Newly appointed Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat has stoked a new controversy with his comments on women wearing ripped jeans. Tirath Singh Rawat said he was shocked to see a woman running an NGO in ripped jeans. He also said of being highly concerned about the example she was setting for society.
Rawat’s comments that such women cannot provide the right environment at home for children have created a furor.
Mr. Rawat made the comments on Tuesday at a workshop organized by the Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Dehradun.
“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.
Rawat expressed his dislike for “bare knees” being exposed by children and bemoaned the fact that, while the west emulates 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,” Rawat said.
One of his new ministers, Ganesh Joshi, doubled down on the insensitive comments by adding that women should prioritize 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.
Opposition Congress has come down heavily on Rawat’s comments on social media. Congress leader Sanjay Jha was the first to comment.