A day after Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat's 'ripped jeans' remark sparked a row, he said that he doesn't mind women wearing jeans, but he still has a problem with ripped ones.
Justifying his controversial remark, the CM 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 Guruji and used to cover the torn part. Nowadays when children buy jeans worth Rs 2000-4000, he first sees whether the jeans are ripped. If it isn't, he goes home and runs scissors on it. So what bad did I say."
Earlier in the day, Rawat's wife, Rashmi Rawat, also came out in support of his statement and said that his words were being 'misunderstood' and 'misinterpreted'.
"He said that women's participation is unprecedented in building 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," she said.
While speaking at a workshop organised by the Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Dehradun on Tuesday, March 16, the CM had said that he was "shocked to see a woman running an NGO in ripped jeans" and questioned, "what example she was setting for the 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," the Chief Minister had said.
Expressing his disappointment over "bare knees", the CM had said that the west followed India's yoga and covered their body, but, "we run towards nudity."
Soon after his comment went viral, netizens took to Twitter with hashtags such as #GirlsWhoWearRippedJeans and #GreetingsFromMyNakedKnee. Netizens especially women shared photos of themselves in ripped jeans to protest against the statement.
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attacked BJP leaders by tweeting pictures of them in 'khaki' half pants with the caption: "Oh my God!!! Their knees are showing."
Members of Parliament Jaya Bachchan and Mahua Moitra also criticised the Uttarakhand CM for his comments.
Bachchan said that Rawat's comments reflected a bad mindset and encouraged crimes against women. Meanwhile, Moitra tweeted, "Mr chief minister, when we look at you, we see a shameless man everywhere. You run a state. Is your brain torn?"