Video Of Smriti Irani's Speech On Goddess Durga Shared With Misleading Claim
BOOM found that Smriti Irani read an excerpt from a leaflet allegedly found in JNU, during a Lok Sabha speech in 2016.
A cropped video of Smriti Z Irani, Union Minister for Women & Child Development, speaking about an alleged leaflet found in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) at the Parliament in 2016, is viral with false claims that she disrespected Hindu Goddess Durga.
BOOM found that Irani read out an excerpt from a leaflet, that she claimed was allegedly found in JNU, during a Lok Sabha speech in 2016.
The video is viral in the backdrop of Member of Parliament and national spokesperson of All India Trinamool Congrees (AITMC), Mohua Moitra's remarks on Goddess Kali.
In an India Today conclave earlier this month, Moitra said that goddess Kali was served meat and alcohol as offering in different parts of the country. She was commenting on a poster of Leena Manimekalai's documentary showing Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette and holding an LGBTQ+ flag. FIRs have been lodged against Moitra and Manimekalai in different parts of the country. Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress also distanced itself from Moitra's remarks.
The 33-second long video shows Irani saying, "Durga Puja is the most controversial and racial festival. Where a fair skin beautiful Goddess Durga is depicted brutally killing a dark skinned native called Mahishasur. Mahishasur, a brave self-respecting leader was tricked into marriage by the Aryans. They hired a sex worker called Durga, who enticed Mahishasur into marriage and killed after nine months of night honeymooning with him."
The post has been shared on Facebook with a caption in Bangla, which reads, "Friends, the disrespectful remarks about Maa Durga by Smriti Irani cannot be forgotten. Who has ever made ugly remarks on the occasion of Mother Durga which no one knows except Smriti Irani."
(Original Text in Bangla: #মা_দূর্গা প্রসংগে সেদিনের #স্মৃতি_ইরানির কুৎশিত মন্তব্য ভুলে গেলে চলবে না বন্ধুগণ স্মৃতি ইরানিকে #কে #কখন #কোন_অবস্থায় মা দূর্গা প্রসংগে কুৎসিত মন্তব্য করেছে যা স্মৃতি ইরানি ছাড়া আর কেউ জানে না)
BOOM ran a keyword search using "Smriti Irani Durga Mahishasur" and we found several reports featuring the extended version of the viral clipped content.
We found an extended video of 49 minutes of the speech on YouTube by Desi Gujarat HD, a local news outlet based in Gujarat.
Irani, the then Human Resources minister, had attributed her speech to an alleged leaflet found in the varsity. She alleged that Left leaning student leaders in JNU were issued a notice from the authority for organising an event on Mahishasur Martyrdom Day.
From the time stamp of 30:23 onwards Irani can be heard saying, "Madam this notice was given on 10th February 2016, on the 9th night, this transpires on the campus on the 10th ...this is a pamphlet which was stuck all across with these signatures and it says, that the public meeting was also disrupted for Mahishasur Martyrdom Day. What is Mahishasur Martyrdom Day Madam Speaker? Our government has been accused and I miss today Sougata Roy and Sougata Bose in this house, champions of free speech. Because I want to know whether they will discuss this particular topic which I am about to enunciate on this house, on the streets of Kolkata. I dare them this. Posted on the 4th of October, 2014. A Statement by the SC/ST, OBC & Minority Students of JNU. And what they do condemn? An attempt, like I said Madam speaker this very pamphlets Madam Speaker highlights what the communist leader calls Mahishasur Matrydom Day."
The house was chaired by the then speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Irani then goes on to say, (31:44 onwards), "May my God forgive me for reading this. Durga Puja is the most controversial and racial festival. Where a fair skin beautiful Goddess Durga is depicted brutally killing a dark skinned native called Mahishasur. Mahishasur a brave self-respecting leader tricked into marriage by Aryans. They hired a sex worker called Durga, who enticed Mahishasur into marriage and killed him after 9-nights honeymooning during sleep. Freedom of Speech ladies and gentleman. Who wants to have this discussion on street of Kolkata, I want to know." (till 32:35 )
The same speech was also uploaded on February 24, 2016 on the official YouTube channel of the Bharatiya JanataParty. The Facebook post from the verified handle of the party can be seen here.
On February 26, 2016, the Hindustan Times reported on Irani's clarification on her statement made on Goddess Durga and Mahishasur. An excerpt from the report reads, "Responding to the controversy, Irani said, "I read it because I was asked to explain what is the truth. I said it with a lot of pain. I myself am a practising Hindu; I myself am a Durga worshipper. These are authenticated documents from the university itself," she said in the Rajya Sabha, responding to the opposition's vociferous protests over the statement in question." Earlier, Congress leader Anand Sharma said in the Rajya Sabha, that the party demanded an apology over Irani's remarks and termed the statement as blasphemous.
The Quint and ABP News reported the same on February 26, 2016. BOOM was not independently able to verify the pamphlet on goddess Durga and Mahishasur.
Also Read: Old Clipped Video Of Amit Shah In Hyderabad Rally Viral With False Claim
Do you always want to share the authentic news with your friends?