Free Press Journal

The second Smriti Irani snub


PTI Photo (PTI8_8_2017_000041B)

The mini reshuffle of the Union Ministry a couple of days ago was notable for the snub to Smriti Irani. Her ejection from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, which she held temporarily, was well-deserved. With her autocratic and ill-considered manner, she had made a mess of her time in the ministry. Suffering from an intense inferiority complex, she shuffled around senior officials for no better reason than to prove who was in-charge. The fiasco over the bid to penalise journalists over fake news caused the prime minister’s office to intervene.

Again, the controversy over the national film awards function embarrassed the President Ram Nath Kovind. Her overbearing conduct saw her engage in a bitter power tussle with the Prasar Bharati Board. The short point is that she conducted herself in a needlessly aggressive and unproductive manner. Earlier in her ministerial stint, she had to be moved out of the HRD Ministry following mishandling of prominent educators and others. The latest rap from the prime minister ought to serve as a warning. Despite her acknowledged qualities as an articulate and aggressive politician, in order to succeed as a minister, she needs to get over her insecurities and learn to deal with bureaucrats and others in a business-like manner. She has a long way to go to succeed as a minister.