Smriti Irani: Suicide of Rohith, JNU Controversy and Mahisasur Martyrdom Day

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Union HRD Minister, Smriti Irani’s emotional speech, shocked the nation with the hard facts that she placed on the table of Lok Sabha. She agonised the suicide of Rohith Vemula. He was denied medical treatment for the sake of dirty politics. The JNU controversy and the Mahisasur Martydom Day reek of depravity. She pointed how history was distorted to sow the seeds of dissension and poison the minds of school children. Here’s a report.

The Union HRD Minister, Smriti Irani, lambasted the Congress and the opposition for politicising the suicide of Rohith Vemula and the controversy in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). In an emotional speech, she stated that there was no question of apology from her. She was speaking in the parliament on Wednesday (Feb 24).

She emphatically said, “Listen to what I have to say. You accuse us of being intolerant, be tolerant. I am giving my answer. Or do I claim to be a victim of my circumstances and say that I am married to a micro-minority family. I am a woman, and hence you did not allow me to speak in this House. Do not play politics with me.”

She emphasised that she saw the suicide as the death of a child, not that of a Dalit, adding, “My name is Smriti Irani. I challenge you to identify my caste.”

Smriti was aghast at the depravity of JNU students, who raised anti-India slogans.

Addressing the Speaker of the House, she said, “Madam, this is a poster, which has the name of a child, unfortunately. I look at this child who has been mobilised as a weapon against the State. This is a child who does not have an idea that India is one, but a child who must have been infected with this thought. By those who want to bear arms to overthrow the state. It bears the name of Kanhaiya Kumar, Shaila Rasheed, Rama Naga – they are all members of the student union. Apart from saying – ‘Condemning the hanging of Afzal Guru’, they claim it as a ‘nervous attempt by the Congress government’. And this, Madam Speaker, is a notice given out on February 10, 2016. On the 9th night this transpires in the campus, and on the 10th this pamphlet is stuck all across with signatures.

“It says – ‘The public meeting was also disrupted for Mahishasur Martyrdom Day’.

“What is Mahishasur Martyrdom Day, Madam Speaker? Our government has been accused. I miss today Sugata Bose and Saugata Roy in the House – champions of free speech, because I want to know if they will discuss this particular topic which I am about to enunciate in the House, on the streets of Kolkata. I dare them this.

“Posted on October 4, 2014, a statement by the SC, ST and minority students of JNU. And what do they condemn? May my God forgive me for reading this.

“Durga Puja is the most controversial racial festival, where a fair-skinned beautiful goddess Durga is depicted brutally killing a dark-skinned native called Mahishasur. Mahishasur, a brave self-respecting leader, tricked into marriage by Aryans. They hired a sex worker called Durga, who enticed Mahishasur into marriage and killed him after nine nights of honeymooning during sleep.

“Freedom of speech, Ladies and Gentleman; who wants to have this discussion on the streets of Kolkata? I want to know. Will Rahul Gandhi stand for this freedom? I want to know. For these are the students. What is this depraved mentality? I have no answers for it.”

She emotionally pleaded not to make education a ‘ranbhoomi’ (political battlefield). She pointed out how history was being distorted in school textbooks for students of classes IV and VI.

She quoted a Roman philosopher saying, “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gates freely. His lie whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of the government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor, he speaks in the accent familiar to his victims. He wears their face and arguments that appeals to the baseless that lies deep in the hearts of men. He rots the soul of the nation. He works secretly as an unknown. In a night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

She anguished, “If I had quoted Chanakya here today then people would say it was saffronisation. This is the reason I seek to quote a Roman philosopher.”

Here’s the video link of the speech:

Pix from net


Arindam Roy has 37 years experience in various newsrooms. He was the Managing Editor of a reputed Gurgaon-based Citizen Journalist portal and has held senior positions in several publications. As Correspondent and Bureau Chief, he has written extensively for Associated Press, Times of India, Hindustan Times and multiple news outlets. He has contributed 13 chapters to various publications. Of these, seven chapters were published in two Coffee Table Books, published by the Times Group. He is a co-author of a novel, Rivers Run Back that he penned with Joyce Yarrow. The novel was launched at the American Centre, New Delhi, on January 2015. He lives in Allahabad.