Khaki shorts, the trademark Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) dress for 91 years, is on its way out and making way for brown trousers as part of the organisation’s landmark endeavour to “move with the times” and demonstrate that it is “not rigid”.
The significant makeover decision was taken here at an RSS conclave where the organisation also slammed caste-based discrimination and pitched for ascertaining whether the deserving backward classes are actually getting reservation benefits. It disapproved of quota demands by the “affluent” sections, in a veiled reference to the recent Jat agitation.
The ideological mentor of BJP also decried restrictions on entry of women in certain temples as “unfair”, against the backdrop of some cases highlighted through recent agitations in Maharashtra.
It described as a “serious matter” the raising of anti-national slogans in JNU and slammed Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for comparing it with dreaded terrorist outfit ISIS.
“We always move with the times. We are not rigid. No organisation which is not flexible cannot progress,” said RSS general secretary Suresh Bhayyaji Joshi at the conclusion of the three-day meeting of Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the highest decision-making body of RSS.
Joshi, while briefing the media on the deliberations during the conclave, said it took a “major” decision.
“We have decided to replace ‘khaki’ shorts, which are also known as ‘khaki half pants’, with brown color full pant,” he said about the loose shorts which have been the trademark of RSS cadres since the organisation’s inception in 1925.
He said “small changes” have been taking place in the RSS but “this is the change which is noticeable”.
Even though other parts of the uniform have been changed from time to time, khaki shorts remained in vogue till now.
Initially till 1940, the uniform of RSS was khaki shirt and shorts before white shirts were introduced. Leather shoes replaced long boots in 1973 and later rexine shoes were allowed.
“Pants are a regular feature in today’s social life, so we took our decision accordingly… We are not orthodox. We realise the importance of time. We have changed many things from time to time. But this time, a major change has come,” said Joshi, the second in-command of RSS.
The pants will be designed in such a manner that these are comfortable in physical exercise, he said.
The decision is seen as part of attempt to increase the organisation’s membership as khaki shorts is believed to have been a hindrance in this regard.
Replying to questions, Joshi said, “We decided on brown colour though there is no specific reason for it but is commonly available and looks good.”
When asked whether it will have any impact on the identification of the RSS volunteers, he said it will not have any adverse impact and will be a routine thing in next 4-6 months.