Saffronisation of India
86mm x 121mm
This passport is the designed element of my thesis for Year 3 of BA (hons) Graphic and Media Design. My thesis investigates the extent to which the Bharatiya Janata Party of India enforces a Pro-Hindutva ideology through their political actions.
Saffron is a symbolic colour in India. It is part of the Indian flag and it represents the strength and courage of the country. However, there is an underlying message brought forward with the saffron colour and that is one of Hinduism. Hindu sanyasis (monks) wear saffron coloured robes, and the relation to this, with the primary colour of the BJP, has translated the saffron colour into one which represents Hindu-nationalism as opposed to strength and courage. In addition, Narendra Modi is often seen wearing a saffron scarf around his neck when giving a speech; this makes affiliates the colour with the Modi brand.
The Indian passport was going to be changed into a saffron colour in 2017. However, the heavy opposition against this decision influenced the Ministry of External Affairs to limit this decision of a colour change to just those passport holders with the Emigration Check Required status (Chowdhury, 2018).
A passport is a symbol of identity. Painting this identity with a colour that represents nationalism, could be perceived as painting one’s belief system with nationalistic views. Therefore, as a design outcome, I think it is suitable for me to print my dissertation in the form of a passport which is saffron in colour. This design choice would successfully reflect my thesis as it focuses on how the government of India wants to paint the country as one which represents Hindu-nationalism.
I plan to dissect the current Indian passport, and use its visual language to guide the design for the saffron passport; this includes elements such as the use of the Indian national emblem, and the colour gradient of blue and pink of each page. The absence of images in the designed element is because they would interrupt the visual aesthetics of the colour palette, which would ultimately reduce the passport-like affect. I would like to ideally print on plastic, but due to the size of the passport, it is an option which I will not be able to carry because of the limited time. Therefore, I will be printing the passport on 100 gsm of normal white paper, with the cover being slightly thicker. To overcome the absence of the plastic effect on the cover, I have decided to place the passport inside a plastic cover which aids the finished look my designed thesis requires.