Members of Parliament Jaya Bachchan and Mahua Moitra on Thursday criticised Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat for his comments on women wearing ripped jeans.
Bachchan told ANI that Rawat’s comments reflected a bad mindset and encouraged crimes against women. “Such statements don’t befit a CM [chief minister],” she added. “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?”
Meanwhile, Moitra mocked the comments that Rawat made at an event on Tuesday. “Mr chief minister, when we look at you, we see a shameless man everywhere,” she tweeted. “You run a state. Is your brain torn?”
Meanwhile, several women took to Twitter to share photos of themselves in distressed denims on Thursday, making the hashtag “RippedJeansTwitter” trend on the microblogging site.
Speaking at a workshop on Tuesday, Rawat recounted a conversation with a woman who was travelling with two children on an airplane. “She was sitting next to me so I spoke to her,” Rawat said, “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 [to the children]?”
The chief minister also claimed that a bad example was being set for 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,” he said “Where is this coming from, if not at home?”
Rawat’s comments triggered outrage on social media. “A society getting ripped on divisive politics is fine,” Congress leader Sanjay Jha tweeted. “But ripped jeans destroys our great culture. Kya baat hai! [great].”
Other politicians and celebrities also shared pictures in ripped jeans to protest Rawat’s comment.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi tweeted: “The country’s ‘sanskriti’ and ‘sanskaar’ [culture and values] are impacted by men who sit and judge women and their choices. Change your thinking chief minister ji, only then will the country change.”