Newly appointed Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat's comment on ripped jeans has ripped apart social media. Women have taken to social media to share pictures of them wearing ripped jeans and challenging the CM's notions. During a workshop on Tuesday, Rawat recalled a conversation with a woman who was travelling with her two children on a flight. "She was wearing gum boots and her jeans were torn at the knees. She runs an NGO, her jeans are torn at the knees, she moves around in the society and kids are with her. What values will she give?" he asked, adding that she set a bad example for the children at home. "Kyanchi se sanskaar (culture by scissors) -- 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?" he said.
The comments, needless to say and for good reason, received severe backlash on social media. As women started criticising the minister, #RippedJeansTwitter started trending on the platform. Most women had one thing to say -- that clothes do not define a woman's character.
They were joined by Members of Parliament Jaya Bachchan and Mahua Moitra. "Such statements don't befit a CM. Those in higher posts must think and make public statements. You say such things in today's times, you'll decide who's cultured and who's not based on clothes?" said Bachchan while Moitra said, "CM saab- jabh apko dekha toh upar neeche aagey peechey humein sirf besharm behuda aadmi dikhta hai. State chalatey ho aur dimaag phatey dikte hai?"
Uttarakhand CM :— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) March 17, 2021
“Jabh nichey dekha toh gumboot the.. aur upar dekha toh .... NGO chalati ho aur ghutney phatey dikte hai?”
CM saab- jabh apko dekha toh upar neeche aagey peechey humein sirf besharm behuda aadmi dikhta hai
State chalatey ho aur dimaag phatey dikte hai?
Priyanka Gandhi took to social media to share images of RSS members in shorts. The photos had Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in khaki shorts. "Oh my God!!! Their knees are showing," she said in the tweet.
Women inundated social media with pictures of them wearing ripped jeans.
Ripped Jeans aur Kitab.— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) March 18, 2021
The country’s ‘sanskriti’ & ‘sanskaar’ are impacted by men who sit and judge women and their choices. Soch badlo Mukhyamantri Rawat ji, tabhi desh badlega. #RippedJeansTwitterpic.twitter.com/qYXcN88fY6
I hope some of you remember the #GirlsWhoDrinkBeer hashtag from 2018 as a response to Goa CM’s statement.— I Am A Nishtha Gautam (@TedhiLakeer) March 17, 2021
It’s that time of the year again:
Another CM, another attempt at policing women’s choices.
Let’s tweet our #rippedjeans pics with #GirlsWhoWearRippedJeans.
What say? pic.twitter.com/LpppCtHdQN
Cuz a pair of ripped jeans is better than a fixed mindset.— Sonam Mahajan (@AsYouNotWish) March 18, 2021
Get a life, Mr. Chief Minister. Focus on governance, leave women and their legs alone. pic.twitter.com/fd6zmDvi7P
Ripped jeans are so cool, they teach us to dress with abandon and not worry about what others think. It’s the narrow minded brains that need the mending not the jeans.#RippedJeansTwitter#rippedjeanspic.twitter.com/NqfoeacTlX— Seetu Mahajan Kohli (@kohliseetu) March 18, 2021
Following the backlash, Rawat stood his ground and said, "I have come from a normal rural family and our schools followed a certain discipline and dress code. Whenever our pants got ripped while going to school, we used to fear how will we face our Guru ji and used to cover the torn part. Nowadays when children buy jeans worth Rs 2,000-4,000, they first see whether the jeans are ripped. If it isn't, he goes home and runs scissors on it. So what bad did I say?" His wife supported him and said that the statement has been blown out of context. His wife Rashmi Tyagi said that all Rawat was talking about was women's participation in building society and country. "It is the responsibility of the women of our country to save our cultural heritage, save our identity, save our costumes," she said.