Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has debuted in his new role with controversial comments on women wearing ripped jeans and how they cannot – he feels — provide the right environment at home for children.
Rawat made the comments on Tuesday at a workshop organised by the Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Dehradun.
He said he was shocked to see a woman running an NGO in ripped jeans, and was concerned about the example she was setting for society.
“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.
He expressed his distaste for “bare knees” being exposed by children and bemoaned the fact that while the west followed India’s yoga and covering their body, “we run towards nudity.”
“Kaynchi 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? 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,” he said.
One of his new ministers, Ganesh Joshi, doubled down on the tone-deaf comments by adding that women should prioritise raising good children: “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.
Among the first to react to the Uttarakhand Chief Minister’s views was Congress leader Sanjay Jha.
“Wearing “#rippedjeans” destroys our culture, it seems. It leads to substance abuse. And a societal breakdown. Women should strictly avoid this sacrilege against our pristine customs, says Uttarakhand CM. Dear BJP, this is your CM Tirath Singh Rawat: Do you endorse this,” Jha posted.
“Is this the mentality of Chief Minister? In this modern India where are we heading,” asked the Youth Congress in a tweet.