Akbaruddin Owaisi effect: RSS uniform to change, marriage to be allowed?

New Delhi,Rohinee Singh(web team): In the run-up to celebrating 100 years of its existence, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the patriarch of all right-wing Hindu organisations, plans structural changes. A change in the uniform from the existing shorts to a much amiable look is also being considered.

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Aiming to take India to param vaibhav (pinnacles of glory), the Sangh is re-considering on giving up celibacy for the RSS pracharaks. The RSS has initiated brainstorming on the issue. The century celebration will also see three Sangh volunteers for every 10,000 people.

Being one of the very few organisations that has remained constantly active for the past 90 years now, the veterans in the party feel that it is because of its evolution with time that the Sangh has managed to survive as an active organisation for a century.

Prime Minister Modi, while serving as the chief minister of Gujarat, had also proposed in the Jaipur conclave of the RSS in 2013 that Sangh should get away with the khaki shorts and should come up with something that appeals the youth.

The RSS in 2009 too had a nationwide survey on the need to change the uniform. “The poshak (uniform) has undergone changes from time to time. If the volunteers feel, and if it helps in accomplishing our mission, changes can be made,” said Manmohan Vaidya Pracharak Pramukh of the RSS.

Vaidya informed that from 1925-39, it was an all khaki uniform, till the white shirts were introduced in 1940. The design of the shoes were changed in 1973 and the leather belt replaced by a fabric only a couple of years back.

The new uniform will continue to be shorts, but in a new design. “Uniform is worn mostly for playing games and other physical activities. The shorts will remain with modifications in design,” added Vaidya.

The campaign to rename its Tarun Shakha (youth wing) to IT Shakha is also under serious consideration. “Youth should join the Sangh. To ensure that the IT generation connects, the youth wing has been named IT Shakha,” said another swayamsevak based at Nagpur.

The swayamsevak also informed that giving up celibacy for the pracharaks is also being considered. RSS has about 3000 pracharaks. Unlike the other volunteers, these pracharaks adopt chastity and devote themselves to the cause of the Sangh. “Service of the pracharak is like a short service commission of the defence services. After 5-6 years, as a pracharak, it is left for the individual to choose his path. Our approach has been very modern and we welcome changes,” added Vaidya. Besides the pracharaks, the Sangh also has 40 lakh other workers, who besides having a family, hold positions in the Sangh.

The RSS has set its target to have a volunteer for every block and every panchayat. “So far, we have covered 80 percent at block level and 35 percent at mandal (panchayat) level. This target has to be completed,” added Vaidya.

The Sangh has ten more years to fine-tune its changes, the consultations for the same have already began. “Sangh works in a very democratic way. Every feedback and opinion of every member is considered with seriousness. The proposals are in the pipeline and consultations are on. Changes will be made in due course,” confirmed a functionary from Nagpur.