Is Smriti Irani India's Information and Broadcasting minister or in charge of BJP propaganda?
It is difficult to ascertain whether Smriti Irani is India’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting or BJP’s Propaganda Minister. As Human Resource Development Minister, she not only presided over appointments of under-qualified members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to India’s premier academic bodies, she also encouraged BJP’s student organisation ABVP to mob students who disagreed with their fascistic views.
Her ministry’s incessant letters urging the persecution of Dalit student leaders drove dissenting students like Rohith Vemula to commit suicide. I almost admire Mrs. Irani’s gall to attack the Congress Party’s long-established credentials as harbingers of the Quit India Movement, given she used the same colonial sedition laws to silence her political opponents as the British Raj used to imprison the originators of this movement.
It is also equally perplexing to ascertain why Smriti Irani has been made Minister of Information and Broadcasting considering she has more conflicts of interest than Benjamin Button at the bank!
Rumour has it Smriti Irani is a silent partner of Ekta Kapoor in www.khabare.com, an online entertainment and politics news venture, but we will wait for Mrs. Irani to clarify. She shouldn’t have stakes in media companies as a minister, not even through her relatives. Nevertheless, the toxic and twisted content on her site certainly shows how non-partisan she is. Khabar E is headquartered on Jantar Mantar Road. That’s quite central and plush for a startup!
I understand that Smriti Irani’s affection for our current Prime Minister gets in the way of her ability to recall history, that in retrospect, she was probably never taught considering her fake qualifications. So I am going to break this down for Mrs. Irani. The founder of the very RSS that conditioned and brought our Prime Monster to prominence, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, led the Hindu Mahasabha’s boycott against the Quit India Movement, calling upon members who were part of “municipalities, local bodies, legislatures or those serving in the army … to stick to their posts.”
Her party’s predecessors betrayed the same peculiar kind of “statesmanship” that she rightly points out the Congress Party is without. Stick to their posts they did, even as Congressmen heeded Mahatma Gandhi’s call for mass resignations and gave up ministerial positions in provincial legislatures. BJP’s Hindu Mahasabha icons also formed coalition governments in Bengal, Sindh and the NWFP with the Muslim League, their co-authors of the two state theory which spurred Partition!
It seems hypocritical that Smriti Irani should talk about the denigration of the contribution of the millions inspired by Mahatma Gandhi to court arrest in our civil disobedience against the British Raj. The RSS conscripted many thousands of its 76,000 Shakha attendees members into the Civic Guards who arrested and perpetrated untold violence against the millions of freedom-fighting Indians she pretends to pay homage to. That her party is in power is denigrating enough to the legacy of our martyrs.
How very strange of Smriti Irani to speak of honouring Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, when her “Veer” Savarkar sought to stem recruitment to Netaji’s Azad Hind Fauj by actively aiding conscription into the British Army!
We sympathise with Smriti’s discomfort with the stature of our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. After all, she is the chief apologist of BJP/RSS, the band of political pygmies who betrayed our fight for freedom. Her party got caught out in its lie that Atalji participated in the Quit India Movement in Bateshwar, Uttar Pradesh. Embarrassingly BJP’s former Prime Minister was found out to be an informant whose depositions before the magistrate put two local leaders of the Quit India Movement behind bars!
It is understandable that BJP can only make their sorry lot look good by attacking the Congress’ legacy and having Minister Irani rescript history. Smriti cannot help marveling at India’s assistance to other nations under the yolk of colonisation in their quest to emerge independence, even as she is in denial of the fact that it under the good offices of Prime Minister Nehru himself.
Prime Minister Modi, as an heir of Savarkar, is right to point out that his government is committed to more of the same. “Karenge Aur Kar Ke Rahenge” is fitting considering BJP siezes power in non-NDA states via crooked means like the carrot-and-stick federalism whereby Nitish Kumar was given a welcome package of 1.65 lakh crores in central government grants to betray his people’s mandate. “Karenge Aur Kar Ke Rahenge” best describes her party’s attempt to seize power by calling a state emergency in Arunachal Pradesh and its attempted to do the same in Kerala. And what is it, if not “Karenge Aur Kar Ke Rahenge” when BJP uses state force against political opponents, like the use of the CRPF in their income tax witch hunt against a Congress Minister in Karnataka? It is a mercy that Tamil Nadu is calling out the BJP on its modus operandi. The BJP are staying true to their roots, while we at the Congress continue to stay true to ours.
The blood of our martyrs is thicker than Smriti Irani’s watered down version of history. The people of this proud republic will not absolve the BJP and RSS for their betrayal of our fight for independence then, or our present struggle against the Modi Sarkar to protect our freedoms.
As a young Congresswoman, I consider myself a living example of Congress’ track record of empowering strong women leaders and builders of New India, thanks to our first woman Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi to whom this baton was passed. It is thanks to the shattering of glass ceilings by leaders like Sonia Gandhi that even people like Smriti can spout their nonsense as public figures, and this is a right that we wholeheartedly defend even as we call her out on her alternative facts.
Ramya is an actress and chairperson, Congress social media and digital communications cell. Read her original post here.