Smriti Irani

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Smriti Irani
Smriti Irani
Minister of Information and Broadcasting
Assumed office
18 July 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Deputy Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (Minister of State)
Preceded by Venkaiah Naidu
Minister of Textiles
Assumed office
7 July 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Deputy Ajay Tamta (Minister of State)
Preceded by Santosh Gangwar (Minister of State (Independent Charge))
Minister of Human Resource Development
In office
26 May 2014 – 5 July 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Deputy Upendra Kushwaha (Minister of State) & Ram Shankar Katheria(Minister of State)
Preceded by Pallam Raju
Succeeded by Prakash Javdekar
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) for Gujarat
Assumed office
19 August 2011
Vice-President of Bharatiya Janata Party
Assumed office
19 August 2011
Personal details
Born Smriti Malhotra
(1977-03-23) 23 March 1977 (age 40)
New Delhi, India
Political party Bhartiya Janta Party
Spouse(s) Zubin Irani (m. 2001)
Residence New Delhi
Occupation Politician, Actor

Smriti Zubin Irani (born Smriti Malhotra; 23 March 1977) is an Indian politician, former model, television actress and producer. Irani is a Member of Parliament, being elected to the Rajya Sabha from the state of Gujarat. She is the current Information and Broadcasting and Textiles Minister in the Government of India.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Smriti Malhotra was born in Mumbaii to a Bengali mother, Shibani, and a Punjabi Khatri father, Ajay Kumar Malhotra.[2] She is the eldest of 3 sisters.[3][4][5] She has been a part of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from childhood as her grandfather was an RSS swayamsevak and her mother a member of Jana Sangh.[6] She passed class 12 from Holy Child Auxilium School in New Delhi. She then studied in University of Delhi[7][8] Irani was accused of providing contradictory affidavits about her educational qualifications during different elections. in her affidavit for 2004 Lok Sabha elections, stated her educational qualification as B.A. from Delhi University (school of correspondence). However, while filing affidavits in her nomination papers for Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in 2011 and Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in 2014, she said her highest educational qualification was, B.com, Part 1 (correspondence course) from Delhi University.[9][10] However the case will not be further summoned as made clear by a court decision.[11][12] It was later clarified that she has done B.com, Part 1 from Delhi University (not completing the full course till Part 3) in the affidavit she filed for Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat in 2017 which stated "Bachelor of Commerce, Part 1. Three year degree course not completed".[13][10]

Acting career[edit]

Irani was one of the finalists of the beauty pageant Miss India 1998, along with Gauri Pradhan Tejwani.[14][15][16] In 1998, Irani appeared in a song "Boliyan" of the album "Saawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag" with Mika Singh.[17][18] In 2000, she made her début with TV series Aatish and Hum Hain Kal Aaj Aur Kal, both aired on Star Plus. In mid-2000, Irani won the lead role of Tulsi Virani in Ekta Kapoor's production Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi on Star Plus. She holds the record of winning five consecutive Indian Television Academy Awards for Best Actress (Popular), four Indian Telly Awards. Irani had a fallout with the producer Ekta Kapoor and she left the show in June 2007 and was replaced by Gautami Kapoor. She made her comeback in May 2008 in a special episode.[19]

In 2001, she also played the epic character Sita in Zee TV's Ramayan. In 2006, Irani co-produced the show Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasmaan under her banner Ugraya Entertainment and Balaji Telefilms. She also played the lead role of Uma in it. In 2007, she produced the TV serial Virrudh for Sony TV and also portrayed the lead character of Vasudha in it. She also produced Mere Apne for 9X and portrayed the protagonist alongside Vinod Khanna. She also acted in a supporting role in Zee TV's Teen Bahuraaniyaan.[20]

In 2008, Irani along with Sakshi Tanwar hosted the show Yeh Hai Jalwa, a dance based reality show featuring celebrities along with their troops on 9X. In the same year she also produced another show on Zee TV, Waaris which ended in 2009. In 2009, she appeared in a comedy show Maniben.com, aired on SAB TV. She also co-produced the show in collaboration with Contiloe Entertainment. In 2012, she worked in Bengali movie Amrita[21][22]

Political career[edit]

Irani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee at the Conference of Chairmen of Boards of Governors, and Directors of IITs at Rashtrapati Bhawan on 22 August 2014.
Irani and Prime Minister Modi at an informal interaction with awardee teachers on the eve of teachers day, in New Delhi.

Irani joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2003.[23] She became the vice-president of the Maharashtra Youth Wing in 2004.[24] In the 2004 general elections for the 14th Lok Sabha, she contested unsuccessfully against Kapil Sibal from the Chandni Chowk constituency in Delhi. She was nominated as executive member of the central committee of the BJP.[25][26] In December 2004, Irani, blaming then Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi for BJP's electoral losses, threatened to fast unto death until he resigned.[27] However she later retracted this demand after BJP's central leadership threatened to take action against her.[28][29] In May 2009, Irani while campaigning for Vijay Goel's candidature in New Delhi, voiced her concerns about the safety of women in the capital. She advocated capital punishment for rapists as a deterrent.[30]

In early 2010, Irani was appointed National Secretary of BJP and on 24 June, she was appointed All India President of the BJP's women's wing, BJP Mahila Morcha.[23][31] In August 2011, she was sworn in as a member of parliament from Gujarat to the Rajya Sabha.[32][33][34]

Irani contested the 2014 general elections against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi constituency of Uttar Pradesh.[35] Irani lost to Gandhi by 1,07,923 votes, a 12.32% margin.[36][37] On 26 May 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed her as the Minister of Human Resource Development in his cabinet.[38][39] Her appointment was criticised by many people owing to her lack of formal higher education.[40][41][42]

Irani has been accused of misrepresenting her educational qualifications.[43] Conflicting affidavits were allegedly submitted by her while filing for different elections.[44] In June 2015, a lower court held that the allegations against Irani were maintainable and a delay in prosecution was not a valid reason for dismissal.[45] Irani asked people to file a PIL about her educational qualification to know about the truth behind the affidavit controversy.[46]

Irani was accused of favouritism towards Vishram Jamdar, a self-proclaimed RSS follower and a regional Sangh Parivar leader, for appointment as the Chairman of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur.[47][48]

Irani made a speech in Parliament in which she discussed the 2016 JNU sedition controversy and the Suicide of Rohith Vemula.[clarification needed][49] University of Hyderabad doctor Rajashree M contradicted some claims made by Irani regarding the circumstances of Rohith's death.[50]

She announced to start new yoga departments in six new universities in June 2016.[51]

In July 2016, the Ministry of Human Resource Development was taken away from Irani, and she was given the Ministry of Textiles instead, in a cabinet reshuffle.

In July 2017, she was handed the additional charge of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India) when Former Minister M.Venkaiah Naidu resigns from Ministry to take part in Vice Presidential Elections.

Personal life[edit]

In 2001, Smriti married Zubin Irani, a Parsi businessman and her childhood friend. In October the same year, the couple had their first child, son Zohr.[52] In September 2003, the couple had their second child, daughter Zoish. Smriti is also a stepmother to Shanelle who is Zubin Irani's daughter from his previous marriage with coordinator and former beauty contestant Mona Irani and now is a law student at Georgetown University in the United States.[14]

Works and appearances[edit]

Irani walks the ramp in fashion designer Manish Malhotra & Shaina NC's fundraiser organised for Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA).

Television[edit]

Year Show Character Channel
2000–2008 Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi Tulsi Mihir Virani Star Plus
2000 Hum Hain Kal Aaj Aur Kal DD Metro
2000 Kavita Kavita Star Plus
2001–2003 Kya Hadsaa Kya Haqeeqat Smriti Sony TV
2001–2003 Kuch... Diiil Se Host SAB TV
2001–2002 Ramayan Seeta Zee TV
2006–2007 Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasmaan Uma Star Plus
2007–2008 Virrudh Vasudha Sushant Sharma Sony TV
2007–2008 Mere Apne Sharda 9X
2007–2008 Teen Bahuraaniyaan Vrinda Zee TV
2008 Yeh Hai Jalwa Host (Along with Sakshi Tanwar) SABC 2
2008 Waaris Producer Zee TV
2009–2010 Maniben.com Maniben Jamankumar Patel SAB TV
2012 Savdhaan India[53] Host Life OK
2013 Ek Thhi Naayka Swati Life OK

Theatre projects[edit]

Projects Language Character
Kuch Tum Kaho Kuch Hum Kahein Hindi Sargam
Maniben.com Gujarati Mani
Koi Taru Bau Saru Thayu Gujarati Devika
Muktidhaam Gujarati Mother
Garv Thi Kaho Ame Gujarati Chhiye Gujarati Mridula
Jai Bolo Telangana Telugu Mother

Films[edit]

Year Film Character Language
2010 Malik Ek Personification of Dwarkamai Hindi
2011 Jai Bolo Telangana Activist Telugu
2012 Amrita Bengali

Awards[edit]

Year Award Function Category Show
2001 Indian Television Academy Awards ITA Award for Best Actress-Drama (Popular) Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi
2002 Indian Television Academy Awards ITA Award for Best Actress-Drama (Popular)
Indian Telly Awards Best Actress (Popular)
2003 Indian Television Academy Awards ITA Award for Best Actress-Drama (Popular)
Indian Telly Awards Best Actress (Popular)
Best TV Personality
2004 Indian Television Academy Awards Best Actress (Popular)
2005 Indian Television Academy Awards ITA Award for Best Actress-Drama (Popular)
2007 Indian Telly Awards Best Actress (Jury) Virrudh
2010 Indian Television Academy Awards ITA Milestone Award Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi

Degree Case[edit]

A freelance writer Ahmer Khan filed a complaint in April 2015 that Smriti Irani had filed an affidavit in April 2004 for the Lok Sabha elections, stating that she has completed her Bachelor of Arts in 1996 from School of Correspondence (Delhi University) but in another affidavit of April 16, 2014, filed by her for the Lok Sabha polls, it was said that she was a Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from the School of Open Learning (Delhi University). The plea said that the facts and circumstances reveal commission of offences by Smriti under section 125A of the Representation of People Act, 1951.[54] Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing false affidavit and entails a jail term of up to six months or fine or both.[55] The court had on 20 November 2016 allowed the complainant's plea seeking direction to the officials of EC and DU to bring the records of Ms. Irani's qualifications after he said he was unable to place them before the court. During the hearings of the complaint, the court was told by a poll panel official that the documents filed by Ms. Irani regarding her educational qualification while filing nominations were not traceable. Also, in pursuance of the court's earlier direction, Delhi University had also submitted that the documents pertaining to Ms. Irani's BA course in 1996, as purportedly mentioned by her in an affidavit filed during 2004 Lok Sabha elections, were yet to be found.[56] On 6 Oct 2016 Patiala House Court on Thursday asked Election Commission to authenticate certificates of Union Minister Smriti Irani and later adjourned matter till 15 October.[57] On 18 October 2016 a Delhi court said that Smriti Irani will not be summoned for the fake degree case because the petition filed against Irani questioning her college degrees was an attempt to harass her. The court said that the complainant may not have filed it if she were not a central minister. Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh said that original evidence had already been lost due to the passage of years, secondary evidence wasn't enough for court. The Magistrate also said that the complainant made a "delay of 11 years" in filing the complaint against Irani.[58] She has also claimed to hold a degree in political science from Yale University which she completed in 6 days.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cabinet reshuffle on 05 July 2016
  2. ^ hrm.mhrd.gov.in/pages/display/11-HRM's-Profile
  3. ^ "All the PM's Men and Women: 23 Cabinet ministers". The Indian Express. 2014-05-27. Retrieved 2016-04-25. 
  4. ^ "Change of role, anyone?". Hindustan Times. 6 April 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Rise of Smriti Irani: Journey from bahu of TV to BJP's Vice President". The Economic Times. 1 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "RSS is like a home to me, says Smriti Irani". Jagran Post. 18 Apr 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "'Class 12 pass' and education minister?". First Post. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Smriti goes back to School". TOI. 
  9. ^ "Smt. Smriti Irani (Scanned Rajya Sabha Affidavit, Gujarat 2011)" (PDF). MyNeta. Association for Democratic Reforms. 11 July 2011. p. 11. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017. Highest educational qualification: B.Com Part I School of Correspondence - University of Delhi - 1994 
  10. ^ a b "Shah's assets grew three times, Irani still not graduate". Press Trust of India. PTI. 30 July 2017. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. 
  11. ^ "Fake degree row: Delhi Court to pronounce order on whether to summon Smriti Irani". 
  12. ^ "Smriti Irani's Fake Degree Case Adjourned Till October 1". 
  13. ^ "Mrs. Smriti Irani (Scanned Rajya Sabha Affidavit, Gujarat 2017)" (PDF). Gujarat Vidhan Sabha (Gujarat Legislative Assembly). 27 July 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 July 2017. Bachelor of Commerce, Part - 1 (Three year degree course not completed), School of Open Learning (Correspondence), University of Delhi, 1994 
  14. ^ a b "Smriti Irani: From model to TV's favourite bahu to Cabinet minister". Firstpost. 26 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "The Smriti of yesterday". India Today. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "A little too fat". Daily News & Analysis. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  17. ^ "Smriti Irani's transition from an aspiring model to a successful politician". 
  18. ^ "Viral music video: BJP's Amethi candidate Smriti Irani dancing with singer Mika Singh". Daily Bhaskar. 7 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Smriti Irani: I don't watch Kyunki". 
  20. ^ "Playing Tulsi and Sita with elan". The Tribune. 10 March 2002. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Smriti Irani to debut in Bengali film industry". Hindustan Times. 23 February 2010. 
  22. ^ "Soppy sentimental Bengali debut of Smriti Irani". The Indian Express. 19 April 2012. 
  23. ^ a b "Smriti Irani is a front runner for the HRD ministry: Here's what you need to know about her journey from reel to real". Daily News & Analysis. 26 May 2014. 
  24. ^ "Smriti Irani is now Vice-President of Yuva Morcha". Rediff News. 8 January 2004. 
  25. ^ "TV actor-turned-politician Smriti Irani to face Rahul Gandhi in Amethi". India Today. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  26. ^ "Press statement issued by BJP Mahila Morcha President, Smt. Smriti Irani". Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  27. ^ "Tulsi to go on fast unto death". The Times of India. 12 December 2004. 
  28. ^ "Kyunki BJP kabhi different thi". Rediff News. 16 December 2004. 
  29. ^ "Once a critic, Smriti Irani now hardsells Narendra Modi's image to woo voters". Daily News & Analysis. 18 April 2014. 
  30. ^ "Smriti Irani advocates 'capital punishment' for rapists". Indian Express. 2 May 2009. 
  31. ^ "Smriti takes over the Mahila Morcha Charge". 
  32. ^ "Smriti Irani is Member of Parliament from BJP". 
  33. ^ "Detailed Profile – Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani". Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  34. ^ "Smriti Irani to head BJP's women wing in Himachal". The Times of India. 16 June 2010. 
  35. ^ "Lok Sabha polls: BJP fields Smriti Irani against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi". The Times of India. 1 April 2014. 
  36. ^ "Constituencywise-All Candidates". ECI. 
  37. ^ "Constituency Wise Detailed Results" (PDF). Election Commission of India. p. 153. Retrieved 30 April 2014. 
  38. ^ "Modi's complete cabinet: Jaitley gets Finance, Smriti Human Resources". Firstpost. 27 May 2014. 
  39. ^ "Youngest and oldest in Modi's team are women – Smriti Irani and Najma Heptullah". The Times of India. 26 May 2014. 
  40. ^ "Row over Smriti Irani's educational qualifications snowballs, it's Congress vs Congress now – TOI Mobile – The Times of India Mobile Site". 
  41. ^ http://m.timesofindia.com/india/12th-pass-Smriti-Irani-not-fit-for-HRD-Madhu-Kishwar/articleshow/35650903.cms
  42. ^ ‘I Wouldn’t Trust Her With Jam And Pickle Ministry’, Outlook, 20 April 2015
  43. ^ "DU suspends 5 for leaking Smriti Irani documents – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2016-02-27. 
  44. ^ "The strange case of Smriti Irani: BA pass in 2004, undergrad in 2014". Rediff. Retrieved 2016-02-27. 
  45. ^ "Now, Smriti in trouble over her educational qualifications". The Hindu. 2015-06-25. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-02-27. 
  46. ^ "Smriti Irani has a degree from Yale University? HRD minister asks to file PIL to unmask poll affidavit issue". 
  47. ^ "Calling himself 'RSS person,' applicant praises Irani, weeks later is made chief of Nagpur NIT". Indian Express. 
  48. ^ "Links to the RSS, Smriti Irani: The new qualifications required for NIT head?". Firstpost. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  49. ^ "'My name is Smriti Irani. I challenge you to tell me my caste' – Times of India". The Times of India. 
  50. ^ "Hyderabad university doctor counters Smriti Irani, says 'Rohith was dead when she reached hostel' – Times of India". The Times of India. 
  51. ^ "At least 6 universities to begin yoga departments next year: Smriti Irani", The Indian Express, Press Trust of India, 18 June 2016 
  52. ^ "Playing Tulsi and Sita with elan". The Tribune. 10 March 2002. 
  53. ^ "Smriti Back on television with Savdhaan India". 
  54. ^ http://newsworldindia.in/india/smriti-irani-fake-degree-case-court-reserves-order-verdict-on-june-24/46159/
  55. ^ http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/smriti-iranis-degree-row-court-asks-ec-du-to-bring-records/
  56. ^ http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/smriti-iranis-fake-degree-case-court-summons-documents-from-election-commission-1471093
  57. ^ http://www.oneindia.com/india/fake-degree-day-reckoning-smriti-irani-former-hrd-minister-controversy-2228356.html
  58. ^ https://in.news.yahoo.com/relief-smriti-irani-delhi-court-132041138.html

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Pallam Raju
Minister of Human Resource Development
26 May 2014 – 5 July 2016
Succeeded by
Prakash Javadekar
Preceded by
Santosh Gangwar
Minister of State with
Independent charge
Minister of Textiles
5 July 2016 – Incumbent
Incumbent
Preceded by
Venkaiah Naidu
Minister of Information and Broadcasting
18 July 2017 – Incumbent
Incumbent