Everyone knows that volunteers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) always had their trademark attire as khaki shorts for 90 years. Now after so many years on the eve of Dussehra and their organization formation day, RSS has decided to change their attire. From today onwards, the volunteers will wear trousers instead of shorts. For the first time, this will be a generational change in the organization which is the ruling BJP's ideological mentor.
The RSS has even changed the color of the trousers and the socks. Before the volunteers use to wear dark brown khaki shorts and shocks. But now they will wear brown trousers and socks with the white shirt and black cap. Their traditional bamboo stick will, however, remain part of the uniform.
Now as winter is arriving, volunteers in the northern and eastern states will also wear dark brown sweaters. Around one lakh sweaters have already been ordered.
"Even though the readiness of society to work with Sangh on different issues has increased, the change in uniform has been made to take care of the comfort level and convenience while working. The transition heralds the change in Sangh in tune with the changing times," RSS' head of communications department Manmohan Vaidya said.
He said, “over 8 lakh trousers have been distributed, including 6 lakh stitched trousers, and cloth for another 2 lakh handed over to RSS offices in different parts of the country.”
Mr. Vaidya said “the change in uniform was mooted in 2009 but there was no forward movement. The proposal was revived in 2015. After discussions, RSS leaders and volunteers arrived at a consensus that the uniform needs to change. The All-India Pratinidhi Sabha ratified the decision. The sartorial transition marks an end to an era in the Sangh whose members have for decades been identified with the khaki shorts, inspired by the uniform worn by the British constabulary. The shift is rooted in the Sangh's desire to change by adopting a more convenient dress that is in tune with the changing times.”
"The issue of replacing the Sangh's age-old attire has long been under debate and its top decision-making body, the All-India Pratinidhi Sabha, approved the apparel a few months ago," said a senior Sangh leader.
Another RSS leader Rajiv Tuli said “the Sangh has been a flexible organization which changes with the changing times. Thus the change in attire. The change in uniform is also being seen as driven by the Sangh's desire of attracting the younger generation to its fold."
BY M. DIVYA SRI