The RSS’ decision to do away with its 91-year-old tradition of wearing khaki shorts and introduce brown trousers has prompted both its political and ideological adversaries to take potshots at the Hindutva organisation.
Clerics from different religious groups said that it was more important to change the “mentality” than the dress code.
“The dress code changes with time but it is not an important issue to focus on. What is important is to have change in the mentality to take all communities and religion in the country together,” Abdul Hameed Nomani of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind was quoted by PTI news agency.
“Wearing pantloons will not change their thinking. Those khaki knickers are now famous and they have become symbol of their ideology. Changing dress like buses will not help. They will do what they have been doing,” John Dayal, Secretary- General of the All India Christian Council said.
Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said he will make the RSS wear ‘half pants’ again.
He told ANI, “RSS half pant chhodke full pant mein gaya, woh sab up to date ho gaya, satta mil gaya, phir inko half pant mein pahuchayenge hum log. (The RSS, after tasting power has become modern and therefore has embraced trousers. We will make them wear half pants again by making them taste defeat.)”
However, RSS member Rakesh Sinha said that the Sangh belived in keeping itself updated with trends.
“Sangh has been changing its dress code. Time has changed and we think youngsters have a different choice. The choice of people is a priority for us. So, Sangh has taken this decision. There have been many changes before,” Sinha said.
Loose Khaki shorts have been the trademark of RSS cadres since the organisation’s inception in 1925. Even though other parts of the uniform have been changed from time to time, khaki shorts remained in vogue till now.
The decision to phase out khaki shorts was taken at the three-day annual meeting of Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the highest decision-making body of RSS, held today at Nagaur.