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Funky Political Headgears, Mad Hatters down the years and elections

Although the name 'Mad Hatter' was undoubtedly inspired by the phrase "as mad as a hatter," there is some uncertainty as to the origins of this phrase. As mercury was used in the process of curing felt used in some hats, it was impossible for hatters to avoid inhaling the mercury fumes given off during the hat making process. Hatters and mill workers often suffered mercury poisoning as residual mercury vapor caused neurological damage including confused speech and distorted vision. It was not unusual then for hatters to appear disturbed or mentally confused, many died early as a result of mercury poisoning. Principal symptoms of mercury poisoning are excessive timidity, diffidence, increasing shyness, loss of self-confidence, anxiety, and a desire to remain unobserved and unobtrusive. However, the Mad Hatter does not exhibit the symptoms of mercury poisoning.
[Wiki article on The Mad Hatter]

 About the photographs and their source(clockwise):

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru, 1st and longest serving Prime Minister of Independent India, serving from 1947 to 1964, in a Tribal headgear. Press Information Bureau(GOI).
  2.  Indira Gandhi, 5th Prime Minister of  India who won three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, sports  in a Jat headgear from Haryana. Captured by veteran PTI lensman Subhash Chander Malhotra.
  3. Chandra Shekhar, 11th Prime Minister of  India in a Rajasthani turban. By Subhash Chander Malhotra.
  4.  V.P. Singh, 10th Prime Minister of  India, tries to put on the head of a giant "gudia", doll, as a headgear. By  Subhash Chander Malhotra. Indira Gandhi at one time was known as goonghi gudia. And in the 80s and early 90s, gudia - the pink Sleeping Doll with her big beady blue plastic eyes that would sleep shut on movement, was the Indian answer to the costly Barbie which eventually came to India in 1986-87 and a toy of the affluent urban population.
  5. One more head. P. V. Narasimha Rao, 12th Prime Minister of India. Picture by PTI lensman Vijay Joshi.
  6.  Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the thirteenth (a stint that lasted exactly 13 days) and sixteenth Prime Minister of India, in a Sikh Turban. By Vijay Joshi. By Subhash Chander Malhotra.

Credit: Found these amazing photographs in a Catalogue for a Photo Exhibition organized in year1999 by Press Trust of India in celebration of 50 years of its existence.  So, Thank you PTI!

And here are some more gems collected mostly from The Hindu and The Tribune. Most of them again by PTI photographers.

About the Images(clockwise):
  • A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in a traditional Mysore Peta (headgear) presented to him on his 75th birthday.
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee in a Keffiyeh presented to him by a delegation of the Haj Committee.
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee in a traditional tribal headgear of Chhattisgarh.
  • Laloo Prasad Yadav wearing a traditional Assamese headgear appeals for calm and amity between Assamese and Biharis.
  • Sushma Swarajat a rally in Hydrabad.
  • Sonia Gandhi in a Himachali cap.
  • Bollywood actress Shabana Azmi in a colourful headgear at a campaign rally in Allahabad.
  • Sonia Gandhi tries out a traditional Assamese headgear


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