NEW DELHI : The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is all set to switch over from the knee-length khakhi half pant to a full pant as part of its uniform that it calls “Ganvesh.” After years of debate raging over how to jell with the “new age” and “new generation” by making changes in the uniform, its leadership is putting change of its “dress code” on the agenda for a 3-day meeting of its Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha slated at Nagaur in Rajasthan from March 11.
This will be a major dress transformation of the RSS volunteers, though small changes were effected in the last five years as it quietly heeded to shift from the broad leather belts to the synthetic ones in 2010 on many expressing revulsion to swearing a product borne out of slaughter of animal. The leather shoes were similarly discarded in favour of the synthetic ones.
The black cap will continue to be the part of the RSS uniform without any change as the idea of replacing them with some trendy cap was discarded after noting that it would not match with the discipline expected from the RSS workers who are supposed to come in a proper uniform in the “shakhas.”
Nor will there be any change in the dress code for women as members of Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, a woman wing of the RSS set up in 1936, 11 years after the RSS was itself born. It is white 7-yard saree or white salar-kameezh plus dupatta with pink stripes thrown around.
Though the final decision on tweaking the uniform rests with the Pratinidhi Sabha, the leadership feels the change would be in tune with the Sangh roping in the new-age technocrats and professionals.
It has already permitted the professionals of both sexes to sit together in the “shakhas” held in cities, who was earlier “no, no.” At the last Pratinidhi Sabha in March last year, Suresh ‘’Bhaiyaji’’ Joshi, the second-in-command as Sarkaryavaha (general secretary), had claimed the number of shakhas conducted in the country going up by 25% in the last three years since 2012; 10413 shakhas spurting up at 5162 new places.