When newly appointed Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat claimed that women wearing ripped jeans and knee-length jeans would set a bad example for children, it led to a massive uproar on social media and mainstream media.
During an event by the Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Dehradun, Rawat shared a conversation he had with a woman during a flight. “She was wearing gumboots and her jeans were torn at the knees. She told me that she runs a non-governmental organisation,” Rawat recounted. “She runs an NGO, her knees are visible, she moves around in the society and kids are with her. What values will she give to the children?” he said.
Rawat’s statement led to a firestorm from celebrities to politicians, all slamming him and the BJP for the statement.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi also took a shot at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for their previous uniform (brown khaki shorts).
"Oh my God!!! Their knees are showing," Priyanka tweeted along with the collage of PM Modi, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat in khaki shorts. The RSS switched from khaki shorts to full khaki pants in 2016.
Many asked the Chief Minister and the saffron party to change their minds. While some netizens trolled the Chief Minister, others targeted supporters of the BJP government at the Centre.
However, many netizens pointed out that too much importance and frivolous debates on the torn jeans controversy was given on a day when reports emerged that a four-year-old girl was raped during the recent riots that took place in the town of Bhainsa in Telangana.
According to reports, violence and arson took at several places in Bhainsa on the night of March 7. Three houses and several vehicles were set ablaze. Nearly 12 people including a few police officer sustained injuries in the violence.
Inspector-General of Police (north zone) Y Nagi Reddy said that the communal violence took place between two groups. “The first group of people were informed, gathered and sent to places under the guidance of 15th Ward Counsellor Abdul Khabeer alias Baba of AIMIM. The second group was led by 8th Ward Counsellor and Hindu Vahini ex-president Thota Vijay,” Reddy said, adding that some of the arsons committed on the second and the third day and night in the Pardi and Mahagaon villages were led by Hindu Vahini district president Santhosh.
So far police has arrested 38 people, but the IGP believes that at least 70 more people are involved in the violence and will be arrested soon. Soon after the violence, Section 144 was imposed in the town and internet services were disabled in the area.
However, according to reports, a minor girl was allegedly raped during the ongoing curfew. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that the police is trying to cover up the incident citing communal violence, the police have filed a case and are searching for the accused.
Many right-wing supporters claim that the rape incident was communal, the police are still investigating the matter. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has said that it will take action in the incident. Such incidents have gone reported as the focus has been on the Assembly elections in four states and a Union Territory and the sudden Covid-19 surge in the country.