Uttarakhand’s newly appointed chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat drew flak on Wednesday after he said that women who wear ripped jeans set a ‘bad example’ for society and lead to substance abuse. Speaking at an anti-substance abuse workshop organised by the Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Dehradun on Tuesday, Rawat said that ripped jeans are ‘bad examples’ set by parents. He further expressed his apprehension towards bare knees being exposed and went on to draw a parallel between the Indian and western culture. He also said that while the western world is following our tradition of yoga and ‘covering up’, Indians were running towards ‘nudity.’
“Kaynchi se sanskaarn (sharp manners) – showing bare knees, wearing ripped denim and looking like rich kids – these are the values being given now. Where is this coming from, if not at home? What is the fault of teachers or schools? Where am I taking my son, showing his knees and in tattered jeans? Girls are no less, showing their knees. Is this good? While the western world follows us, doing yoga … covering their body properly. And we run towards nudity,” he said.
Hitting out at the sartorial choices of women, Rawat recalled an incident where he had come across a woman ‘in ripped jeans’ who ran an NGO and expressed his concern about the kind of ‘message’ she is putting out to the world.
“If this kind of woman goes out in the society to meet people and solve their problems, what kind of message are we giving out to society, to our kids? It all starts at home. What we do, our kids follow. A child who is taught the right culture at home, no matter how modern he becomes, will never fail in life,” said the Chief Minister.
Following this, #RippedJeansTwitter started trending with women showing off their ripped jeans in an attempt to explain that your clothes do not dictate your choices.
In solidarity with the woman with the two kids trying to get somewhere who bore the brunt of a clearly sleazy man checking her out because she was wearing ripped jeans. #RippedJeansTwitter pic.twitter.com/N3fWgvlCBD
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Not long ago, one of Rawat’s cabinet ministers Ganesh Joshi had similar opinions about a woman’s priorities. “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,” he said.