Rajya Sabha marshals return to old uniform

A week after their new military-style uniform triggered a controversy, Rajya Sabha marshals are likely to return to their old uniform but without the turban on Monday when they help the Chairman in conducting the busisness of the House. (PTI photo)

A week after their new military-style uniform triggered a controversy, Rajya Sabha marshals wore their old uniform but without the turban on Monday. The marshals wore a black bandghala but the heavy turban was missing when they accompanied Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to the House. 

The new uniform resembling military attire, including the Peaked Caps, had attracted criticism from a section of politicians as well as military veterans, including former Army Chief V P Malik. The marshals had worn the new uniform on the first day of Winter Session last Monday but the next day, they removed the cap following controversy.

As the controversy arose, Naidu had immediately announced a review of the uniform and later instructed the Rajya Sabha Secretariat to design a new uniform that does not any way resemble military attire.

The traditional ethnic attire of the marshals – bandhgala and head gear – was substituted by military style uniform completed with Peaked Caps and Lanyards. From Wednesday afternoon, the marshals were not wearing the Peaked Caps.

The change in uniform came after marshals, many of them in the level of Directors, had been demanding a change in uniform for a couple of years, particularly about the heaviness of turban.

As the controversy arose, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu immediately announced a review of the uniform and later instructed the Rajya Sabha Secretariat to design a new uniform that does not resemble military attire.

The traditional ethnic attire of the marshals – bandhgala and head gear – was substituted by military-style uniform, completed with Peaked Caps and Lanyards. From Wednesday afternoon, the marshals were not wearing the Peaked Caps.

The change in uniform came after marshals, many of them in the level of Directors, had been demanding a change in uniform for a couple of years, particularly about the heaviness of turban.

Sources had said, a study was conducted about the uniforms used in at least six state Assemblies, including Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh, before finalising on the design of the new uniform by National Institute of Design (NID).

Sources added that the marshals had suggested a break from tradition by moving away from "old turban clad dress" to one with a "modern look". 

Soon after the images of the marshals in uniform resembling military were posted on social media, several military veterans came out in open against it. Former Army Chief V P Malik tweeted, "Copying and wearing of military uniforms by non military personnel is illegal and a security hazard. I hope @VPSecretariat @RajyaSabha & @rajnathsingh will take early action." 

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