On June 15, HRD Minister Smriti Zubin Irani shared a hard-hitting post on Facebook that has resonated with many. The post was made after the minister had a Twitter spat with Bihar Congress president Ashok Choudhary for addressing her as “dear”. Irani clearly didn’t appreciate his usage of the word, to which she responded fiercely.
Aunty National – yes, she has called herself that – said this yesterday in as many words, in reference to her very public Twitter spat on Tuesday with a Bihar minister.
Irani recalls that when she was younger, people would tell girls to not respond – “no matter how humiliated” – when boys accosted them.
The trigger for the minister’s post on Facebook is her spat on Twitter two days ago with Bihar education minister Ashok Choudhary of the Congress, when she took umbrage at his addressing her as “Dear Smritiji.” Mr Choudhary had later “mumbled apologies,” the minister notes, calling it her “near Jerry Maguire like moment.”
Ms Irani, 40, has signed the post with a flourish – “Regards, Aunty National” – a reference to a controversial headline that a leading newspaper ran recently.
A debate raged over whether the Bihar politician’s tweet to Ms Irani on Monday was sexist after the minister asked Mr Choudhary if it was good form to address a woman as “Dear.”