Modi's Manipuri scarf during coronavirus lockdown address grabs attention

Last Updated 14 April 2020, 16:46 IST

'Meitei Lengyan', a traditional Manipuri scarf, worn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation on Tuesday grabbed much attention especially in the northeastern state.

While announcing that the coronavirus-triggered lockdown has been extended till May 3, the prime minister was wearing the stole, also known as "Leiroom phee" and used mainly by men.

Modi also changed the profile picture of his official Twitter handle to one showing him using the Lengyan as a facemask.

Presented to guests at ceremonies, the scraf comes in different colours and generally has a wide red border.

Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla, Chief Minister N Biren Singh, opposition Congress spokesman Ningombam Bupenda Meitei and common people noted with happiness that the prime minister had donned the Lengyan, considered a cultural symbol of the state.

"I was very happy to see it. It shows our prime minister cares for the Northeast," Heptulla said.

The chief minister tweeted: "My sincere appreciation and salute to the Hon'ble PM @narendramodi ji for using Manipuri Meitei Lengyan which is a traditionally and culturally symbolic one, while addressing the nation today.

"It shows how much our PM loves and care for the NE particularly Manipur."

Singh also shared a photograph of Modi using the Lengyan as a facemask.

Thanking Modi for extending the nationwide lockdown till May 3 to fight against coronavirus, the CM said, "We will follow his will, vision and advice in the fight against the dreaded COVID-19 outbreak. #IndiaFightsCorona #StayHomeStaySafe."

State Congress spokesman Ningombam Bupenda Meitei also felt "proud" that the prime minister chose a Manipuri muffler during his address.

"Proud to see Prime Minister @narendramodi ji wearing our traditional Meitei muffler while addressing nation today," he said in a tweet.

Several people of Manipur also took to Twitter.

"People talk about diversity and this man @narendramodi actually practices. He wore the same shawl on Independence Day during his address at the Red Fort too," said Monika Indugam.

Some people also wanted to know how to get a Meitei Lengyan, while someone offered to contribute Rs 20,000 in the PM-Cares fund to get the scarf Modi was wearing.

(Published 14 April 2020, 16:26 IST)

Follow us on