The RSS put an end to all speculations about change in its ganavesh (official dress), with the Sangh fountainhead's general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi announcing that the khaki shorts will be replaced with brown trousers in keeping with the “changing times“. The move, ostensibly aimed at giving RSS an image makeover and making it more attractive to students and young professionals, was on expected lines as Sangh office-bearers had indicated the issue is on the agenda of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) held at Nagaur in Rajasthan.
Asked during a press interaction if a call had been taken on changes in the ganavesh, Joshi said: “Yes, you (media) have also been talking about it. We are not rigid. We are people who move with the times... We have decided to replace khaki shorts with brown coloured full pants. Trousers are more common in social life. So we took this decision accordingly .“
RSS has made changes in its official uniform from time to time. The issue of giving up the balloon khaki shorts -which were considered old-fashioned and antediluvian by many -was last taken up at the ABPS conclave in 2010. When no decision could be arrived at -reportedly as the old guard was opposed to the shift -RSS brass had decided not to take up the issue till 2016.
The RSS has seen a big jump in attendance at its shakhas in the last three years. RSS joint general secretary Krishna Gopal said the shakhas rose from 40,922 in 2012 to 51,355 in 2015 and 56,859 in 2015-16.About 25% of these shakhas have been held for young professionals and 65.6% for students in 820 districts across the country .