The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) announced a change in uniform, bringing in full length, coffee-brown trousers to its attire, but the khaki shorts era may not end just yet.
The baggy shorts, held in place with a black belt, will continue during exercise sessions, if members prefer it.
The decision to dispense with the shorts, which became synonymous with the Sangh for nearly nine decades, was not easy. It was, in fact, vetoed in 2010. As many Swayamsevaks remained in favour of the tradition, the Sangh decided to retain the shorts in its uniform as an option during exercise sessions.
“There were many swayamsevaks, including the younger ones, who felt that the khaki shorts should not be phased out, especially since they were practical during exercises,” a Sangh functionary told Hindustan Times.
The new trousers will cost between Rs 250 and Rs 300 to keep them affordable as all swayamsevaks will be expected to pay for the uniform.
The decision was passed with consensus at the recently concluded Pratinidhi Sabha in Nagaur, but will take time to be implemented. There are as many as 56, 859 offices across the country where the new uniform will have to be sent.
Before a date can set, the Sangh needs to also decide on the fabric that will be used. While Khadi trousers have been a favourite, an easy-to-maintain material is likely to be chosen.
“There is proposal to use polyester because it will be easier for the cadres to look after, but Khadi is the flavor, so maybe we will opt for the hand-spun fabric,” the functionary said.