New Delhi: Indian Railways changed the saffron coloured uniforms of serving staff aboard Ramayan Express after facing backlash from Hindu seers, The Indian Express reported. Seers from Ujjain felt that the saffron outfit served insult to the Hindu religion. If it is not changed, the seers threatened to block the train in Delhi on December 12.
The IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation), which operates the train, said in a statement on Monday the dress of service staff is completely changed to professional attire. It added that the inconvenience caused is regretted. The uniforms have been changed to shirts and trousers with the traditional headgear. The waiters but will wear saffron masks and gloves.
The Ujjain Akhada Parsihad's former general, secretary Avdeshpuri had said that wearing saffron attire, Sadhu's headgear, and rudraksha necklaces is an insult to the Hindu religion and its seers. If the dress code is not changed, he threatened that seers would stop the train at Delhi's Safdarjung railway station.
A railway board official told TIE that they did not wish to stoke controversy.
The first Ramayan circuit train started its 17-day journey on November 7. The pilgrimage train will have two travel components- one each in India and Sri Lanka. Starting from Safdarjung station in Delhi, it stops at Ayodhya.
Then Hanuman Garhi Ramkot and Kanak Bhawan temple. Further, it will cover other destinations in the Ramayana circuit such as Nandigram, Sitamarhi, Varanasi, Janakpur, Shringverpur, Nasik, Prayag, Chitrakoot, Hampi and Rameshwaram.