash Chandra Bose

A master of disguise, he escaped to Germany via Afghanistan, dressed as a Pathan, and later evaded house arrest in Calcutta, disguised as a Maulavi.

Subhash Chandra Bose sported several memorable looks. The most iconic was the INA uniform, reminiscent of the soviet political fashion trends and reflective of his right-wing sensibilities of discipline and splendour.

He always managed to strike a balance between authoritarian and friendly, especially with his quintessential Bengali bhadralok attire that made him look like the friendly neighbour whose house you could drop in unannounced for a cup of tea or adda in the evening.

2. Bhagat Singh

Traditionally it is sacrilegious for a male Sikh to cut off his hair. But that didn’t deter Bhagat Singh’s kurbani for the sake of his ideologies. The lasting image of Bhagat Singh is that of him in a fashionably lopsided fedora and an impeccable moustache. Throw in long collared shirt, with the extended flaps resting gently on the shoulders, buttoned up, connoting casual but careful. He meant business and looked like it.

1. Mahatma Gandhi

Even before you think of his defining peace policies, you think of the iconic walking stick, his elegant swadeshi dhoti and simple round rimmed spectacles. That is the power of what you wear. The minimal look that he adopted not only outlined but also drove his cause forward. Mahatma Gandhi wore his ideologies on his sleeve.

A tribute brought to you by Manyavar, India’s leading Celebration Wear brand — www.manyavar.com

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