The Gandhi cap (Gandhi topi) is a white coloured cap, pointed in front and back and having a wide band. It is made out of khadi. It takes its name after the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, who first popularised its use during the Indian independence movement. Worn commonly by Indian independence activists, it became a symbolic tradition for politicians and political activists to wear it in independent India.
Prisoners in South African prisons classified as "negroes" (a category into which Indians fell while Gandhi was in South Africa) also were required to wear similar caps in prison. Gandhi's close friend Henry Polak cites Gandhi's time in South African jail, where he was classified as a "negro" and thus required to wear such a cap, as the genesis of the Gandhi Cap.
Similar caps of black colour were adopted as uniform by the activists of the Hindu Mahasabha and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Nationalist leader Subhash Chandra Bose wore a khaki, brown coloured cap of the same design to symbolise his militarist convictions and generalship of the Indian National Army.
In recent times, the cap has lost its popular and political appeal. Although many members of the Congress party continue the tradition, rival political parties prefer to dissociate themselves from the tradition linked with the Congress. The mass acceptance of Western-style clothing has also diminished the importance of wearing Indian-style clothes for politicians.
Politics in the Time of Olympics ; the Gandhi Cap Has Rather Lost Its Adhesive Quality for the Congress. When Its Leaders Are Forced by Protocol to Wear Them, They Look Faintly Ridiculous. Moreover, Anna Hazare Has Co-Opted the Cap into His Own Brand Image. A Torch Could Be a Good Substitute
Jul 30, 2012; When propaganda works, it becomes conventional wisdom fairly quickly. As the Olympic torch fleets from hand to heroic hand on its...
'The Aam Aadmi Keeps This Country Alive' ; Wearing a Gandhi Cap Emblazoned with 'Main Aam Aadmi Hoon', Arvind Kejriwal Takes Some Time out of His Hectic Schedule to Talk to Deputy Editor Dhiraj Nayyar about Being Named One of India Today's Newsmakers
Jan 07, 2013; The office of the Aam Aadmi Party in Kaushambi, Ghaziabad, is a run-down two-storey house. Wearing a Gandhi cap emblazoned with...