By Hindustan Times
New Delhi, Aug. 17 -- He may be in the eye of a storm, but that isn't stopping 74-year-old Anna Hazare from setting a new fashion trend. A popular T-shirt company has just launched a range of 'anti-corruption' tees to cash in on the youth support for his movement, and others who've been selling Anna merchandise say their stock's disappearing by the second.
"We had these designs for some time, but wanted the launch to be on August 15. Anna Hazare's fast was scheduled to begin on August 16, so it made sense to wait," says Vimal Mariwala, in-charge, operations and sales, Tantra T-shirts. One look at the collection and it's clear that Anna is its star.
"Unfortunately, Baba Ramdev didn't have the same effect. Anna brought something to the table in terms of his honesty, and it's obvious that he's become a cult hero to the youth," says Mariwala. Though they're not yet sure whether political posturing is a saleable concept, Mariwala adds, "I hope we continue to do similar stuff though, even if we don't do so well on the retail front."
Other retailers who introduced brand Anna merchandise when he fasted at Jantar Mantar back in April, say the products are now selling faster than ever. "After the recent developments and the movement picking up again, sales have suddenly shot up. In fact, they are 60% more than before," says Manoj Vijay Kumar, owner of online portal X-tees.
Kashyap Dayal of online portal Inkfruit says their range of such of tees are overall hotsellers on their website. "There's one which says 'Beimaan logon ki pehli pasand, bhrasht-achaar' which is so popular," he adds.
Nehru caps, now known as the Anna cap, are also replacing fancy hats. "We've sold about 400 of them in a day," says Raja, the owner of Bharat Handloom Cloth House in Sadar Bazaar, which introduced these caps last month after they saw the frenzy around Hazare.
Another big hit is online game Yes Prime Minister, which allows players to support Hazare in his fight virtually. "We expect about 20% more hits this week," says Rahul Razdan of the makers, ibibo.com.