Over nine decades after it was founded by Kesava Rao Baliram Hedgewar in 1925, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh will finally drop its khaki shorts and change into a new uniform comprising full-length dark khaki pants from Dassehra Day this year.
A consignment of the first lot of 10,000 sets of the new 'ganvesh' (uniform) - comprising the regular white shirt, black cap, a black leather belt, a pair of dark brown socks and black shoes, the trademark bamboo cane - and now, including full-length dark khaki trousers - went on sale at a shop near the RSS headquarters in Reshimbaug, Nagpur on Monday.
The decision to effect the most visible change in attire was taken in March this year at the RSS's Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) held in March 2016 in Nagaur, Rajasthan, presided over by Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat.
However, the actual change comes after nearly a decade of debates, nationwide feedback from the grassroots activists and internal surveys.
Earlier, changing with the times, the RSS, way back in 1940, had changed from a khaki shirt to a white shirt, and in 2010 from the coarse canvas belts to thick leather belts.
The latest change has evoked mixed reactions from among the veteran RSS activists and the new generation - a young activist proudly posed in the new outfit for media persons at the outlet.
The new full pants - costing around Rs 250 - have been tailored by an RSS regular stylist, in Akola, Rajasthan, and his 40-strong team plans to send around 50,000 pieces to Nagpur by Dassehra (Vijayadashmi) to be celebrated in October this year.
Thousands of RSS activists, who will gather for the annual Vijayadashmi Rally in Nagpur, will be seen formally attired in the new uniform first time on October 11 in the presence of Bhagwat.