Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Home Opinions A Smriti Irani fan asks a question: Why?

A Smriti Irani fan asks a question: Why?

Dear Ms Irani,

In a recent social event of the expatriate families in Dar-es-Salaam, where I stay, husbands and wives were asked to fill independently a questionnaire. The idea was to check how much their views on various issues coincided— some simple Hindi serial type game. One of the questions was: Who is your female icon? You know what? My wife and I replied ‘Smriti Irani’.

Such is our faith in you. You are an icon for us. And when the icon puts the common enemy on the mat, it is a delightful sight. A masterful performance. That is what I felt when I watched your interview to Barkha Dutt—your 2nd in the last six months; in fact exactly on the six monthly anniversary of your first interview to her November 26, 2015. You put her on the defensive on many issues. A part of me enjoyed those precious moments when you steadfastly refused to yield even an inch to Barkha on the issue of hate she and NDTV nurture for BJP.

But then that was just a part of me, the emotional part. Another part, the logical one, asked me, especially after the childish excitement of watching you put Barkha in her place subsided, ‘Why this interview?’ It was an important day for you, a day that marked the 2nd anniversary of the BJP government in Delhi. You chose to be Amethi, which shows your commitment to the constituency though you lost the election. Right day, right venue, but why wrong company? I celebrate my birthday, anniversary and such important occasions in the company of near and dear ones, not with my sworn enemies.

Your genuine regret, you said, rightly so, was: Why would we go to a Barkha Dutt show when she demonises all of us? You voiced similar sentiments even during your previous interview. But you did not explain on both the occasions why you chose to swallow the regret and give the interview. Which makes me wonder whether there was a pressure on you to accord Barkha/ NDTV’s request. I would not be surprised if there was. After all, you are not the only one to rush to NDTV to give interview. Top BJP leaders—Arun Jaitely, Nitin Gadkari, Manohar Parikkar, and so on— make a beeline, ignoring the protests of online supporters.

Elaborating further, you said, ‘The regret is that I would talk to a Barkha Dutt and still not have her treat my leadership well.’ You will agree with me that this reason holds good even today. You would not have forgotten her recent open letter to Modi in which she poured venom on him. You were, in fact, tagged by her in her tweet promoting the open letter, which led to a spat between you and her. She used the pretext of JNU issue to recount and justify everything she had done since 2002. I would not like to go into the contents of her letter, which I feel has been written in bad taste. However, the fact that a rebuttal in OpIndia by a tweeple—not quite a celebrity like Barkha—trended in Twitter and was shared more than 9,000 times goes on to prove the revulsion she and her channel generate among BJP supporters.

If Barkha’s and her channel’s approach has not changed, what else has, to warrant the interview? Viewership of NDTV? If at all there is something that everyone—cutting across party lines, media lines, and political affiliations—agrees it is NDTV’s dwindling viewership. It comes a distant 3rd or 4th after Times Now. If you wanted your Amethi visit to be covered, which is a Hindi heartland, would it not have been better if you had chosen a Hindi channel? In any case, the viewership of Hindi News channels is far higher. Based on week 20’s (May 14th to 20th) viewership data of BARC, the viewership of top 5 Hindi News channels is 185 times that of the top 5 English channels.

Referring to the spat you had with Priyanka Chaturvedi in Twitter, you said that you had given a new lease of life to her by acknowledging her. Ma’am, it is not the Congress spokesperson you have given new lease of life, but Barkha Dutt and NDTV.

Though I hate, I am forced to compare this support-the-hostile-channel approach with what a weak Congress, which is on the verge of decimation and is so insecure as to ask its legislators to sign affidavits of support to Gandhi family, is doing to the more popular Times Now. The party has successfully reined in its spokespersons from participating in the News Hour. It beats me why a strong BJP cannot afford to ignore a weak NDTV?

I want to quote here the concluding part of your interview to Barkha in November 2015:

NDTV: Smriti Irani, pleasure talking to you, I hope it won’t be another year and a half before we speak.

Smriti Irani: Depends on the social media reaction. 

NDTV: Now come on, for somebody who said I don’t care about what people say should your decisions be guided by social media?

Smriti Irani: Please understand, these are the people; I have one kid called Shilpi Tiwari online, seven months pregnant, genuinely a very tough pregnancy, left everything, came there and sat there to help in Amethi. I call him Madcap Bagga, Tajender Bagga, who everybody in the Leftwing seems to hate, Bagga never asked me for anything, quietly came and put up posters supporting me, all the rickshaws of Amethi, I owe them, Barkha.

NDTV: But do you defend the kind of toxicity that you see on twitter?

Smriti Irani: I owe them

You owe us, Ms. Irani.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Related Articles

Trending now

Pakistan: Blast near terrorist leader Hafiz Saeed’s house in Lahore leaves 2 dead, 12 injured

Investigations are on whether the blast was due to pipeline burst or cylinder or it was just an inadvertent bomb blast near terrorist leader's home.

Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu continue to be the epicentre of Covid-19, account more than half new cases in the country

As many as 12,617 new Covid-19 were reported in Kerala in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra has recorded 8,470 cases in the last 24 hours.

‘Yogi can get me killed too’: Poet Munawwar Rana goes on deranged rant over mass religious conversion case

Calling the mass conversions case a plot by Yogi Adityanath to win the upcoming state assembly elections, Rana mocked Hindus for getting converted for a small amount of money.

Kerala CPM expels Christian member who questioned conversion of his wife and son to Islam

He had alleged that Nazeera, a Panchayat member, and her husband Younus, an employee of Calicut University were the masterminds behind the alleged forced religious conversion.

After Bahrain and UAE, Mongolia and Seychelles which relied on Chinese vaccines see a spike in Covid-19 cases

Fresh covid outbreaks in countries which have extensively used Chinese vaccines on a significant percentage of populations fuel doubt over efficacy of these vaccines.

Recently Popular

Ravish Kumar appears massively frustrated as India administers 85 lakh COVID vaccines in single day, this is why he does not make sense

Ravish Kumar goes on a ranting spree to hate on PM Modi by camouflaging propaganda as 'criticism' over COVID-19 vaccination

How Venkatesh Prasad is winning hearts with his ‘Sanghi’ posts, one tweet at a time

Venkatesh Prasad demonstrated the Surya Namaskar for his followers, performed in deference to the Sun God.

Oxfam says reporting rape cases harms black and marginalised people, blames ‘privileged white women’ for root causes of sexual violence

Oxfam says that fighting against sexual assault legitimises criminal punishment, which harms black and other marginalised people

After being slammed by Bombay HC for lack of evidence, Mumbai police names Arnab Goswami as an accused in second TRP chargesheet

Republic TV had submitted before Bombay HC that Mumbai Police have deliberately not named Arnab Goswami in charge sheet to keep the investigation open

After MC Kode, Vastavik Muhfaad abuses Lord Krishna while dissing another rapper, songs laced with expletives and drug promotion

In another ‘high on abuses’ song, Muhfaad refers to Hindu gods Ram and Sita in a similar depreciative manner.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

255,564FansLike
555,404FollowersFollow
24,400SubscribersSubscribe