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A brief history of sanskari pants

Shovon Chowdhury | Updated on March 10, 2018

BLink_pat jeans   -  Dipankar

It is part of India’s evolutionary process — ever since a momentous day in 1930

Over the years, the Hindu approach to pants has undergone a sea change. For countless millennia, we were against them. We preferred lungis and dhotis. During the reign of the Emperor Harsha, for example, lungis tied under the armpits served as both upper and lower garment, initiating a trend in single-piece garments which was eventually perfected by the global poet Rabindranath Tagore. But today the most sattvic elements of our society are supporting pants in a variety of ways. For example, Baba Ramdev is launching jeans. As we shall see, this is part of a larger phenomenon. This is very significant. Throughout human history, pants have played a crucial role. The men of Greece and Rome looked down on pants, as the clothing of ignorant barbarians. They felt that they looked more dignified in skirts. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to ride a horse in a skirt, and their empires were swept away by barbarian horsemen. The same thing happened to the Chinese. The Mongols wore pants. The Chinese refused to adopt them. As a result of this delay, they were defeated by Mongol horse archers. On the other hand, immediately after the French Revolution, French aristocrats quickly abandoned their silk stockings and began wearing trousers, like the proletariat, which is why some of them are still alive today. When it comes to the adoption of pants, timing is key. It makes all the difference between success and failure. We must view the recent Hindu pant resurgence in this context.

Pants or pant-like clothing first emerged in India in the Middle Ages, thanks to Persian influence, in the form of pyjamas. However, they did not gain widespread acceptance as outdoor clothing. As in many other things, in this area too, the British played a vital role. Once British rule was established, upper-class Indians began to wonder, how did so few Britishers end up ruling so many Indians? What was the secret of their success? The answer was, obviously, pants. As a result, a certain section of our upper classes began wearing trousers. The early years of our freedom struggle were dominated by the newly trousered, but then Gandhi came and confused everyone. Not only that, he supported Muslims, and made the Dalits restless. Between the elitist Western types and Gandhi, who was confusing everyone, our ancient heritage was in jeopardy. In order to revive this heritage, the RSS was born. Their khaki shorts and shirts made them look identical to the British police, except for the headgear. Dressed in Western clothing, they marched out to save our traditions.

Since that time, our ancient heritage has been inextricably linked to khaki half-pants. Over the years, many tall leaders have worn them. Unfortunately, they have not always maintained peak physical fitness. Consequently, the internet is full of pictures of them wearing shorts, which once seen, cannot be unseen, such as this one. This has been the trend for close to a hundred years.

Today, these pants are iconic. Apart from the traditional sadhus in saffron, it is these khaki half-pants, flapping gently in the breeze, which best represent our ancient heritage.

Once we view things in this context, everything becomes clear. Many have been surprised that Baba Ramdev is launching Patanjali brand swadeshi jeans. Some misguided elements have even been mocking him, suggesting that future Patanjali products could include yogic pet food, herbal footballs, and acupuncture sofas made from cacti. This thought process betrays improper understanding. There is no reason to be surprised. It is all part of the evolutionary process. As we have seen, ever since that momentous day in 1930, pants have been an intrinsic part of our cultural heritage. The RSS is now going a step forward and adopting full pants, although trials are currently being conducted to ensure that the fabric is not too clingy. Our traditional culture will now thoroughly assimilate pants. Responsibilities will be divided across family members. The RSS will be covering the formal and sports segments. Baba Ramdev will be looking at the leisure segment, with a particular focus on women. He has talked a lot about the clothing of women. He is conscious of historical continuity. In honour of the shorts that started it all, and keeping in mind the modesty of Indian women, he has said that his jeans will be baggy. This is nothing but good news. Women across India will no longer have to worry about whether their butts look too big, and leaders will be able to step out without fear, knowing that pictures such as this one will never, ever appear on the internet again.

References.

http://www.livescience.com/34077-wearing- pants-horse- riding.html

http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0767765.html

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/garments- /-textiles/shuddh-desi- swadeshi-jeans- from-patanjali- coming-soon/articleshow/54277805.cms

https://www.quora.com/What-is- the-inspiration- behind-Rashtreeya-Swayam-Sevak- Sanghs-khaki- shorts

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rss-changes- its-style- from-shorts-to-trousers/article7842804.ece

Shovon Chowdhury’s most recent novel, Murder With Bengali Characteristics, features a brief appearance by a talking cat

Published on September 16, 2016

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