In a major overhaul of his Cabinet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday not just inducted 19 new faces into his ministry, but also changed the portfolios of some his top ministers. One of the most prominent changes involved Smriti Irani, who was shifted from the key Human Resources Development Ministry to the relatively lower profile of Textiles Ministry.
It was in 2014, when Narendra Modi, our only presidential Prime Minister came to power. His win didn’t shock people as much as the appointment of Smriti Irani as HRD Minister did. There was uneasiness and certain controversies as per her control over the post. Someone who was questioned over her acquisition of a graduate degree, this definitely seemed like a shocker. However, marching on the bandwagon of women empowerment and fresh faces- faces those weren’t tinted with high profile names or corruption cases or stigmatised with illiteracy, Irani seemed like a breath of fresh air. It wasn’t till later that the fresh air started suffocating the mere thoughts of others.
Her tenure from 2014 till July’16 has been marked with major controversies, controversies ranging from personal attacks to igniting debates nationally. Smriti Irani had held a whirlwind romance with her post, a post that she couldn’t behold whilst employing her laudable and witty oratory skills.
Her tenure came under serious flak post the suicide of Rohith Vemula, who had hung himself post his ban from hostel and other university areas for allegedly attacking an activist form the youth wing of BJP- ABVP. Her stance on the JNU row bought her further into the limelight. She instantly was despised by many from the student class. Her inability to take a righteous stand and behave as an authoritative HRD Minister in both cases, further added fumes to an all-out fire. Apparently, for her, not every publicity was good publicity.
The post is taken over by Prakash Javdekar, who has his thoughts affiliated with the workings of the RSS. Claiming that education is not to be subjugated to the politics, we will, in most probability, get to see how far he is willing to go while singing the correct notes with RSS and not offending them in the process, and not curbing the freedom of students at large. He has a huge responsibility, responsibility of not letting saffronisation take over education, and majorly of not suffocating thoughts and ideas as his predecessor did.
Wondrous is the fact that whether the mastermind of BJP, namely, Modi, Shah and Jaitley, maneuvered her post from a high key profile to a low key one? Is it just a way to quell the controversies gripping her?
With textile industry being of essence to our country’s 12th Year Plan, it really doesn’t seem that BJP is disappointed with the tenure of Smriti Irani, or are doubting her credibility. With the speculations going rife of Smriti Irani being the Chief Minister candidate in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh polls, this definitely seems to be a very clever ruse planned by the party.
Disappointment is to behold those who are thinking that this stance proves Modi’s disapproval of her workings.
The final thought which remains is- did Smriti Irani get demoted or it is a covert promotion, in the light of all the infamous attention she was garnering and her assumed CM opportunity?