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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

Rajya Sabha marshals lose their military-style caps that offended army

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had taken note of this sentiment and ordered officials on Tuesday to revisit the military-style uniform.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2019 13:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A member highlighted the missing caps even as Venkaiah Naidu was settling down on Thursday.
A member highlighted the missing caps even as Venkaiah Naidu was settling down on Thursday.(Screengrab from Rajya Sabbha TV)
         

Marshals in the Rajya Sabha have stopped wearing their peak caps as the first step in an ongoing review of their uniform ordered by chairman of parliament’s upper House M Venkaiah Naidu this week. Their new uniform had sparked off criticism including from former Army chief General Ved Prakash Malik who had described the attire illegal and a security hazard.

Naidu had taken note of this sentiment and ordered officials on Tuesday to revisit the military-style uniform.

On Thursday, they appeared in the Rajya Sabha without their new peak caps.

A member highlighted the missing caps even as Venkaiah Naidu was settling down on Thursday.

“As I have said, nothing reflects like army. That is the simple thing. That should be done and the process is on,” Venkaiah Naidu said..

The peak caps - similar to the ones that senior army officers wear on ceremonial occasions - wasn’t the only part of the new uniform that was seen to be too similar to the army’s uniform.

The marshals uniform also has an aiguillette and braided cord similar to military uniforms.

But the peak caps had come to symbolise the similarities between the two uniforms.

 

The decision to change the dress code of the marshals was triggered by their headgear.

For decades, they have worn bandhgala suits and turbans during winters and safari suits in summers.

But some of them complained that the tall headgear was heavier and they found it difficult to wear it for long hours. The complaint was the trigger for the change.

“Several senior officials discussed it over time, and from a range of options, we choose one [new uniform],” a Rajya Sabha secretariat official had explained. The design, the official added, was finalised in-house and no external agency was involved.

The marshals were to wear a white uniform in summers similar to that of navy personnel as per the new dress code, according to people aware of the development.