New Delhi: Veterans of the Indian Army, including former chiefs Ved Prakash Malik and VK Singh, on Monday expressed their disapproval at the new ‘uniforms’ of the Rajya Sabha marshals, which were changed from their traditional Indian attire comprising turbans to navy blue-coloured military-style outfits with caps.
Monday was the first day of the Parliament’s winter session as well as the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha, which witnessed a speech on the special occasion by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, along with the Prime Minister’s speech, it was also the marshals’ uniforms which caught everyone’s attention.
The new uniforms had several features, including shoulder insignias, gold buttons and aiguillette, which made them look like uniforms worn by the Indian Armed Forces. Additionally, the marshals also wore a peaked cap resembling those worn by Army officers of the rank of Brigadier and above.
This triggered a sharp reaction among the veteran community with General Malik, who was the army chief during the 1999 Kargil war, tweeting: “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.”
General VK Singh, who is a minister in the current Narendra Modi government, too, called the new uniforms ‘illegal.’
MPs of the upper house, too, were caught by surprise with most of them irked at the use of the caps and the emblems. Congress’ Jairam Ramesh was heard asking Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who is the chairman of the House, if ‘martial law’ has been imposed in the ‘House of elders.’
The remark earned a rebuke for the Congress leader from the Vice President, who asked him not to raise ‘insignificant queries at such a significant hour.’