Union minister and BJP MP from Amethi Smriti Irani has said that earlier there were people who used to consider themselves an epitome of the intelligentsia and now they are being challenged. Speaking on the issue of polarisation during a discussion with The Indian Express, she said that earlier there used to be a monologue and now there are voices talking back.
Irani was responding to the question of a stark divide between the people of right-wing ideologies and left-wing ideologies across the globe. Expressing her view during the Indian Express e-Adda programme, she said, “Earlier there was only a monologue. Now there is a voice talking back. And I think that is what has befuddled many. ‘Why are you talking back?’. There are many who thought they were the epitome of intelligentsia. Now they are being challenged. Forget WhatsApp groups, even on Twitter. So, I think the starkness in the polarity that you speak about can be reduced if everybody is waiting or wanting to listen. I think that is where the conversation can begin.”
She further said, “The fact is, the celebration of two democracies is that irrespective of the ideologies if we can come together, become a part of the conversation, if we can just entertain a thought for the sake of the conversation, I think that is our true tribute and contribution to a growing and a healthy democracy.”
However, she added that the ideology of a person doesn’t matter for her as long as the person doesn’t demean India and say ‘Bharat Tere Tukde Honge‘.
On the question of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath saying that the assembly polls will be an 80:20 contest, Irani said, “I don’t know why you don’t see polarisation when the Samajwadi Party speaks about seeing Lord Krishna in his dreams, I don’t know why you don’t see polarisation when Mrs Vadra goes and pays respect at a mosque. I don’t know why you don’t see polarisation when Mr Gandhi wears a Janeu over his coat. Why the taunt of polarisation on the question thus posed only with regards to the BJP? That Mr Yogi has embraced the Hindutva way of life is not unknown to anyone and it’s his position irrespective of his politics. The fundamentals or the basics on which the UP elections are being fought are the issues of development.”
Irani also said that the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has made a number of interventions that have become a part of people’s everyday life of the people such as the construction of homes for the poor under PM Gramin Awas Yojana or the construction of toilets.