India’s right-wing Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has confirmed it will change its uniform from khaki shorts to brown trousers.
The decision was taken at the annual meeting of the highest decision making body of the organisation.
The distinctive loose khaki shorts have been an integral part of the RSS uniform for 91 years.
The RSS is the ideological mentor of India’s ruling BJP, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a former member.
The organisation’s general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi told reporters that the “major change” in uniform was because the organisation was “not rigid” and wanted to keep in step with modern times.
The PTI news agency quoted him as saying that there was no “specific” reason for changing the colour of the uniform from khaki, except that brown was “commonly available and looks good”.
The uniform change is expected to be fully implemented within the next six months.
Established in 1925, the RSS (also known as the Sangh) has been banned three times in post-Independence India.
Critics of the organisation say that the RSS (National Volunteers’ Organisation) is a sectarian, militant group, which believes in the “supremacy of Hindus” and “preaches hate” against Muslims and Christian minorities.