Venkaiah Naidu orders review of Rajya Sabha marshals' military-style uniform
On Tuesday, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu ordered a review of the new uniform for marshals in the Upper House. On the occasion of the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha, the marshals, who stand beside the Chair, were seen wearing dark military-style uniforms, drawing flak from retired military officials and political leaders. Here are more details.
New marshal uniforms were navy blue, included peaked cap
Previously, the RS marshals would be dressed in white bandhgalas with a safa. However, on Monday, they wore navy blue uniforms, complete with gold buttons, shoulder insignias and gold aiguillette- an ornamental braided loop included in some military uniforms. The marshals, tasked with fetching, removing and arranging documents, were also seen wearing peaked cap worn by Army officers above the rank of Brigadier.
Uniforms changed to differentiate marshals from other staff
Reportedly, the uniforms were changed to help distinguish the RS marshals from the watch and ward staff in the Parliament. The marshals' role is mostly ceremonial and involves marching towards the Chair or the presiding officer of the Upper House before proceedings.
New uniforms faced ire of retired Army officials
However, the new uniforms received a lot of criticism. Union Minister and former Army chief, VK Singh, called the move "illegal." Meanwhile, former Director-General of Military Operations Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia (retd) called for legal provisions to respect the uniform. Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on Monday asked Naidu if "martial law" had been imposed in the Upper House.
'Is it because public holds military in highest esteem?'
'After considering suggestions, decided to ask Secretariat to revisit uniforms'
Responding to Ramesh's query, Naidu said, "Don't raise insignificant queries at such a significant hour." He later added, "Secretariat of the Rajya Sabha after considering various suggestions came out with a new dress code for the marshals. But we've received some observations by some political as well as well-meaning people. I've decided to ask Secretariat to revisit the same."