Civilian leaders in military uniform are an attraction unmatched by any other clothing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worn one every Diwali since the India-China confrontation at Doklam in 2017. This year, he spent some time with the Army and addressed troops at Jammu’s Rajouri, not far from the Line of Control. He was dressed in an Army camouflage jacket and a red-banded hat, worn by Colonels and above. He wore an Indian Army emblem as the crownpiece, so to say, in the middle of the red band around the hat. No rank badges were worn.
The Prime Minister’s oratorical skills and the speech delivered in his inimitable style would have touched the hearts of the troops and uplifted their morale. ‘We are lucky to have a leader like Modi’ would perhaps be a lasting memory for those who saw him in flesh and blood. Even for those who would see it on video, and especially for the millions of his supporters across the world, it would have had a similar effect.