Smriti Zubin Irani is an Indian politician, former model, television actress, and producer. Irani is a member of India’s Union Cabinet & is now serving as the Minister of Textiles in Narendra Modi’s cabinet. Smriti also served as the Minister of Women and Child Development in Modi’s second government & is a key leader within the Bharatiya Janata Party. Irani is also a television actress, has worked on many Indian dramas & is also a producer and owns Ugraya Entertainment, an entertainment firm.
Smriti Irani - Family & Early Life
Smriti Zubin Irani is a politician who was born into a middle-class Punjabi family in Delhi. Her father, Ajay Kumar Malhotra, is Punjabi and used to operate a small courier service. Her mother, Shibani Bagchi, is a Bengali-Assamese descent who has been a part of RSS. She is from a family of three sisters and is the eldest.
Smriti Irani - Marriage
Smriti married Zubin Irani, a Parsi businessman, in 2001 & the couple welcomed their first baby boy, Zohr, in October 2001. The couple welcomed their second girl child, Zoish, in September 2003. Both of her children are religious Parsis as well. Shanelle, Zubin Irani’s daughter from his previous marriage with a former beauty pageant, Mona Irani, was studying Law in the United States at Georgetown University when Smriti met Zubin.
Smriti Irani - Education
Smriti Irani attended Holy Child Auxilium in Delhi and the School of Correspondence before enrolling at the University of Delhi. She took her first-year B.Com Examinations at Delhi University’s School of Open Learning but did not complete the three-year degree program.
Smriti Irani – Social & NGO Work
Irani is involved with several non-profit organizations, including:
- Cancer Patients Aid Association
- Vatsalya Street Kids Foundation
- In 2007, Smriti founded her own NGO, ‘People for Change.’
- Social Work
- During the Mumbai floods of 2007, ‘People for Change’ provided sports scholarships in Nasik, carried out drinking water projects in rural India, giving borewell facilities to over 35 villages in Maharashtra, and collected and distributed over 10 tons of relief material in collaboration with 92.5 FM radio station.
- Smriti was India’s first representative in the Monte Carlo Television Festival.
- USAID chose her as a Goodwill Ambassador to India for the WHO-ORS program for a three-year term.
- ‘People for Change’ offers scholarships for higher education to children from low-income families and hosts’ Women & Wealth’ financial literacy programs for women.
Smriti Irani Entertainment Career - Appearances & Recognition
- Along with Gauri Pradhan Tejwani, Irani was one of Miss India 1998 contestants who failed to make the top nine.
- Irani starred alongside Mika Singh in the song “Boliyan” from the album “Saawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag” in 1998.
- Her first television appearances were in the shows Aatish and Hum Hain Kal Aaj Aur Kal. Later, she was cast as Tulsi Virani in the film ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.’
- She won the “Indian Television Academy Award- Popular” for consecutive five years.
- In Zee TV’s Ramayan, she played the mythological role of Sita. She also worked on the program Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasmaan as a co-producer.
- In 2007, The TV series ‘Virrudh’ was produced by Smriti. She also played Vasudha, the main character in the film. Mere Apne was her next project. Vinod Khanna was a key figure in it. She has also appeared in the film ‘Teen Bahuraaniyaan.’
- Irani and Sakshi Tanwar co-hosted the dancing reality program Yeh Hai Jalwa in 2008. In the same year, she released ‘Waaris.’ She then featured in a comedy program called Maniben.com in 2009.
- In 2012, Smriti worked in the Bengali film Amrita. In 2010, she performed Personification of Dwarkamai in the Hindi film ‘Malik Ek.’ In the Telugu film ‘Jai Bolo Telangana,’ she played an activist.
Smriti Irani - Political Journey
In 2010, she was elected as the party’s national secretary and the party’s women’s wing president. In 2011, Smriti Irani was elected to the Rajya Sabha, and in 2012, she was selected as the BJP’s Vice-President.
- In August 2012, she was assigned to the Parliamentary Forum on Disaster Management and the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Urban Development.
- She served on the Committee on Coal and Steel from September 2011 until May 2014.
- On May 26, 2014, Smriti Irani was appointed Union Minister of Human Resource Development.
- The BJP offered her the ticket to run against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, based on her leadership abilities and devotion. However, Rahul Gandhi defeated her by a small margin.
- In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet reshuffle on July 5, she was transferred to the Textiles Ministry.
- Irani defeated Congress President Rahul Gandhi in the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency in the 2019 General Elections, proving to be a giant killer.
Smriti Irani – Achievements and Recognition
- Television Achievements
- Smriti received the Indian Academy Television Award for Best Actress for five years in a row (2001-2005) for “Kyuki Saas Ki Kabhi Bahu Thi.”
- In 2007, she received the Indian Telly Award for Best Actress for Virrudh.
- In 2014, she received the Garv Indian TV Awards’ Best TV Personality of the Decade award.
- Other Career Awards
- In 2005, she received the Gr8! Women Achiever’s Awards.
- Irani was selected by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a Young Global Leader from India in 2015.
- In the 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, Irani was overwhelmingly chosen as a Member from the Asia Pacific Region to the Task Force to establish the first-ever Committee for Young Parliamentarians.
- For three years, Irani served as the USAID Goodwill Ambassador to India for the WHO-ORS program.
- Irani’s win in Amethi over Congress President Rahul Gandhi was included in Femina’s Power List in 2019 under the subject “Women Who Changed the Game.”
Smriti Irani Controversies
Smriti Irani was subjected to criticism from opposition parties and the media upon her nomination as the HRD minister.
- Education Qualification - In 2004, Smriti Irani declared in an affidavit that she had earned a BA degree from University of Delhi’s Open School of Correspondence in 1996. However, in the 2014 General Elections, when she ran for the Amethi seat in Uttar Pradesh against Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, she stated that she had earned a Bachelor’s of Commerce Part -1 degree from the University of Delhi in 1994.
- Suicidal Case - The Union HRD Minister has found herself involved in yet another controversy, this time over comments she made in Parliament regarding Rohith Vemula, a Hyderabad University research student who committed himself.
Smriti Irani - Woman who Changed the Game
So, this was all about Smriti Irani biography. Irani is regarded as one of India’s most progressive female leaders & joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2003 and was elected as Vice-President of the Maharashtra Youth Wing the following year. She has come a long way from doing minor roles in TVs to becoming a prominent Indian politician. However, Smriti doesn’t look in a mood to halt her journey and is expected to continue serving the nation.