The Modi government has assumed power in the centre. One of its female Cabinet minister, Smriti Irani, has been allotted the important portfolio of the Human Resource Development. The Congress opposition has hit out at her with Ajay Maken tweeting that Smriti Irani is the HRD minister in the BJP government although she has not even completed her graduation. Debates and discussions followed on the comment what was considered to be elitist jibe by the Congress. While some politicians opined that the accusation on Smriti was ridiculous, others expressed serious concerns over it.
True, educational qualification is not the yardstick to measure the capability of a candidate. However, one cannot argue that a certain level of education is important for any person to hold any major portfolio, especially in the Cabinet rank if one is in the field of politics. However, the important question is, will Smriti Irani be unable to discharge her duties just because she isn’t even a graduate? What does making decisions pertaining to holding the HRD portfolio consist of? Be it monitoring the RTE Act, working closely with UGC and AICTE to frame educational policies, be it to start any new colleges or open more vocational educational institutes, the HRD ministry takes a decision. Formulating policies for higher educational institutes like IITs and IIMs also depends on the ministry. However, the question is does Smriti necessarily need to be qualified to make decisions pertaining to these aspects?
While accusing her, let us not forget that the real job of formulating policies belong to the bureaucrats, who work under the government. Policies formulated by them are either accepted or rejected by the government. From the various policies issued by the bureaucrats to the government, it has to approve some of them. Hence, the concerned minister’s job is made easy due to the existence of the bureaucrats.
Sure, knowledge about one’s work profile always helps. But one must not be so judgmental and reach to conclusions beforehand. Give her an opportunity and scope to learn. See how she performs and whether she improves gradually. If she doesn’t, there is always scope for replacement. Besides, any mistake on her part, the opposition won’t leave her alive. India is a democracy. Everybody has the right to contest election. It is useless to indulge in blame games by targeting Sonia or Smriti. Rise above petty blame games and work for the betterment of the nation. Smriti herself has appealed to people to judge her on the basis of her work. True, she has filed a wrong affidavit in 2004. However, give her an opportunity. Leave the woman alone to discharge her duties.