While one takes the utmost pride in flaunting nationalism, the other questions it. One flaunts the Major Gogoi incident with pride, where a Kashmiri man was used as a human shield. The other shouts ‘dissent is patriotic’. One has the angry hanuman, the other flaunts an objectionable gesture intended towards the patriarchy. And this battle of ideology is happening on humble T-shirts. As bizarre as it may sound, that’s exactly where this latest round of right vs left faceoff is taking place.

It all started off when the Delhi BJP Spokesperson Tajinder Bagga came up with the idea of flaunting his beliefs on T-shirts. Thus, TShirt Bhaiya, a brand he owns, came into shape a year ago. Initially, it made heads turn but didn’t do brisk business. “But Major Gogoi T-shirt was the turning point”, says Bagga. And ever since, it proved to be a successful business model.

Credit: T-Shirt Bhaiya

Speaking to MyNation, Bagga explained why he came up with the idea, “In the US, they take pride in their country and in their Army. Here in India, we may take pride but we don’t flaunt it. For instance, we wear Che Guevara T-shirts but most of them who wear it don’t even know who he was. They wear it because it’s cool. It’s time to make the Indian Army, our freedom fighters look cool as well”.

Bagga has indeed been able to reach his goal. But now he has got a rival in Rational Gear, a new brand that propagates a lot of ideas that Bagga, or for that matter the political right may not necessarily agree with. In a way, it’s the left-liberal side of this new T-shirt war.


For instance, they have a section called religion, where the first T-shirt screams, ‘Imagine no religion’. A T-shirt in the feminism section reads ‘Unsanskari’, while another T-shirt from this section has an objectionable gesture imprinted on it and ‘Dear Patriarchy’ written under it.

Credit: Rational Gear

Rational Gear has got its own share of followers who believe it’s the right way to counter Bagga’s influence. Senior journalist Sagarika Ghosh posted a series of tweets flaunting them which has been retweeted by the official handle of the T-shirt company.


Rational Gear is owned by a gentleman called Soorya Sriram. Talking to MyNation, he said, "It was not an answer to Bagga's company, but an answer to hate, in general. My T-shirts talk about inclusivity, against patriarchy". When asked about the likes of Sagarika Ghose promoting it on Twitter, he said, "I don't have any financial association with her, but as far as her promoting the brand is concerned, I guess it's the ideological bent".

Their ‘About Us’ section declares, “We are a group of like-minded people who wish to express our ideologies through different means.” But Bagga, who owns T-Shirt Bhaiya, he laughs it off, “The left-liberal is doing this out of frustration. They are copycats. But they can’t even copy properly”.

But for now, the high-decibel war that you see at prime time on national television channels between two ideologies will simultaneously be played on the streets, with people wearing their beliefs loud and clear.