Kolkata. Touted as the most sincere attempt till date to bring Naxals in the mainstream, PIFW (Progressive Indians Fashion Week) got underway here today that saw Naxals from Lalgarh walking the ramp on the inaugural day. PIFW has been conceived and organized by various progressive and liberal Indians after home minister P Chidambaram called on civic groups and human rights activists to pressurize Naxals into shedding violence and joining the mainstream for political negotiations.
The fashion week will showcase Naxals from different parts of the country performing catwalk and wearing clothes designed by the organizers. The purported aim of PIFW is to spread the message of peace and humanity, the core beliefs of Naxals.
Writer-turned-activist-turned-fashion-designer Arundhati Roy’s creations were on display on the first day. Critics were full of admiration and praise for Miss Roy’s work as it made the Naxals from Lalgarh look so sexy in those ragged clothes. Only an idiot could have termed them as dreaded or a threat to the national security. It was a complete makeover for the Naxals and people couldn’t believe their eyes.
“The government and media publish photographs of Naxals with weapons and project them as armed terrorists, but this fashion show has been an eye opener. The Naxals are actually poor and helpless people. Such fashion shows should be held all over the country.” Meenaxi, a student activist who carried anti-government placards said excitedly.
Arundhati Roy thanked her fans and claimed that she could do better if given further chance. She also alleged that the government and the MNCs were hand in glove as no corporate house came to sponsor PIFW, not even the tobacco company Wills, which is known to sponsor fashion shows.
“Companies like Wills have signed various MoUs with the government to fell more trees so that they can produce more cigarettes. The government has become a puppet in the hands of these large corporate houses and now wants to go at war against the poor Naxals. These are good people, they might have beheaded and killed the cops, but they never indulge in mindless violence. They just need an image makeover.” Miss Roy said.
Naxals also expressed hope that their new makeover will help them in their struggle to keep away the government forces for forcibly occupying their territories. They politely warned the security agencies of dire consequences if they tried to arrest them during the fashion show.
Since PIFW didn’t get any sponsorship, the costs of organizing the fashion show would be collected from families residing in Naxal affected areas. A few young boys from poor families of Lalgarh were seen doing the housekeeping work as the activists cheered the sashaying Naxals.