By Meghana Rathore:Â
The actress turned politician, Smriti Irani, recently took over the cabinet post as an HRD minister. It’s a story that received a lot of attention from the media. On the flip side however, the sensational news was also received with a lot of flak and criticism from some people, prominent ones being Ajay Maken, one of the ex-union ministers and Madhu Kishwar, a former Modi ecstatic proponent. These people and many others took pot-shots on the so called “light weight” candidate for the portfolio on Twitter. Ajay Maken’s tweet exuding sarcasm read, “What a Cabinet of Modi? HRD Minister (Looking after Education) Smriti Irani is not even a graduate! Look at her affidavit at ECI site pg 11,” while Madhu Kishwar conveyed a much more direct tweet to Mr. Narendra Modi that read, “Hope @narendramodi will not saddle HRD ministry with lightweight who knows nothing about intellectual challenges facing education sector.”Â
Before jumping to conclusions, its imperative we elucidate upon the rather outstanding leadership skills of Smriti Irani and her past as a BJP leader. She joined BJP in 2003 and went on to become the Vice President of the Maharashtra Youth Wing in 2004 and later she was designated the post of National Secretary of BJP and was anointed the All India President of BJP Mahila Morcha.
She also runs an NGO called “People for Change” that provides clean drinking water to the poor. Not to forget she was one of the few leaders to take a clear stand during the Delhi gang rape case. Even this year Smriti Irani may have lost to Rahul Gandhi in Amethi but the margin was reduced heavily and she should be appreciated for reaching out to the people and for having put up such a great show in the land where the Gandhis have been ruling the roost since forever.
Well, let’s also have a look at the reactions these ridiculous tweets have received on various social networking sites. Posts like “HRD minister should be educated? Then should railway minister know how to operate a train? And aviation minister on how to fly a plane?” have been on the rounds.
Ironically, Ajay Maken used to hold the portfolio for youth affairs and sports. Well, we wishÂ he was either one of the two before acting so preposterously judgemental. Sarcasm and jokes apart, what really matters when it comes to holding a position of reverence is not the qualifications of a minister but their leadership skills and how well they are involved with the entire procedure of policy and decision making and how well they handle the many officers who are in charge of policy implementation.
If the Modi government and Smriti Irani in particular, are able to solve the many problems that the educated youth are facing today, she might just be the best HRD minister till date. Moreover, most of the educated youth are not all professionals. We have already seen the work that the so called ‘qualified’ HRD ministers have done in the past. How extraordinarily did Shashi Tharoor prove his mettle while in office, we all are well aware of. We can’t even plausibly get started on what a disaster Kapil Sibal was with the uncertainty that loomed over all his policy decisions. We at least owe Smriti Irani a chance. Only on the basis of how she performs in the future, can we judge her credentials.