Friday, February 26, 2016

Smriti Irani ko gussa kyon aata hai?

Yes, believe it or not but I am also going to discuss about now very famous speech by HRD minister Mrs. Smriti Irani. She delivered very charged, emotional and extremely dramatic speech in Indian parliament, it became talking point of various debates and highly watched event on internet for couple of days. Finally someone from current breed of Indian politicians broke the monopoly of Mr. Narendra Modi and Mrs. Sushma Swaraj to give charged and emotional speeches in Hindi. The effect of this speech was so much that most people including opposition party members of parliament were completely stumped by it. There were mostly two types of reactions to it: people who oppose her went on complete back foot and didn't know how to counter this furious attack on them, people who support her started celebrating the way she annihilated opposition mercilessly without even bothering to check what she actually said. No doubt that it was a treat to watch, it is always a pleasure to watch a good orator in action. She used all her strengths to her advantage, she used all her experience from theater to deliver punch line after punch line effectively, the content was very emotionally charged, after listening to such speeches hardly people bother to check what speaker actually said, most of them get overwhelmed by the way the speech is delivered. In this case also same thing happened, may be now slowly after coming out of that spell they might ponder on what she actually said. I am sure opposition parties must be wondering, "Smriti Irani ko gussa kyon aata hai?"Actually in the storm created by that speech people totally ignored two very sensible speeches delivered on same issue, these were from Mr. Sugata Bose and Tathagata Satpathy, may be because both these people spoke right up to the point and without any unwanted drama and theatrics. 

Actually I still don't understand why these two issues which are respective university's internal matters are being discussed in Indian parliament? One case is about Hyderabad University student's suicide and it is alleged that university administration was directly or indirectly responsible for creating the situation which forced that student to take such extreme step and other case is a anti-India sloganeering by some group of students at JNU. Both these issues could have been dealt at university level, but I don't know why and how government of India got involved so badly in this mess. I also wonder how come country like India can afford to spend so much of its resources and energy on such issues when it has so many more burning issues which need urgent attention from its citizens as well as government. 

There is no point in analyzing the entire speech or commenting about both the issues as it will take lot of time and space. I already wrote one post about JNU issue few days back, in this post I just want to discuss few points from her speech: She repeatedly referred Rihith Vemula as a 'baccha' (a kid), but Rohith was a 26 year old man doing her PhD research, off course for any parent their child is a kid no matter how old he or she gets, but I don't think she was addressing him as a parent but she was speaking as a HRD minister of a country so she should have addressed him properly but I don't think anyone noticed this thing and if they did it bother them.
Another interesting thing which she said and got away was that according to her this suicide case was not important because of caste of Rohith (he comes from dalit section of society). Sorry madam, this issue is so fiercely debated and discussed specifically because of the caste of the student who died, otherwise tell me when many students die in India every day for various reasons, some of them commit suicides also but how many of these incidents manage even to make it on front page of news papers forget about being discussed in parliament. Just few days before 13 students from Pune were drowned at some beach in Maharashtra, did anyone bother to look into real reasons behind it; just few days back one young man associated with your own organization (RSS) was killed in Kerala, did any one bother to discuss reasons behind it? So I wonder how come she said that caste is not an issue in this case, rather it is 'the issue' in this case, and both sides are playing very pathetic politics over it. Sadly even today caste plays very important role in Indian politics and all political parties make use of caste card whenever and wherever it suits them. No one was debating problems of students or struggles of dalits or university campus related issues in parliament, it was a tragic display of political wrestling by major national parties which are only interested in political gains and nothing else, so parliamentarians please don't try to fool us.
I was also surprised when she retorted that she is taking some of the allegations and remarks personally. She said it in very dramatic way, it almost reminded me delivery mode of my favorite actor Amitabh Bachchan. But seriously Mrs. HRD minister, you take criticism or allegations personally? That too after being in politics for so long? Just imagine if Sonia or Rahul Gandhi or Mr. Modi or Mr. Sharad Pawar or any political leader who is being targeted on daily basis in parliament and outside start taking things said to them or about them personally. Just imagine the scenario if they start reacting to every allegation or criticism or even abuse thrown at them in as strident manure as you did. I want to offer one unsolicited advise to you from my side, please don't take anything personally in future because even if you do take it personally no one will give a damn about it, people will keep on throwing those things at you and I wonder how many times you will react like this?
The last point is about this facetious line said by her, "My name is Smriti Irani, I challenge you to tell me my caste," this was again very dramatic peak point of her speech. I guess she was trying to be cynical here, but any way who cares about her caste, how does it related with any of these two issues. It sounded like a lame attempt to deliver a punch line by using famous dialogue from popular Bollywood flick, actually many try to use this dialogue now a days but I didn't expect it to hear it in Indian parliament that too from HRD minister of India. But I must say it sounded really dramatic and I am sure it had some desirable effect on some of the audience who watched her speech.

For me the entire speech was largely condescending and strident with very few relevant or logical arguments, it sounded like an emotional outburst rather than balanced reply of some responsible and sensible minister, I might be wrong but this is my personal opinion. But on performance level I must admit that it was a stellar performance, worthy of grand applause. As per public perception she clearly won this debate hands down. Mr. Modi and Mrs. Sushma Swaraj now have some serious competition from their own party colleague. I am sure her speech will give many sleepless nights to key opposition party leaders, they will be wondering how to counter her rhetorical arguments by equally pompous statements. They must be desperately looking for someone from their side to match that pitch. I am sure people are waiting to watch this spectacle on the floor of parliament.

But somewhere deep down in my mind I still hope that in future some sensible and logical discussions will take place in Indian parliament which are devoid of excessive theatrics and drama. I hope that in an effort of wounding her opposition our Minister didn't inflict some serious wounds to her own government. I hope that  in future Indian parliament tries to discuss more relevant and pertinent issues which affect citizens of the country rather than some political controversies. 

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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