When Smriti Irani was removed from the prestigious Human Resource and Development Ministry and given the charge of the Textile Ministry, many talked of the ‘demotion’ of Irani. It didn’t come as a surprise really. The spirited young leader was not known for her tact, but she had definitely made a mark as a firebrand – trouble was, much of the spark had worked against the BJP.
Irani’s February 24 speech in Parliament will be long remembered. Her wordplay with English and Hindi, fearless naming of ‘colleagues’, dramatic gesticulation that included everything from teary eyes to thumping of her chest, Irani “launched a verbal assault against those ‘who lay siege upon my integrity’ and seek to ‘hang me'”.
The June Cabinet reshuffle and moving of Irani to the textile ministry was supposedly aimed at the UP polls may have been seen by cutting her down to size, but for those who have observed Irani working in the HRD ministry – even from afar – there was no doubt that ‘India’s favourite bahu’ would most likely create quite a stir, and quite soon.
Irani did not disappoint. Showing her acumen in the keen handling of social media and the connect with young India that Irani definitely has – at least in terms of speaking their language – as well as her understanding of PM Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign, the new textile minister had announced the Selfie With Handloom campaign, which kicked off with a tweet today, on August 1. It will see its culmination on August 7, which is the National Handloom Day.
Irani tweeted, “Indian handlooms symbolise India’s heritage & culture. Wear it to carry on our rich tradition and support 43 lakh weavers & their families” just before starting off the Selfie With Handloom campaign with the following tweet: “I support Indian weavers, here’s my #IWearHandloom look – Handwoven Silk from Bihar. Share your look & tag 5 people”, with a picture of herself wearing a beautiful blue handloom silk sari with a plain red border.
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) August 1, 2016
Soon, Twitterverse was contributing to the hashtag with full gusto. From politicians to cricketers and fashionistas, everyone started participating in the #IWearHandloom campaign. Take a look:
— Shefali Vaidya (@ShefVaidya) August 1, 2016
— Nishtha Gautam (@TedhiLakeer) August 1, 2016
— Manish Malhotra (@ManishMalhotra) August 1, 2016
— Vijender Singh (@boxervijender) August 1, 2016
— indianhistorypics (@IndiaHistorypic) August 1, 2016
— Jaya Jaitly (@Jayajaitly) August 1, 2016
— Dr Shobha (@DrShobha) August 1, 2016
— SUKETDHIR (@SUKETDHIR_) August 1, 2016
— Ruchira Kamboj (@RuchiraKamboj) August 1, 2016
— FDCI (@TheFDCI) August 1, 2016
I love my Handloom-I design handloom#IWearHandloom pic.twitter.com/XK9rYXJllW
— Shruti Sancheti (@ShrutiSancheti1) August 1, 2016
— dalcheeni (@dalcheeni) August 1, 2016
And someone obviously had to do this:
Well, Ms Irani definitely pulling the right strings on this one.