Smriti Irani trains guns on Congress in aggressive, emotional Lok Sabha speech

Smriti Irani rejected the allegation that Vemula was forced to commit suicide because he was persecuted by the university authorities and the central government since he was a Dalit.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: February 25, 2016 11:21 am
Smriti irani, smriti irani speech, smriti irani budget session, budget session live, smriti irani jnu, smriti irani rohith vemula, india news HRD Minister Smriti Irani at Parliament House on Wednesday. (Source: PTI)

Blending emotion with aggression in a speech that had her invoking a Roman philosopher, accusing rivals of political opportunism over a “child’s death” and reading from anti-India posters in JNU, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani pulled out all the stops Wednesday in Lok Sabha. She tried to defend the government against an opposition onslaught and her own handling of the situation in campuses across the country.

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Referring to the attack on her following the death of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad University after her ministry wrote letters to the university authorities, Irani said “mujhe suli pe chadhaya jaa raha hai kyunki mere vibhaag ne patra likha (I am being hanged because my ministry wrote the letter)”.

She trained her guns on the Congress: “Rahul Gandhi made the most of the opportunity and visited the hostel twice, something which he had never done before. Have you ever seen him visiting the same place twice? Did he do the same when 600 students died in the Telangana movement? Rohith blamed no one, yet Rahul tried to use this child as a political tool. The child in his suicide note said that no one is responsible for my death, yet you seek to use this child for your own political ends.”

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“People who espouse the cause of free speech and attack this government, who say we are anti-minority, anti-Dalit, anti-tribal and time and again, they’ve been requested to not make it ‘us against them’. I am not certifying your patriotism, but do not demean mine. I am not certifying your idea of India, but do not demean mine.”

Irani rejected the allegation that Vemula was forced to commit suicide because he was persecuted by the university authorities and the central government since he was a Dalit. “My name is Smriti Irani. I challenge you to ask my caste.” She said she would speak her mind and not take the refuge in the fact that she is “married to a micro minority” community member.

She even quoted Cicero to say that “a traitor within the gates is worse than a murderer”.

Her speech drew praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who tweeted “satyamev jayate” along with the video of her speech. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who spoke after Irani, said any amount of praise for her would not be enough.

Under opposition fire for slapping sedition charges on JNU students’ union president Kanhaiya Kumar, Singh said the issue should be left to the courts to decide. “If police are right, the courts will justify that. If police are wrong, then the court can discharge them.” Describing JNU as a centre of excellence, he said the government never called it an “anti-national centre”.

Earlier, while taking on the opposition, Irani invoked her motherhood and called herself a victim of opposition politics. She alleged she was being targeted by the Congress for her electoral fight against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in the last Lok Sabha election. The opposition was outraged when Irani picked on Ranjeet Ranjan for laughing while she was speaking. Her remarks that MPs including Ranjan had approached her for admissions in Kendriya Vidyalayas had opposition MP rushing to the well of the House, seeking an apology.

As the Congress, TMC, Left and NCP walked out, Irani said: “I will not seek forgiveness for doing my duty… you never wanted to listen to my reply.”

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan reminded her it was part of the minister’s duty and asked her not to be emotional. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu came to her rescue, saying Irani had become emotional because questions were raised on her authority to write letters to the university.

Earlier, BJP MP Anurag Thakur also targeted Rahul Gandhi over the JNU issue. Questioning him for not visiting the families of those killed on the border, Thakur said: “Your leader goes and stands by those who support Afzal Guru… You did not go to the house of the martyred Inspector (who died in the Batla House encounter). Rahul Gandhi also could not go. But he went to JNU… Tell us, who are you standing for? Afzal Guru or those who protected Parliament House (in the 2001 attack)?”

Alleging that outfits named by the previous UPA government as “frontal organisations” of Maoists had support in JNU, Thakur said: “I want to ask Soniaji, why your young leader was standing with those who stand with Afzal Guru… for the Congress party, it is family first, party next and nation last. For us, it is nation first, party next and family last.”

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  1. H
    Hira
    Feb 25, 2016 at 1:11 am
    Raul Vinci, Italian bar girl and Scindia ka out to divide India to help stan and in return come back to power
    Reply
    1. H
      Hira
      Feb 25, 2016 at 1:12 am
      Raul and Italian bar girl want to come back to power at all costs. They can sell nation to
      Reply
      1. J
        Jaggi
        Feb 25, 2016 at 1:43 am
        Congre
        Reply
        1. M
          MyTake
          Feb 25, 2016 at 7:20 am
          Congress will now be hatching eggs (ideas) how to stall the Parliament!
          Reply
          1. M
            MyTake
            Feb 25, 2016 at 7:11 am
            People who don't have any legitimate argument can not sustain long. If there is a continuous onslaught on these people who are masquerading as leader, they have no choice but too give in because they can go only that far based on their manufactured "truth".
            Reply
            1. H
              Hhh
              Feb 25, 2016 at 1:52 am
              Because Sanskrit is Indian culture and history. Come out of petty mindset.
              Reply
              1. P
                Prashany
                Feb 24, 2016 at 11:57 pm
                Great personality... Any country leader like this
                Reply
                1. S
                  Sid
                  Feb 25, 2016 at 10:14 am
                  Congress and all other parties are opportunistic. Slogan against India should be crime and deserve harsh penalties. Try this in Arab countries and will be buried alive. Hats off to Smriti Irani. I hope opposition allow parliament to work so that India can grow.
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Vishnu Sharma
                    Feb 25, 2016 at 6:01 am
                    What India needs is the wiping out of all Marxists, Anarchists and Pacifists in a clean sweep so that Shri Modi is able to take India and the Indian people towards power and prosperity.
                    Reply
                    1. Z
                      Zenith
                      Feb 25, 2016 at 4:00 am
                      HRD minister and fellow parliamentarians show a leaning towards Sasbahu serial dramatics rather than any intelligent discussion or debate on a topic. Do they lack basic schooling or understanding of any issues?The parliament should lay down strict guidelines on how to debate a topic with intelligence,accountability and governance and should remove those who waste public money and time from their positions. Is quoting a schoolbook without all the context acceptable or is education so narrowed their thinking that no one can dare think let alone present an alternative viewpoint, whether it's on religion or freedom of expression or education.Should history writing be a privilege of rulers as they want with no one to question them. That is indeed saffronisation and intolerance at its best,praises by bosses for such behaviour rather than condone it! Who is interested in Smriti Iranis dare of caste etc, she is wasting public funds if not capable of discussing the issues at hand and asking why, what ,how to change that in the future for the betterment of the country and not taking personal digs and vendetta aka dramas. Watching these parliamentarians, so called cream of India in session , it should be mandatory for schools to teach children how to discuss and debate every aspect of life for they are the community and leaders of tomorrow.It reflects on the poor educative quality . Parliament in session brings to mind the clarity of decay and death of a country, it's democracy and its people , where the freedom has not even begun to register although almost a decade has gone By! In this country of the blind, one e is the King ,their God!
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Amar
                        Feb 25, 2016 at 4:23 am
                        these incidences have shown real challenges in India which have emerged in BJP government. Modi is doing very good in the country and now time has come for us Indians to throw out these anti nationalists out of the country. they have no write to live here and smriti irani has done a commendable job by literally washing out these low thinkers
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          Achuta Bhat
                          Feb 25, 2016 at 10:35 am
                          People call Kejriwal's dramas as real where as Smruti's real good speech as drama.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            AH
                            Feb 25, 2016 at 5:15 am
                            Congress is working overtime with antinational forces under Raul's leadership to destabilize Modi govt
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              AH
                              Feb 25, 2016 at 5:32 am
                              Mani Shankar went to staan to gather support for Raul to overthrow Modi govt.
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                AH
                                Feb 25, 2016 at 5:21 am
                                One thing is clear- you are the master of nonsense
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  AH
                                  Feb 25, 2016 at 5:10 am
                                  PK hai kya?
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    AH
                                    Feb 25, 2016 at 5:17 am
                                    Raul Vinci is conspiring with antinational forces and Kejriwal to destabilize and divide India. Wake up
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      AH
                                      Feb 25, 2016 at 5:31 am
                                      Raul is trying to break India so that his foreign sponsors make him PM
                                      Reply
                                      1. C
                                        Chand
                                        Feb 25, 2016 at 7:51 am
                                        The HRD Minister Smriti Irani is fast becoming one of the most articulate members in Parliament. She used the floor of Lok Sabha to take the opposition by the horns.
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                                          alok
                                          Feb 25, 2016 at 5:48 am
                                          Irani has litterally made the opposition naked before india. Anyone having access to the footage of loksabha debate would have clearly seen it.
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                                            Ankur Raturi
                                            Feb 25, 2016 at 5:47 am
                                            Smriti Irani is best. Even better than the best.
                                            Reply
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