New Delhi: RSS today said it was actively considering changing its dress code from the traditional ‘knickers’ (half pant) to trousers.
RSS Delhi unit joint chief Alok Kumar said discussions were held on changing the dress code at its national executive meeting in Ranchi after considering the convenience of all concerned and due to totality of various factors.
“Discussions have taken place, but no decision has been taken yet. But it is under serious consideration that instead of a ‘knickers’ (half-pant) there is a proposal to change it to full pant,” he said.
Kumar hoped that a decision would be taken on it during the March meeting of its Pratinidhi Sabha, the highest decision-making body.
Stating that RSS had changed its dress code from time to time, he said, “When I joined RSS in 1962, there were long boots, leather belt, which were later phased out. When the Sangh was formed, it had a ‘khaki’ dress code. We have been changing it intermittently.”
Asked if there was any controversy over the issue, he said, “There is no controversy. There were suggestions and some felt the ‘knickers’ should be retained while others felt that an Indian dress be evolved.”
Kumar said though ‘knickers’ had been a trademark of RSS, “we don’t agree that the Sangh is in the ‘knickers’.”
Asked whether the change in dress code was aimed at attracting the youth, he said, “It is not an issue to attract youth to the Sangh.”
“When this ‘knickers’ was evolved, ‘knickers’ of such design were worn in those days. With time, ‘knickers’ are not worn and thus there should be such a dress which is acceptable to all and people feel convenient wearing it,” he said.
The RSS leader said the dress should also be of convenience for those living in cold places. “It is due to a totality of factors. By wearing the pant, more youth will not come to RSS.”
Asked why so much time is being taken to change the dress code as the issue cropped up even five years ago, he said, “Five years ago, when this issue cropped up it was deferred. This time, the issue is moving forward after being crystallised. We hope a decision will be taken at the March meeting of Pratinidhi Sabha.”
The RSS Delhi unit leader also said that of the people attending RSS shakhas across the country, 91 per cent are below the age group of 40 years and only nine per cent are those above 40 years. They are also running over 1,52,000 social service projects across the country.
In Delhi alone, he said, the number of shakhas conducted everyday is 1,800, up from 1,400 in 2011 and that they are running more than 1,100 projects of service towards society.
Kumar also said that RSS in Delhi will focus in the coming times on water conservation, cleanliness and eye donation for fighting corneal blindness.
He said the Sangh workers will move out to every household in Delhi to campaign for the three issues, especially for eye donation to fight blindness.