Tirath Singh Rawat, the chief minister of Uttarkhand, a state in northern India, made a statement the other day.
Mr. Rawat did not speak about the terrible disaster that took place in the state a few weeks ago, an avalanche that has possibly killed dozens of workers – they are still searching for bodies.
Nor did Mr. Rawat talk about Coronavirus.
Instead, Mr. Rawat shared with us his outrage about ripped jeans.
Yup, you read that correctly.
Mr. Rawat doesn’t approve of ripped jeans.
Especially women wearing ripped jeans.
Let’s hear this august gentleman’s exact words, should we? (I’m sharing the translated version, for my non-Hindi speaking readers):
“Mr Rawat made the comments on Tuesday at a workshop organised by the Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Dehradun.
He shared an encounter with a young mother with two children on a flight – the head of an NGO – in ripped jeans and expressed concern over 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.
“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.“
Now you know what, in the interests of total transparency, I should also admit that I’m not a fan of ripped jeans either.
But not for the same reasons as the estimable Mr. Rawat, in case you were wondering.
I don’t like ripped jeans because, well, I just don’t like them.
I don’t like the idea of “damaging” clothes on purpose.
But that’s it.
I have to admit I’d never thought that gals wearing ripped jeans were such a threat to the moral fabric of this country, but after all, who am I to know how this country ticks?
Anyway, though I (sort of) find myself in the unlikely company of a Chief Minister on the subject of ripped jeans, there are lots of feisty young Indian women who are making their own views heard on Twitter:
Rock on, ladies!
You all look smashing, ripped jeans ‘n all 🙂