The inauguration of India’s new Parliament building is not only a momentous occasion in the country’s political history but has also ignited a controversy surrounding the uniforms of its staff members. Designed with a blend of utility and cultural inspiration, these uniforms have become a focal point of political debate.
Designing the Uniforms
Officials involved in the project have revealed that the staff uniforms were meticulously crafted, considering both functionality and India’s rich culture and heritage. Made primarily from khadi, a hand-spun and handwoven fabric closely associated with India’s freedom movement, these uniforms feature a predominantly beige and rust color scheme. Adorning the shirts and sarees is a lotus motif, a symbol deeply intertwined with Indian culture and spirituality. Marshals, who play a crucial role in maintaining order, will also sport a white and gold headgear as part of their attire. The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) took charge of the uniform’s design.
Despite the meticulous design, these uniforms have become embroiled in political controversy. The opposition, particularly the Congress party, has raised objections to the lotus motif, alleging that it’s an attempt by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to promote its symbol within the new Parliament building. Congress MP Manickam Tagore expressed his dissent on social media, further fueling the debate.
Government sources have downplayed these allegations as trivial, emphasizing that the lotus holds significance as India’s national flower and the peacock as the national bird. They argue that there’s no reason for such objections. The controversy surrounding the new Parliament building isn’t limited to uniforms alone; it began earlier with opposition parties, especially Congress, objecting to the use of sengol, peacock, and lotus motifs in the building’s architecture. At that time, the government defended its choice by citing the national significance of these symbols.
Before the inauguration of the new building, opposition parties boycotted the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony, claiming it was extravagant during the post-Covid period. Additionally, they criticized the BJP and the government for allegedly disrespecting the President by not allowing her to lead the ceremony.
Upcoming Parliamentary Session
The controversy surrounding the new Parliament building and its uniforms has cast a shadow over the upcoming special session of Parliament, scheduled to be held in the new facility from September 18 to 22. Even before the session has commenced, it has been marked by acrimony. The opposition is demanding transparency regarding the session’s agenda, accusing the government of maintaining secrecy. The uniforms have only added fuel to the fire, with the INDIA front accusing the government of a cover-up.