The new dress code in the RSS came into effect on Tuesday, the foundation day of the organisation, with its trademark khaki shorts being replaced with brown trousers, heralding a generational change in the Sangh, the ruling BJP’s ideological mentor.
The sartorial transformation was witnessed at the organisation’s foundation day celebration at Reshimbagh Ground in Nagpur, where Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat delivered the annual Vijayadashami address donning the new attire.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union minister Nitin Gadkari, other RSS senior leaders and volunteers, who took part in the customary drill, too sported the new uniform.
The decision to cast away the khaki shorts, which had been an integral part of the organisation’s uniform for the past 90 years, was taken at the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha of RSS held at Nagaur, Rajasthan, in March this year.
The khaki shorts were adopted by the organization, inspired by the uniform worn by the British constabulary.
The colour of socks too has been changed, replacing the old khaki with dark brown, to go with the brown trousers the Sangh functionaries will now be wearing, with white shirt and black cap. The traditional bamboo stick, however, remains part of the uniform.
The shift is rooted in the organization’s desire to change by adopting a more convenient dress that is in tune with the changing times.
Volunteers in the northern and eastern states, which witness harsh winter, will also wear dark brown sweaters. Orders for the first lot of one lakh such sweaters have already been placed.
RSS’ head of communications department Manmohan Vaidy said the change in uniform had been made to take care of the comfort level and convenience of the volunteers while working.
He said the transition marked the change in Sangh in tune with the changing times.
Over 8 lakh trousers had been distributed, including 6 lakh stitched trousers, and cloth for another 2 lakh handed over to RSS offices in different parts of the country, he said.
(With agency inputs)