The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) decision to shed their iconic 'knickers' in favour of trousers has been met with a mixed reaction, with some expressing a pleasant surprise, while others sniggering at the ‘superficial change’.
But ignoring the haters, the Sangh has embraced the new attire with pride. And man behind is humbly shying away form taking credit.
“I wear my work on the new uniform on my sleeve, but I don't want to take credit for what I did not suggest,” says 36-year-old designer Suket Dhir.
Considering his early association with the organisation through his father, it was only natural that RSS approached the 36-year-old designer for the apparel overhaul of the Hindutva front. “My father has been actively associated with the organisation for years, and so I was asked by default to contribute to the style revamp,” Daily Mail quoted Dhir as saying.
Announcing that police half shorts were so 1920s, Dhir, who won the Woolmark Prize 2015-16 for menswear, thinks that Khaki Culottes don't work for men anymore and has decidedly opted for the melange grey hue as ideal.
“I suggested two options - khaki and grey. For me melange made logistical and logical sense as the colour is good for both summer and winter, easily available in all uniform shops in India, and looks clean no matter how dusty it is. Plus, it's a fresh looking colour and doesn't bleed whereas all others will fade over a period of time," he says.
Citing several practical reasons for the makeover, ranging from discomfiture among older members in wearing knickers, to giving the Sangh a more youthful approach, he adds, “A lot of grownups don't feel very comfortable in shorts, and with age feel a bit colder than their younger counterparts. I also feel that people were probably a little more resilient back in the day - at outdoor activities from October to January, it's too chilly to wear shorts for most these days.”
He also said that the new look would definitely look more mainstream, and attract a younger crowd, at the same time not losing the substance of the group’s ideology.
And when probed about his understanding on Hindusim, Dhir clarifies “When I say Hindusim, it's in terms of a cultural and geographical identity and it's not a religion. Hinduism is not a part of any religion.”...