Uttarakhand CM’s ‘ripped jeans’ comment: Celebs post pics, slam moral policing

Speaking at an event earlier, Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat said women who wear ripped jeans do not serve as role models for their children and the society at large.
Actor Gul Panag on the left and actor-turned-politician Payal Ghosh on the right.
Actor Gul Panag on the left and actor-turned-politician Payal Ghosh on the right.
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Earlier this week, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat, who was recently elected to office, received flak for a controversial comment he passed about ripped jeans. Commenting about women wearing ripped jeans at a workshop organized by the Uttarakhand state Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Dehradun on Tuesday, he said, “What example will they set for their children and the society?” 

Several actors, politicians and celebrities have taken to Twitter in the past couple of days to express their disagreement. Women users have also been posting pictures of themselves in ripped jeans using the hashtags #rippedjeans and #RippedJeansTwitter.  

Here are some of the tweets posted by celebrities on Twitter:  

Gul Panag, the actor who was appreciated for her performances in the web series The Family Man and Paatal Lok posted a photo of herself wearing a pair of ripped jeans.  

General Secretary of All India Congress Committee of Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, shared a collage of images featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Mohan Bhagwat in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) uniforms which have khaki shorts. “Oh my God!!! Their knees are showing,” Priyanka wrote, mockingly.

Actor Swara Bhasker who is known for taking a stand on several socio-political issues also retweeted Priyanka Gandhi’s post.  

Popular Bollywood singer Sona Mohapatra shared photos of herself in a ripped T-shirt and stated, “I don’t wear jeans owing to the humidity and heat here but happy for this ripped T-shirt with my संस्कारी घुटना’s showing!..#GirlsWhoWearRippedJeans don’t need anyone’s permission in #India . We are the land of the glorious Konark, Khajurao, Modhera, Thirumayam, Virupaksha!” 

Actor Shruti Sethi, who started her career as a television host and forayed into acting with supporting roles in films such as Fanaa and Slumdog Millionaire, also made an indirect comment about the controversy. Taking a jibe at the Uttarakhand CM, she wrote "currently ripping all my jeans.” 

Actor Koena Mitra took to Twitter to condemn the comment made by CM Tirath Singh Rawat. Sharing a clip from the CM’s speech, the Bigg Boss fame wrote, “May BJP rule for another 50 years but.... ripped jeans and boots will rock forever! Men don’t tell us what to wear! I wear shorts and snickers, I dance like a hip hopper, I chant Hanuman chalisa, I vote, I travel like a Gypsy and I cancel Men like him. Stop.”  

Actor-turned-politician Payal Ghosh, who hails from Ramdas Athawle’s political party, tweeted a photo of hers in ripped jean with the caption, “Why Should Men Have All the Fun? #rippedjeans.” 

Actor and stand-up comedian Vir Das posted an excerpt from his stand-up comedy show, he wrote, “Well...sadly...this joke... still valid. #rippedjeans"

Actor and singer Suchitra Krishnamoorti wrote, “Leaders cannot afford to make such irresponsible statements. His personal views have power to influence attitudes/ policy even if unofficially. Women in his State have it hard enough already without such regressive views adding to misery. It’s wrong at so many levels.”  

Meanwhile, singer Chinmayi Sripada expressed her disagreement with people who have been posting Uttarakhand CM’s daughter’s images in ripped jeans to prove their point. “People sharing pictures of Uttarakhand CM’s daughter in jeans or shorts are no different than the Uttarakhand CM. Using a woman’s person to make a (shameless) point is not debate. I wish they taught this in schools,” her tweet read. 

Here are some of the other tweets posted by celebrities in response to the controversy: 

Rawat ended up in the midst of the controversy after he passed a statement scrutinising youngsters for following fashion trends. He was of the view that due to lack of values, youngsters and women in particular wear ripped jeans. He added that when youngsters are unable to find ripped jeans in the market, they cut their jeans using scissors.  

He went a step ahead and also described the attire worn by a woman seated next to him on a flight. He said he saw the woman wearing boots, jeans which were ripped at the knees, bangles and was travelling with two children. Shaming the woman for her choice of clothes, he questioned, “She runs an NGO, goes out in the society and has two children, but she wears jeans ripped at the knees. What values will she impart?” 

Rawat’s wife has recently come out in defense of his comment saying that Rawat was talking about women’s participation being unprecedented in building the 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.

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