The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and Vice-President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu, on Tuesday has ordered a review due to criticism of the new uniform of the marshals in the Upper House. Naidu has ordered this review following ex-Army officers and opposition leaders expressing their displeasure over these new uniforms. The uniforms of the Rajya Sabha marshals were completely restyled from traditional Indian attire comprising turbans to dark navy blue and olive green military-style outfits with caps.
During the proceedings of the House on Tuesday, the Chairman stated that Secretariat of the Upper House has come out with a new dress code for the marshals. However, there have been suggestions and comments by politicians and well-meaning individuals on the same, Naidu said, adding, "I have decided to ask the Secretariat to revisit the same," Naidu said. On Monday, when the marshals came wearing the new uniform together with aiguillette, some members commented if "marshal law was being imposed."
Veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh, on Monday during the opening day of the Winter Session had commented, "Are you imposing Martial Law?" Naidu retorted, "Okay. You always make a significant point at an insignificant time". Some former Army officers have also criticised the new uniforms for marshals, terming them as illegal. Fellow Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh took to Twitter to slam the change in uniform.
Hon Chairman Rajya Sabha must take Notice of the very valid objection of Defence Services. I have not understood the reason for this change. What was wrong with the earlier Uniform of Marshals in Rajya Sabha? https://t.co/XGgGxUAwOc— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) November 19, 2019
It is customary that the presiding officer of the Rajya Sabha is flanked by two marshals who march ahead of the presiding officer to announce the commencement of the day's proceedings. The marshals further assist the presiding officer in organising the desk and bringing up order papers. Marshals earlier wore safari suits during summer and Indian bandgalas during the winter along with turbans. The turbans were viewed by some as a colonial legacy, leading to a review of the uniform.
(With PTI inputs)