Newly appointed Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Tirath Singh Rawat has enraged several on the internet due to his misogynist and controversial remarks on ripped jeans made at an event organized by the Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Dehradun. He publicly questioned, “What values will women in ripped jeans impart?”
During the proceedings of a workshop for the prevention of substance abuse, he narrated an incident of meeting a woman wearing ripped jeans while on a flight. “I looked at her feet, she was wearing boots, and then looked at her bare knees.” further admitting the disgraceful act of checking out a woman from head to toe. “I asked her what she did, her husband is a professor at JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) and she runs an NGO. She runs an NGO, her husband is a professor at JNU, and she goes into society like this. Where are her 'sanskaras (values)?", questioned the minister.
He further went on the compare situations with the west and in a statement said while the west followed Yoga and covered their bodies, “we run towards nudity.” He further compared the incident to “Kaynchi se sanskaar” (culture by scissors). “If this kind of woman goes out 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.”
These problematic and sexist comments were backed up by one of his newly appointed ministers, Ganesh Joshi, who mansplained, “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.”
Ironically, the minister’s wife also defended and supported his statements saying the context was misinterpreted.
"He (Tirath Singh Rawat) said that women's participation is unprecedented in building the society and the country. It is the responsibility of the women of our country to save our cultural heritage, save our identity, save our costumes," Rashmi, who has been Miss Meerut, clarified.
However, several women on the internet were quick to dismiss these derogatory thoughts. They slammed the narrow mindset of the minister, who had no right to question what other people wore on their individual bodies and judge their character. Thus, #RippedJeansTwitter started trending on the microblogging site.