Chaddi Out, Trousers In! RSS to Don New Khaki Uniform
Mangaluru: Bidding the traditional khaki knickers goodbye, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) launched the sale of its new uniform-brown trousers, at its headquarters in Nagpur. The change marks a radical departure, the first such in the organisation’s 91-year-history. The brown trousers are intended to attract youth “who do not feel so comfortable with the traditional knickers”. The decision to replace the khaki shorts with trousers was taken at the RSS’s Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha held at Nagaur, Rajasthan earlier this year. The new uniforms were made in Rajasthan and the first consignment reached Nagpur on Sunday.
The trousers will be on show at the first major event to be held on Vijayadasami in October this year at Reshimbag ground in Nagpur. Every member of the RSS has to purchase the uniform. “No one is excluded from this. Even the Sarsanghchalak [chief] has to buy his uniform,” as per a former RSS member and thinker. The price of the new attire has been kept at Rs.250 and the rest of the uniform — white shirt, canvas belt, black cap, black shoes — is also being sold along with the trousers.
The idea to introduce trousers was discussed within the RSS in 2010, but the media reported it and a dismayed RSS did not want to be seen implementing something that had already gone public. It should be noted that the second RSS chief, M.S. Golwalkar, never used the cap and stick because of his background in the Ramakrishna Math.
The familiar RSS dress symbolised by knickers was adopted in 1925, including leather belts, long black shoes, khaki cap and a stick. The first change took place in 1930 when the khaki cap was replaced by a black one, and this was followed by a white shirt in place of khaki. Again, in 1973, there was a third alteration when lighter shoes were introduced. The last change came in 2011 when Jain muni Tarun Sagar said the use of a leather belt was “not so related to non-violence”. The leather belt was overnight replaced with a canvas equivalent.
RSS units outside India are known as the ‘Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh’ and its members are allowed to use trousers.
Inputs from YahooNews