Smriti Irani no more fire and brimstone

The former TV star who went on to become a cabinet minister has now seemingly fallen out of favour, clearly indicating that prime minister Narendra Modi has his ear to the ground

rahul

Rahul Dass | July 6, 2016


#Textile Ministry   #Narendra Modi   #JNU Row   #HRD Ministry   #Cabinet Reshuffle   #BJP   #Smriti Irani  


Smriti Zubin Irani’s fall from grace is dramatic. The minister who would regularly wade into nasty controversies had it coming all this while and one needn’t be taken aback.

Irani headed a crucial ministry that dealt with students and education and she made a complete hash of it. The unnecessary confrontation over the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) row and the poor handling of the Rohith Vemula case showed that she lacked the gentle, mature touch that one needs to have while dealing with students.

Her term began on an uneasy note, with her degree being questioned. Even after a couple of years, it is still not absolutely clear as to what exactly her qualifications are. It only shows the government in poor light. The last two years have been sheer agony to see a ministry being led by a politician whose own educational qualification is under cloud.

She had to fill big shoes as the HRD minister. The ministry had earlier been led by astute politicians like PV Narasimha Rao and before that, when it used to be the ministry of education, the ministers were stalwarts like Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, MC Chagla and redoubtable Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. The shoes proved to be too big for Irani.

Besides courting controversy, what did she do in the past couple of years? She wanted the national tricolor fluttering on top of a 207 foot pole in the universities.

Nationalistically, it was an admirable move. But, educationally, it made no sense. There are more urgent and pressing matters which need to be addressed in the Indian universities, which are not in the pink of health.

Then there was the brouhaha after Bihar minister Ashok Choudhary addressed as her “Dear Smriti Irani ji”. The minister got quite upset and retorted with a Facebook post in which she wrote: “While many working women battle this challenge in confined working spaces, I spat it out on twitter for my office travels with me”. Interestingly, she simply skirted the key issue which Choudhary had raised “kabhi rajniti aur bhashan se waqt mile to shiksha niti ki taraf bhi dhyan de (… when you find time from politics and speeches do look at the education policy too)”

The minister completely missed the larger issue. She is supposed to transform the education system and prove her mettle through her work and not through her words. That’s when Modi stepped in and perhaps decided enough is enough.

Though the move comes ahead of the Uttar Pradesh election, Smriti Irani is no longer the person to watch out. Instead, it is Apna Dal’s Anupriya Singh Patel who now matters. Her inclusion a signal that genuine political heft and being a doer counts.

One now waits with bated breath with what Smriti Irani will do at the textile ministry. And this should be new minister of state for textile Ajay Tamta’s first concern too.

 

Comments

 

Other News

A gender perspective on migration

Khohar, a village located in Alwar district of Rajasthan, nestled in the foothills of Aravalis, is home to 154 families, most of whom are farmers by profession. The village has a large adult population with 65 percent over the age of 18. The village educational levels are relatively low, with household h

Is the political will lacking to make Delhi`s air clean?

Is the political will lacking to make Delhi`s air clean?

For the sunset years

The New Pension Scheme (NPS), the government of India’s flagship pension scheme, has been subject to a number of important reforms in recent times. This is a welcome change from the norm wherein the government’s and the regulators’ interest in pension products is passing at best. The Pe

Who will pay the price of overpopulation?

Olden days of civilisation experienced famines and natural disasters that caused human misery. While human population was limited, natural habitats were undisturbed and abundant; so calamities of nature were absorbed without any serious consequences. However, this no longer holds true in the current

Schooling change

Jhunjhunu, in northern Rajasthan, is known for its grand havelis and the frescoes on their walls. But they weren’t on prime minister Narendra Modi’s mind when he spoke of the desert town in his Mann Ki Baat radio talk of March 2018. What he focused on, instead, were the government schools in

The road ahead

A fter mixed response from the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) and BOT-Annuity (build, own, transfer) model, the road sector in India is exploring the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) for roadways construction. In HAM, 40 percent of the project cost is provided by the government as ‘const

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter