FACT CHECK

Fake Narrative: Modi Jacket Vs Nehru Jacket

Modi Jacket

With the rising popularity of Brand India, various international organisations and Heads of the Governments have been praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Prime Minister was recently awarded the ‘Seoul Peace Prize’ for his Modinomics and Modi doctrine. He has also won the United Nation’s ‘Champion of the Earth’ Award in September 2018.

Recently, President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a gift (Modi Jackets) that he had sent to him. He tweeted the following:

President of South Korea shared his memories in the tweet that how he had once told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he looked great in those vests (‘Modi Vests’ as President Moon Jae-in calls them).

PM Modi taking a note of this appreciation from him sent those exclusively-tailored vests to the South Korean President. The President can be seen wearing these vests in the picture, in his own tweet.

But, naysayers in India who are now hell bent on running down the image of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave this unique positive anecdote a negative spin. Omar Abdullah, leader of the National Conference and alliance partner of the Congress Party that had formed the government in J&K in 2009, tweeted the following:

Omar Abdullah in his tweet suggested the following:

  • Vests which the South Korean President now calls the Modi Vests (Jacket) were known as the ‘Nehru Jacket’.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi could have sent them after changing the name or removing the logo of ‘Modi Jacket’ from them.
  • The last line in the tweet suggested that it appears that nothing existed in India before 2014.

Let us now take a look at how this news was spread.

Ashok Swain tried correcting the South Korean President that it is not the ‘Modi Vest’ but the ‘Nehru Jacket’.

Then, this news was shared by many others from the same ecosystem, like Ms. Geeta Mohan, Foreign Affairs Editor of India Today, which is known for peddling the fake news.

Here are the facts.

  • The vests that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent to the President of South Korea are from the retailer called Jade Blue in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This is clearly seen in the picture (shown above) shared by the South Korean President, as posted Taking a little closer look at the picture shows that the Brand Jade Blue is mentioned on the hanger along with the ‘Modi Jacket’.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a frequent visitor of this retail shop, like many other customers since the early 1990’s. He has been wearing a customised design from this retailer.

  • After PM Narendra Modi became the Chief Minister of Gujarat, retailer Jade Blue went on to launch the exclusive clothing line of Modi Kurtas and Modi Jackets following the unique design that PM Narendra Modi used to buy from them. Above screenshot from the official website of Jade Blue clearly shows ‘Modi Kurta and Jacket’ as one of the unique options available in the Jade Blue online store.
  • Thus, Omar Abdullah and many others who spare no opportunity to malign the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated this fake narrative. It is not the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who labelled those jackets as ‘Modi Jacket’ but by the retailer Jade Blue itself. It is just that Prime Minister Narendra Modi buys these unique jackets from the retailer and sent it to the President of South Korea as a gift.
Conclusion

Jade Blue has been selling Modi Kurtas and Jackets for more than a decade now. More importantly, it was a noble gesture by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to have sent this unique gift from India to the South Korean President, adding to a positive relationship with the leaders around the world.

But to get trivial political gains, opposition and many so-called intellectuals have narrowed this ‘noble gesture’ down to a ‘Nehru Vs. Modi’ dialogue. Thus, a rare instance of two Heads of the Governments sharing a lighter moment on Twitter was converted to a narrow political debate.