From the 'ripped jeans' debate to American 'enslavement' of India: New Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat is making waves

Tirath Singh Rawat has been in office for less than two weeks. And in that time, the BJP leader who replaced Trivendra Singh Rawat as Uttarakhand Chief has been in the news on a near constant basis. Unfortunately for him, most of this coverage is far from flattering.

Unless you've been living under a rock this last week, you're likely to have seen everyone from celebrities to politicians to ordinary netizens tweeting pictures of themselves (or others) in ripped jeans and other 'revealing' attire. The inspiration for this trend came from Rawat, who had said that he was shocked to see women (including mothers) wearing ripped jeans out in public. He attributed the same to a 'lack of values'.

Speaking at an event last Tuesday, Rawat had described the attire of a woman who sat next to him on a flight. He said the woman was wearing boots, jeans ripped at the knees and several bangles in her hands. Two children were travelling with her. "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?" he asked.

Needless to say Twitterati had come out en masse to defend their sartorial choices, ripping into Rawat. While some questioned him for singling out women, others were bemused by his assertion that this was linked to values of any sort.

But Rawat was far from done. Over the last week he has made headlines for several comparably problematic reasons. He contended that people should have procreated at a greater pace if they wanted more food rations, and gravely informed people that America had "enslaved India for 200 years".

In videos that have since gone viral, the newly appointed Chief Minister can be seen speaking at an event and explaining that there should not be resentment over distribution of rice, as it had been done based on the size of the family. And while the concept of family planning, as well as India's massive population might be in favour of smaller families, Rawat was rather unsympathetic. "When the time was there, why did you create two (children)?Why didn't you produce 20?" he asked.

The Chief Minister also rewrote history, contending that “America enslaved India for 200 years.”. And while this could have been a slip of tongue, the fact that he followed that up by making note of how the Western nation has dealt with COVID-19 suggests otherwise.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal