The sartorial difference between India, Pakistan

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: There has been much international speculation over whether President Pervez Musharraf would shed his military uniform by the end of the year.

As the issue was  snowballing into a major sartorial free-for-all, the General’s Personal Assistant who was in Delhi readily agreed to  shed light on the issue to show that President Musharraf had nothing to hide.

“What are the options available to the president? Is it the ‘end game’ as far as his dress is concerned?” I asked.

“No way. The West can never think in different layers as we do in the East. President Musharraf will never disrobe his Military dress as these clowns are hoping. He will be seen in a new spanking uniform and continue to run the country and the defence. Period. There’s no issue here.”

“In case he is forced to shed his military dress what will we see him in next?”

“It’s not as if he doesn’t have any dress in his cupboard. In fact, there is a possibility he might invite Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan to have an ‘understanding’ with him for Pakistan general elections. When that happens, you will see him in white flannels, blazer and Dhoni hairstyle. He might also do a bit of coaching/poaching in place of the late Bob Woolmer. If he takes this up seriously, as he does whenever he takes up anything new, he might take over from Sharad Pawar to organize 2011 World cup in the subcontinent. Like Pawar, who runs agriculture and cricket for you, President Musharraf will run the country and cricket.”

“I admire President Musharraf as a patron of cricket as he pays from his own pocket for his ticket whenever he goes to watch a game.  What if this too doesn’t work out?” I insisted.

“If the cricket angle fizzles out, he might invite Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for a one-to-one meeting. If an ‘Agreement’ is reached with him, the General might be seen in the company of lawyers and constitutional experts wearing black coat and white silk tie over his flannels. If worse comes to worst, I won’t be surprised if he starts rewriting our constitution wearing Chief Justice’s robe.”

I admired the choices in the General’s wardrobe which made him reinvent himself at the drop of a hat.

“In India, our leaders do not have so many dress options like President Musharraf. They are seen in a strait-jacket all through their career except when they jump parties at will.”

“Your leaders not only have poor dress sense but are also glued to their chairs till they are thrown out by people.”

I concurred with the General’s PA.

“‘You are right. This is one major problem with democracy the world over.”