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After 91 years, RSS' men ditch iconic Khaki shorts for brown trousers; winter uniform unveiled

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 11 October 2016, 9:33 IST

The RSS ditched their iconic Khaki shorts - which have been a part of the uniform since the organisation's inception - for brown trousers on 11 October 2016.

The change, which heralds a generational change in the organisation, came into effect on Dussehra day - the Sangh's foundation day.

Other changes in the uniform include replacing the old khaki socks with dark brown to go with the brown trousers, white shirt and black cap.

The traditional bamboo stick will remain a part of the uniform.

Volunteers in the northern and eastern states, which witness harsh winters, will also wear dark brown sweaters. Orders for the first lot of one lakh such sweaters have already been placed.

"Even though the readiness of society to work with Sangh on different issues has increased, the change in uniform has been made to take care of the comfort level and convenience while working. The transition heralds the change in Sangh in tune with the changing times," RSS' head of communications department Manmohan Vaidya told PTI.

He said over 8 lakh trousers have been distributed, including 6 lakh stitched trousers, and cloth for another 2 lakh handed over to RSS offices in different parts of the country.

Vaidya said the change in uniform was mooted in 2009 but there was no forward movement. The proposal was revived in 2015. After discussions, RSS leaders and volunteers arrived at a consensus that the uniform needs to change. The All-India Pratinidhi Sabha ratified the decision.

The transition marks an end of an era in the Sangh whose members have for decades been identified with the khaki shorts, inspired by the uniform worn by the British constabulary.

Responding to a petition filed by the RSS, the Madras High Court on 4 October said they were allowed to march in 14 places in Tamil Nadu next month if the cadres wear full pants and not the loose Khaki shorts.

RSS had moved the court after its representations to the respective police and district administrations for permission to conduct 'route marches' on 9 October to mark the 1000th birth anniversary of saint-philosopher Sri Ramanuja did not evoke any response.

--With PTI inputs

First published: 11 October 2016, 9:33 IST