From actor Gul Panag and writer-lyricist Varun Grover to Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi and RJD leader Rabri Devi, and a host of others in between, everybody had a view and social media platforms were flooded with one-liners, memes and photographs of jeans with artful rips, some narrow and others gaping.
The hashtag #rippedjeans was trending on Twitter for much of Wednesday and Thursday as well, following Rawat's controversial remark wondering what values women wearing ripped jeans impart to their children. Rawat, who was sworn in as chief minister on March 10, said at an event on Tuesday that youngsters today follow strange fashion trends due to a lack of values and consider themselves to be big shots after wearing jeans ripped at the knees. Women also follow such trends. Rawat then went on to describe the attire of a woman who sat next to him on a flight. He described her as wearing boots, jeans ripped at the knees, bangles in her hands and with two children travelling with her. He also said she runs an NGO, goes out in society and has two children and wondered what values she would give them.
The fashion trend of wearing frayed or shredded jeans has plenty of naysayers but Rawat's comment touched a chord even in those who make sure they never don them - some young and others old, women of course and many men as well.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said he was "shocked" by Rawat''s statement.
In a statement, Uttarakhand Congress chief Pritam Singh termed Rawat''s remarks "shameful" and demanded that he apologise to women.
State Congress spokesperson Garima Dasauni added that it doesn''t behove a chief minister to make a derogatory remark about someone''s sartorial choices and said such comments can hurt public sentiment.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) slammed Rawat over his "distasteful" remarks. Rawat did find support in his party colleague, Surendra Singh, MLA from Bairia in Uttar Pradesh. Men and women, he said, need to wear decent clothes and women, especially daughters, are the family's prestige and must behave in a dignified manner.
However, what went down on Twitter was quite different in tonality, reflecting outrage and sometimes humour, with many people, particularly women, posting their photographs in their carefully ripped jeans. While some asked the Uttarakhand chief minister to mind his own business, others lambasted him for imposing his "patriarchal" and "misogynistic" views.
"Time to rip apart the glass ceiling of misogyny and toxic patriarchy!" wrote a user alongside her picture in ripped jeans. Ripped jeans is not the issue, ripped mentality of BJP is," said another.
In a reply to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tweet congratulating Rawat on his oath ceremony as Uttarakhand CM, RJD leader Rabri Devi blasted the ruling party for trying to define identity and culture through one's clothes. "Deciding identity and culture through clothes is indicative of petty mentality. Can someone who harbours hateful mentality against women be honoured with a Chief Ministerial position in the BJP?" she asked.
Shiv Sena MP Chaturvedi shared her photo reading a book, wearing ripped jeans. "The country's ''sanskriti'' (culture) & ''sanskaar'' (values) are impacted by men who sit and judge women and their choices. Soch badlo Mukhyamantri Rawat ji, tabhi desh badlega (Change your mindset, CM Rawat to change the country). #RippedJeansTwitter," she tweeted.. The Family Man" actor Panag shared a mirror selfie wearing a pair of ripped jeans and captioned the photo with her son: "*Takes out ripped jeans.*" In her Instagram stories, Navya Naveli Nanda, Amitabh Bachchan's granddaughter, also posted her picture in ripped jeans, with the words, "I will wear my ripped jeans. Thank you. And I will wear them proudly."
On Wednesday night, "Section 375" actor Richa Chadha threw a quiz challenge to her followers on Twitter and asked "What's more shocking?" She went on to give four options for the poll -- ''Girls in ripped jeans'' (which received 14.3 per cent votes), ''Rapes+murders of kids'' (57.9 per cent votes), ''Minister in sex scandal'' (16.3 per cent votes) and ''MLA''s watching porn in LA'' (11.4 per cent).
"Men with torn mentality and character are mocking those who wear ripped jeans," Grover wrote in Hindi in his inimitable acerbic style. Kangana Ranaut, known for her provocative statements, ended up handing out unwanted fashion advice.
The actor, who belongs to Uttarakhand, shared several of her photos in ripped jeans clicked by the paparazzi and asked people to choose such a pair that ups their "coolness quotient", like hers.
"If you want to wear ripped jeans make sure coolness quotient is of this magnitude as in these pics, so that it looks like your style not your state a homeless beggar who has not got allowance from parents this month, most young people look like that these days #RippedJeansTwitter," Ranaut wrote.
Actor-comic Vir Das shared screenshots from one of his comedy specials in which he did a set on people questioning women over their choice of clothes.
"Every time a woman in India wears something revealing, Indian men say sh*t like ''Oh, She was asking for it. Our politicians have said that sh*t on the news. ''She was asking for it'', which is bullsh*t. The infinite beauty and fun of being a woman is if she's asking for it, she can just ask for it," the subtitles in the screenshots read.
"Well...sadly...this joke....still valid. #rippedjeans," Das captioned his post.
There were some on the other side of the debate as well. "Same people who defended Burkha are campaigning for Ripped jeans," said one user.
"They know the value of Indian culture hence following us, but we ignore what we have and going westwards. #rippedjeans," wrote another alongside a still of Hollywood star Julia Roberts, wearing a sari, from the 2010 film "Eat Pray Love".