Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari’s invited criticism recently for wearing what resembled the Army uniform at a rally after Pulwama. He was accused of politicising a “sensitive issue”. In his defence, Tiwari said: “It was a shirt… Which shop or mall does not sell such shirts?”
Preet Bawa, 43, Owner, ‘Battle Fatigues’ shop, Delhi speaks with The Indian Express over Tiwar’s attire.
Who are your buyers?
We have two types of clients — civilians and Armed Forces personnel. We have been authorised by the Army to sell uniforms to their units. We procure the fabric from distributors in states such as Maharashtra and Punjab. The fabric is then tailored according to the soldiers’ measurements. For civilians, however, a ready-made collection of camouflage-print trousers is available. They cost between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000.
Who buy these trousers?
The camouflage-print pants are made of hard fabric. They do not get dirty easily and last longer. Buyers include bikers, people going on treks.
Can anyone buy the Army uniform?
No. We are not allowed to sell fabric procured for Army uniforms to civilians. It is strictly forbidden.
Have sales increased following the India-Pakistan face-off?
We receive regular orders from the Armed Forces, but not so much from civilians. In fact, in February, our sales dropped drastically — by more than 50 per cent. I do not think sales and tension on the border are linked.
Was the criticism of Manoj Tiwari’s outfit justified?
All camouflage-print outfits are not for the Army. The vendors can tell the difference. There is no problem in what he (Tiwari) was wearing. It was a camouflage-print jacket, not the uniform. Next, someone will complain about Lalu (RJD chief Lalu Prasad) wearing only a vest.
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