This rejoinder was sent to IndiaFacts by Sri Nachiketa Tiwari, Co-ordinator of the Hindu Economic Conference in the recently concluded World Hindu Conference, 2014.
This is a rejoinder to the article “Why do Hindus Put Up with Smriti Irani” which appeared on the IndiaFacts website. The article is full of misrepresentations, inaccuracies, and factual errors. It insults one of our honored guests, and implicitly raises doubts about Hindu Educational Conference’s organization. Here are some facts about the very successfully concluded Hindu Educational Conference, and Smt. Smriti Irani’s participation in it.
- Irani neither came “late to the Conference”, nor did “she immediately reach the podium out of turn”. She had informed the organizers about her very tight schedule, and yet was keen on meeting her commitments made earlier to the organizers. This author is aware of the details of these specific constraints, and unlike many special invitees caught in such a bind, she kept her word. This is something we must appreciate, rather than complain about. Also, she arrived on time and patiently waited for her turn to come to the podium to address the Conference attendees. Her address was very well received by the audience.
- The author falsely claims that Ms Irani “insulted an elderly education activist who had sincerely listed down his organization’s proposals for improving the Indian education system and wanted to hand over a list of their proposals”.This is patently false, and very mischievously worded. The person in question wanted to have a free-format discussion on education system. However, most of the well-structured professionally organized conferences such as the Hindu Educational Conference are not appropriate platforms for such free-format discussions. It is in this context, that the gentleman was politely requested to share his recommendations with the organizers and also share his thoughts during subsequent Q&A sessions. The gentleman graciously accepted this suggestion. There was no insult, no hard feelings, and no ignoring of any person whatsoever.
- The author also falsely and insultingly accuses of Ms Irani of conducting a “photo shoot right in the hall on her way out even as the organizer was speaking on the podium”. This is not true. She was stopped by media persons numbering over two dozen in the hall, and within a couple of minutes, she gently waded her way out of hall. There was absolutely no question of having a “photo shoot” as the author insultingly describes, in the hall.
- The author has also compared the accessibility of Dr. Subramanian Swamy at the Conference and lack of the same of Ms Irani. Here too, the author has messed up on the facts. Dr. Swamy was not present at the Conference.
The remaining portions of the article are laden with pure opinions, conjectures, and innuendos. It takes little effort to see through such unfair characterizations. In our interactions with Ms. Irani we have found her to be extremely supportive, patient, sincere, and approachable. Finally, the organizers of this conference aspire to improve the quality and availability of education for children of our great country and call upon everyone to support us in this endeavor and ignore the chaff.