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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu orders review of new military-style uniform of marshals

Venkaiah Naidu told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that the Rajya Sabha secretariat would revisit the decision to replace the marshals’ ethnic dress and turban in light of the criticism from some quarters.

india Updated: Nov 19, 2019 20:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu flanked by marshals in their new uniform
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu flanked by marshals in their new uniform (PTI)
         

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday ordered review of new military-style uniform of marshals in the Rajya Sabha that has prompted objections from some lawmakers and has upset the armed forces.

Naidu told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that the Rajya Sabha secretariat would revisit the decision to replace the marshals’ ethnic dress and turban in light of the criticism from some quarters.

“The secretariat of Rajya Sabha after considering the various suggestions have come out with new dress code for marshals. But we have received some observations from some political as well as some well meaning people. So I have decided to ask the secretariat to revisit the same,” Venkaiah Naidu said, according to news agency IANS.

Watch: RS Chairman Venkaiah Naidu orders review of marshals’ new uniform 

The Rajya Sabha chairman did not elaborate. But retired army officers such as ex-army chief General VP Malik had promptly taken to social media to tweet against the new uniforms.

“Copying and wearing of military uniforms by non military personnel is illegal and a security hazard,” Gen Malik had tweeted to seek the intervention of Venkaiah Naidu and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. He was supported by many retired defence officers.

 

The new deep blue winter uniforms of the marshals also have an aiguillette, the braided cord seen in military uniforms. The marshals will wear the green uniforms in winter and a white one in summer, similar to that of navy personnel. Earlier, the marshals wore a bandhgala and turban in winter and a safari suit in summer.

A Rajya Sabha official, who didn’t wish to be named, said the request for the change in uniforms came from the marshals who complained that it was too cumbersome to “maintain the stiff turbans”.

“Several senior officials discussed it over time and from a range of options, we chose the current one,” said the official. The design, the official added, was finalized in-house and no outside agency was involved.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh was among the first who sought to speak about the change of the marshals’ uniform in the Rajya Sabha. It was “a very significant change,” Jairam Ramesh had said when the House was in the middle of a condolence motion for former Union minister Arun Jaitley. The Congress leader was, however, stopped by Naidu who felt that it wasn’t the right time to make the point. Ramesh later told HT in a lighter vein that “marshal law” had started inside the House.