I stick to my views, no regrets: Tirath Rawat on ‘ripped jeans’ remarks

The former chief minister said his statement may have led to an outrage in a section of the media but found a lot of support on social media.

Dehradun: Former Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat has said he does not regret his remarks on ripped jeans, which had kicked up a storm last year, and his “views remain unchanged”.

“I was never against wearing jeans. I myself wore it when I was younger. My statement was against ripped jeans and I stick to it. Isn’t it strange that new pairs of jeans are bought from the market and ripped here and there using scissors before being worn,” Rawat told reporters on the sidelines of a programme held by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Uttarakhand’s Pauri district on Sunday.

“Wearing tattered clothes was never a part of the Indian culture. Even today, people in India do not attend functions in ripped jeans,” he said.

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Referring to European devotees of ISKCON wearing traditional Indian attire such as dhoti-kurta, Rawat said it was strange that while people from foreign countries were embracing the Indian culture, Indians were giving up on them in a bid to mimic the West.

Rawat’s remarks soon after becoming chief minister in March last year had triggered a furore with leaders cutting across political parties and the media severely criticising him and terming his statement sexist.

The former chief minister said his statement may have led to an outrage in a section of the media but found a lot of support on social media. “I am proud that lakhs of people share my views on ripped jeans,” he said.

Though Rawat had the shortest tenure of less than four months as the chief minister, his statements often landed him in controversies.

The furore over his remarks against ripped jeans had barely subsided when he had walked into another controversy saying India was ruled for 200 years by the United States of America prompting the opposition leaders in the state to question his knowledge of history.

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