Uttarakhand’s New Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has debuted in his role with controversial comments on women wearing ripped jeans. During a child rights workshop, organised by the Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Dehradun on Tuesday, the Minister commented that women who wear ripped jeans would set a bad example for children. He recalled his conversation with a woman he met on the flight. Describing the incident he said that a woman was travelling with two children, on an airplane. “She was sitting next to me so I spoke to her and she was wearing gum boots and her jeans were torn at the knees. She told me that she runs a non-governmental organisation. She runs an NGO, her knees are visible, she moves around in the society and kids are with her. What values will she give [to the children]?”
The remarks by Rawat sparked an immediate backlash on social media and have been slammed by opposition leaders and women activists. Meanwhile, Uttarakhand minister Ganesh Joshi added to the controversy by claiming that women should focus on their families and raising good children and said that women talk about all things they want to do in life, but the most important thing for them is to look after their family and children.
In the opposition to this kind of statement by the minister, many women and celebrities took social media to criticise the mentality. After the incident the hashtag #RippedJeansTwitter has been used in nearly 16,000 tweets. Congress leader Sanjay Jha took to twitter and criticized the comment. #RippedJeansTwitter was one of the top trends on the platform this morning. People in huge numbers used the hashtag to share pics in ripped jeans. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s granddaughter Navya Nanda on Wednesday responded to the minister’s remarks. Taking to Instagram, she shared photos where she is wearing ripped jeans and wrote, “Change your mentality before changing our clothes because the only thing shocking here is the message comments like this send to society.” Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal also tweeted that Rawat was probably selected for the post because of this kind of thought processes he possessed. Many celebrities including Gul Panag, Former Femina Miss India Simran Kaur Mundi, and Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi joined the trend of sharing pics in ripped jeans and criticizing this kind of mentality.
Apart from women, the Minister also had a piece of advice for children. He expressed how he disliked the display of “bare knees” by them and how “we run towards nudity” when the West is adopting and has been covering up and following India’s yoga.