If you are Indian, the first thing you can think of when you hear that word is about some government employee. ‘Khaki’ means a color close to light grayish yellow ochre. But in an Indian context, it means more than a color. It is the color of authority in most states. From post-men to police-men, Khakhi seems like a color you(Indians) can trust. Not only India, Khaki color is used for uniforms by armies of many countries as it provides camouflage. So, where did this trend come from?
Khaki was worn first in the ‘Corps of Guides’ in 1848, at Lahore. First it was imported from England, but due to unavailability of supply, ‘mazari palm’ and mulberry juice was used to dye the clothe to Khaki color. And shortly after that, every English and Indian started using Khaki as uniforms.
Indian police has worn Khakhi since the British rule. But the British police uniform color is not Khakhi. It is a rumor that at those colonial times it wasn’t Khakhi. They assigned the Khakhi uniform to the police officers who were of Indian descent to differentiate between British and Indian officers. It was done as a sign of discrimination but the Indians who were part of the police then were just happy to have a government job. After independence instead of coming up with new ideas for the uniform they continued the pattern of not only the uniform but also the entire rank and insignia rules. Today the policemen who wear Khakhi have a sense of pride in them and is no more considered as a racial discrimination symbol.
During the British rule all their Indian government workers wore Khakhi.
The army, the police, the postmen, the mechanics.