Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani gave a very emotional and fiery speech yesterday as reply to the charged day-long debate in the Parliament on Rohith Vemula's suicide and JNU issue.
The speech had Twitter flooded with messages praising the minister. One tweet was from Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
The minister who was seen in combative mood said that she will resign if proved that she was trying to saffronise education. She also gave numerous instances where she had promptly replied to letters coming from the likes of Oomen Chandy and Shashi Tharoor.
Some very hard hitting quotes from her yesterday's speech include:
"Listen to what I have to say. You accuse us of being intolerant, be tolerant. I am giving my answer. Or do I claim to be a victim of my circumstances and say that I am married to a micro-minority family. I am a woman, and hence you did not allow me to speak in this House. Do not play politics with me."
"I am not going to apologise for doing my duty."
"My name is Smriti Irani. I challenge you to identify my caste."
"Even Indira Gandhi lost power, was out of power, but his son never supported slogans of India's destruction."
"If we make a battlefield out of campuses, vote banks out of kids, what will a few astray students from JNU raise slogans about? This nation will be led to the brink of anarchy by a politics that makes an opportunity out a dead student."
"I declare that if Rahul Gandhi had asked me to go to JNU together and tell the students that the tricolour you are ashamed to hoist, and the nation that you wish to be destroyed, it is this same university from where students have gone and lost their lives on the border so that you can chant anti-national slogans in this campus. Rahulji did not do such a thing."
Here are some more quotes from the passionate minister's speeches that she made on the floor of the Parliament.
Smriti Irani on 7th of August in support of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj:
"Do they want to say that Parliament is a stage? Calling an elected leader's speech theatrics is disrespecting the mandate of the people.
"Sushma ji's speech is a challenge for the Opposition to get proof against her. It's easy for Sonia ji to give a byte, but is not easy for her to give a speech without reading it out from a paper.
"Being a woman, I want to ask: Lok Sabha Speaker is Parliament's pride. Is this the respect Congress has for women? In their protest against the Speaker, they took off their shirts. Is this what Rahul Gandhi preaches to the Congress party?."
Smriti Irani on 28th April 2015 defending decision of scrapping four-year undergraduate programme programme from DU.
"The programme would have produced 77,000 students (each year) with degrees without any worth. Had they been on the streets, were we ready to meet that situation? If I have protected their future, why are they hurt?"
"This scheme was in blatant violation of the National Education Policy and 40 programmes under this scheme were not permitted by the President of India."