National

Parliament proceedings: Rajya Sabha marshals’ uniform goes military green

Sartorial shift: Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu flanked by Upper House marshals in new uniform on Monday and, below, in their previous uniform on August 8, 2018.

Sartorial shift: Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu flanked by Upper House marshals in new uniform on Monday and, below, in their previous uniform on August 8, 2018.   | Photo Credit: PTI

more-in

Veterans voice concern over resemblance to the uniform of Army officers

Veterans have voiced concern over the resemblance of the new uniform of Rajya Sabha Marshals to the military uniform, complete with peak caps and lanyards.

At the 250th session, which opened on Monday, the marshals came wearing a new olive green uniform in place of the safari suits they wore during the summer and the ‘bandhgalas’ during the winter along with turbans.

“Copying and wearing of military uniforms by non-military personnel is illegal and a security hazard. I hope VP Secretariat, Rajya Sabha and Rajnath Singh ji will take early action,” former Army chief Gen.V.P. Malik wrote on Twitter.

Army sources said the new uniform of the Marshals was similar to that of senior officers. “The peak cap with two oak leaves resembles that of a colonel and those ranked above. There is also the red band,” an officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Lt. Gen. Vinod Bhatia (retired) asked, “Why do organisations, private and government, and now the respected Rajya Sabha want similarity in attire with armed forces without any consideration for the dignity of soldiers.” “Is it because the public holds them in the highest esteem? Legal provisions needed to respect uniform,” he wrote on Twitter.

Rajya Sabha members, too, were taken by surprise. Jairam Ramesh, of the Congress, raised the issue, but was not allowed to complete his statement. “Sir, the Marshals...,” he started, but Chairman Venkaiah Naidu cut him short, saying, “We are in the midst of a condolence motion.” Yet Mr. Ramesh persisted. “But this is a very significant change,” he said. To this, Mr. Naidu said, “You always make insignificant points at such a significant time.”

Speaking to The Hindu later, Mr. Ramesh said, “It seems marshal law has been imposed in the Rajya Sabha.” He would raise the issue again, he said. Sources said many BJP members, too, were planning to raise the issue in the coming days.

RJD member Manoj K Jha termed the change bizarre. “A military uniform does not have any place in Parliament,” he said.

Senior officials of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said the uniform was designed in house without the help of any outside institution. And the change was made as demanded by the marshals themselves.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

This article has been corrected post publication.

Related Topics National
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 1:00:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-proceedings-rajya-sabha-marshals-uniform-goes-military-green/article30009328.ece

Next Story