Soon after seers from Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain raised objection to the saffron attire of waiters on board the Ramayan Express, the Indian Railways on Monday withdrew the uniform, news agencies reported.
“It is to inform that the dress of service staff is completely changed in the look of professional attire of service staff. Inconvenience caused is regretted,” the Indian Railways said in a statement.
The seers said it was an insult to the Hindu religion and threatened to stop the train in Delhi on December 12 if the dress code was not withdrawn.
“We wrote a letter to the railway minister two days ago, lodging our protest against waiters serving refreshments and food in the Ramayan Express in saffron. Donning a saffron attire with a sadhu-like headgear and wearing malas (necklaces) of rudraksha is an insult to the Hindu religion and its seers,” Ujjain Akhada Parishad’s former general secretary Avdeshpuri told PTI.
Check new uniform of staff from Ramayana Express train
The uniforms have been changed to normal shirts and trousers and traditional headgear. The waiters will, however, wear saffron masks and gloves.
Ujjain city, where the Shree Mahakaleshwar temple of Lord Shiva is located, hosts Simhastha Kumbh Mela every 12 years.
The first Ramayan circuit train chugged off on a 17-day journey from the Safdarjung railway station on November 7. It will visit 15 places associated with the life of Lord Ram. Covering a distance of more than 7,500 km, the train will take pilgrims to places such as Ayodhya, Prayag, Nandigram, Janakpur, Chitrakoot, Sitamarhi, Nasik, Hampi and Rameshwaram.
-With agency inputs