NEW DELHI: With
marking its landmark 250th session on Monday, the marshals of the Upper House were seen wearing new military-style uniforms, with peaked caps and lanyards, instead of their traditional Indian attire with turbans.
The marshals, part of the
, are tasked with assisting and protecting the Rajya Sabha chairperson, and flank him or her during house proceedings. Their new navy blue uniforms not only surprised many MPs present but also led to some consternation in
especially because the peaked caps were akin to what generals and other top officers wear in the Army.
“Copying and wearing of military uniforms by non-military personnel is illegal and a security hazard,” tweeted former Army chief General V P Malik, who expressed the hope that the vice president’s secretariat, Rajya Sabha and defence minister
would “take early action” in the matter.
Former director-general of military operations Lt-General Vinod Bhatia, in turn, said, “Why do organizations private and government, and now the respected Rajya Sabha, want similarity in attire with armed forces uniforms without any consideration for the dignity of soldiers? Is it because the public holds them in highest esteem? Legal provisions needed to respect uniform.”
Sources say the marshals had for long been seeking a change in their uniforms to differentiate them from chamber attendants in the house. “Finally, this type of uniform was selected from five to six patterns and choices. The colour may be different in summers,” said a source.
On Monday, after the obituary references were made, Congress MP
sought to raise a point on the new uniforms of the marshals. “Sir, the marshals…,” he began, only to be interrupted by chairperson M
who said, “Please. We are in the midst of a condolence motion.”
“But, this is a very significant change…,” replied Ramesh. To this, Naidu said, “Okay. You always make significant points at an insignificant time.” He then adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm.