Sunday, 29 April 2007

Moustached leaders can't make it big in India


Clean face is the requirement, not clean chit

Strange it may seem but moustached leaders don't stand any chance in Indian politics. Hardly any politician or leader who had a moustache succeeded in reaching the higher offices.

It seems only clean shave politicians reach the office of President and Prime Minister.
Else one should have a beard along with the moustache. The latter alone isn't enough!

Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Vallabh Bhai Patel, none had moustaches. After independence, the Prime Ministers starting from Pt Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi, VP Singh (he kept 'moonchh' earlier in his political career but removed it later and seems the stars favoured him after that), Chandrashekhar, PV Narsimharao, HD Devegowda, Atal Behari Vajpayee were all clean shave.

Are beards necessary to balance off the moustaches in Indian politics

Manmohan Singh, a Sikh, has beard along with moustache and IK Gujral also had a french cut beard to accompany like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Perhaps they (beard & moustache) do a balancing act and keep one's mouth in check.
May be it brings the statesman-like quality and the measured talk, which needed to reach the high offices. But yes, Lal Bahadur Shastri had a thin hairline moustache.

As far as Presidents are concerned, Kalam Sahab is moochh-less. So were R Venkataraman, KR Narayanan and before them Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, VV Giri, Sanjeev Reddy and Justice Hidayatullah. Zail Singh, again a Sikh, and Zakir Husain, had beards with moustaches. Only the first president Rajendra Prasad was an exception and yes Shankar Dayal Sharma.

But after him, the trend changed with Radhakrishnan. In later years, amongst big leaders Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayprakash Narayan (JP) also fall in this category. They didn't sport a moustache.

Some other leaders in photo here (from left to right): Vivekananda, Subhas Bose, Sardar Patel, Ram Manohar Lohia, JP and APJ Abdul Kalam.

Is it true that men with moustaches are emotional and daredevil (like Chandrashekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh) who can't keep their emotions under check. This acts as impediment in climbing up the ladder. In other countries, especially the West moustache is no impediment. If I am wrong about any leader mentioned above, tell me.

Probably we don't want our big leaders to be macho.

Popular Posts