Modi's Blind Spot: Smriti Irani?



I like Smriti Irani, but she is perhaps not the best choice for the, what is it called, the Human Resources Ministry. And I thought she was Education Minister.

When Modi was Gujrat Chief Minister, and Nitish was Bihar Chief Minister, they both had stellar economic growth rates, but Modi was seen better at courting the private sector, Nitish was seen doing better work in education and health.

Education has to be top priority. And traditional ways will not work. The traditional way is where you count how many school buildings you erect. That is too slow. That is not scalable enough. Education should be in the air. Education should be lifelong. High school should be available to all illiterate adults. The goal should be 100% high school graduates, and 50% college graduates.

Use FM technology. Illiterate adults too proud to show up at school should be able to tune in to their classes. You should be able to do 12 years of schooling by tuning in. Cheap tablets with the Wikipedia downloaded and preloaded should be handed out to top performing high school students across the country. I believe the Wikipedia is available in several Indian languages. Get it done in all major languages. Getting broadband to every citizen is more important than taking roads to every citizen, although roads are also important. Jahan broadband pahunch gaya samjho wahan university pahunch gaya. Khan Academy ke videos dekh ke log education hasil kar sakte hain. 

Some of those criticizing her are being sexist. And there are plenty of those inside the BJP. The RSS is plain wrong in trying to saffronize education. What do you want? Hindu madarsas? She is giving the impression of being a woman who does not know her place. How can she act bossy towards people she is a boss of?
The babus are upset, the RSS is seething ..... She has been accused of rubbing colleagues in the BJP up the wrong way, failing to understand the RSS's demands when it comes to the education sector and being unable to retain key administrative officials in the ministry. .... her educational qualifications, the decision to celebrate 'good governance day' instead of Christmas day in CBSE schools, respected nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar threatening to quit from the board of IIT-B directors and dropping German as a third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas. ..... none of these seem to have tempered the manner in which she deals with her ministry ...... wary and distrustful of bureaucrats, Irani has reportedly been known to humiliate and put them down in ways that have resulted in more than one of them seeking transfers. ...... while a vice chancellor of a central university is quoted as saying those trying to suggest ideas to Irani could be told "this is not your classroom, this is my ministry", a senior ministry official speaks about how she flung a file at additional secretary-rank official only to apologise later, and promise to 'restore his honour'. ....... Irani had once told a top official that although she had less education, she had more brains than him, accused another of selling the sovereignty of the nation and told an official at a meeting of an academic body 'I am the council'. ........ the official who reportedly had a file thrown at him reportedly preferred to opt for a transfer rather than have his honour restored, and other bureaucrats have been cited as wanting to be repatriated rather than continue to have to deal with her. ........ despite bragging of long standing third generation ties with the RSS, the organisation reportedly has no love lost for her ....... the RSS is not very happy with the manner in which Kakodkar was treated and believe she's "rude, oppressive and bossy". ....... Senior leaders are unhappy with the manner in which she has been treating senior leadership, including not standing to greet Rajnath Singh, not responding to requests for appointments and making people who do meet her feel "uncomfortable". ....... when Irani was the subject of a sexist barb from JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav ..... she does not seem to like most of us
But even after taking all that into account, the job has been tough on her, and the stress has been showing. She should be kept in the cabinet, but at another ministry. Perhaps.

But Modi has a big incentive to stick by Irani. He wants Irani to snatch Rahul's constituency away from him. That is a tall task, but he wants to keep trying. Unko abhi bhi nahin lag raha hai ki Bharat Congress mukt ho gaya.  

Smriti Zubin Irani. Inke middle name aur last name se to lagta hai she might be Muslim. Is that what the RSS people are unhappy about?



Smriti, A Fading Memory?
On May 26, after the grand swearing-in ceremony of the Narendra Modi government, the most beaming face in the BJP was that of Smriti Irani. At 38, she had been made a cabinet minister and was being projected as the new woman face of the party. With her trademark sindoor and flashing eyes, the actress-politician accepted congratulations as if it was her due. Commentators on TV debates waxed eloquent about how this bright young woman, who had fought a gritty battle against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, now represented the future of the BJP. She epitomised Indian womanhood, it was said. She smiled and accepted many congratulations before the cameras. ...... There have been remarks about Smriti imagining she is the “Jhansi ki Rani about to lop off four heads with her sword”. ...... Instead of charming people who come to meet her, she makes them uncomfortable. ..... She has developed a persona of being aloof and indifferent. ..... “Smriti has also been the butt of sexist barbs and comments in Parliament and under normal circumstances we should all have been rallying around her. But the problem is that she does not seem to like most of us ...... Still, to Smriti’s credit, she has endured those controversies involving sexist remarks well, eventually giving it back in a dignified manner. For instance, when Sanjay Nirupam of the Congress called her a ‘thumkewali’, she just took him to court. ......... in 2006 that Smriti very consciously worked to get herself into the good books of the most powerful chief minister in the BJP, a man who seemed poised for bigger things. ..... Women in politics often run the risk of being objectified, particularly if they are not part of the bahu-beti brigade, that is women who are token representatives of men or come from a political dynasty. Smriti has made it to the top of the party on her own steam. As a former actress, she would inevitably have had to face pretty crude sexism from those who would resent the rise of a powerful woman. ..... And there’s no doubt that women can at times be as bad as men in spreading gossip, innuendo and resenting the rise of a rival. It’s human nature really, and the BJP has always been a party of great rivalries and competing ambition. ....... Smriti has been a star act in the BJP. She has also turned out to be much smarter and quicker on the uptake than other star acts in the BJP, most notably the beautiful and charming Hema Malini, who really does not contribute much beyond her presence. As a politician, Smriti is undoubtedly of a different calibre: she thrives in the cut and thrust of debate, in taking on challengers in the electoral battlefield, in giving smart replies to pesky reporters. She may not have degrees but it’s hard to doubt that she is a smart and savvy woman.
No Jottings, The Babu Has Left The Building
‘I Wouldn’t Trust Her With Jam And Pickle Ministry’
A Matter Of Orientation
The Better Bindi Diplomat



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