Here’s the full speech and text of Smriti Irani silencing everyone in Lok Sabha on JNU and Rohith Vemula

Smriti Irani, the Union HRD Minister had a dramatic verbal duel with BSP leader Mayawati in Rajya Sabha. After that, she silenced everyone in Lok Sabha and hit out at the Opposition saying that there wasn’t any question of her giving an apology in Rohith Vemula’s suicide.

Here’s the full video of her speech she shared on her verified Facebook page:

Speech during the discussion in Lok Sabha on JNU and Rohith Vemula.

Posted by Smriti Zubin Irani on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

If you wish to watch the video on YouTube, click here. Here’s the full text of her speech:

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.

Those seeking response on an issue are specifically the ones who ask for personal favours, for example, to get their kids’ admission in Kendriya Vidyalaya.

Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao had written a letter, saying that there is a need for justice in Hyderabad University. He said that it was under the rule of the vice chancellor, which was appointed by the UPA government where Dalit students were committing suicide. Rao had urged me to take action and launch a probe.

As soon as I got the news of Rohith Vemula’s suicide, I called KCR [chief minister of Telangana], only to plead that the law and order situation should be under control. I was told, “Sir is busy right now.” I never issued a public statement against the chief minister thinking that he will call back, but he never called back. But I have a call record. I even spoke to his daughter.

I issued several letters in reply to Rao’s letters. An idea has been created that the HRD minister responds only to government ministers. I have always tried to resolve issues irrespective of the complainant’s caste, creed or religion.

I am not going to apologise for doing my duty. If you want to leave, you may do so. You never wanted to listen to my response, you never had the intention to do so.

You don’t have the courage to listen to what I have to say. You just want to do your politics. Listen to what I have to say, if you have the courage to do so.

Asaduddin Owaisi and I are political opponents. He had once written a letter to me, I responded to it accordingly. Am I being condemned only because my department had issued a letter? I was just doing my duty.

Oomen Chandy, Shashi Tharoor also sent letters to me, and we responded immediately. Today, I am being accused of discrimination? Even I can do the same.

Political parties are busy trying to use the death of a child [Rohith Vemula] as a political weapon. The committee which suspended Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula was not constituted by our government, but by the UPA regime.

I looked at the case as the death of a child and not as a death of a Dalit.

My name is Smriti Irani. I challenge you to identify my caste.

I am enraged by the manner in which a child’s death (Rohith Vemula) is being used as a political weapon.

I am taking it personally. I’ll tell you how the entire incident has been used as a political tool.

According to a report submitted to the Telangana high court, the police had reached Rohith’s hospital at 7:20 pm when they found the body. The police said that when they reached the hostel, they found the room open and the dead body was on the table. A hand written suicide note was found. The suicide note that was left behind does not blame anyone.

This is not my submission. This is what the police said. No one allowed a doctor near this child, to revive this child. Instead, his body was used as a political tool. No police was allowed till 6:30 am the following morning. Who tried to help this child?

The ones who passed judgement are not the ones appointed by the BLP-led NDA but by the Congress party.

Rahul Gandhi made the most of the opportunity and visited the hostel twice, something which he had never done before. Have you ever seen him visiting the same place twice? Did he do the same when 600 students died in the Telangana movement? Rohith blamed no one, yet Rahul tried to use this child as a political tool. The child in his suicide note said that no one is responsible for my death, yet you seek to use this child for your own political ends. That is the tragedy. The people who espouse the cause of free speech and attack this government, who say we are anti-minority, anti-Dalit, anti-tribal and time and again, they’ve been requested to not make it ‘us against them’. I am not certifying your patriotism, but do not demean mine. I am not certifying your idea of India, but do not demean mine. To them I say this. Madam speaker, this is the permission slip from JNU.

On JNU row

The slip clearly says that Umar Khalid, one student, wanted to book the venue from 5 pm to 7.30 pm for the night. The form asks what is the purpose of booking the venue. He says poetry reading. The form asks whether any special arrangement is required. He says electricity for mike. Very well, the university gives him the permission. What transpired later has been question marked by many people. They said – Arrey yeh jhoota hai, woh jhoota [He lied, they lied]. Tariq Anwar said: Let the university carry out its investigation, and then let the police come. This paper is the report of the security department of the university.

This paper is the report of the security department of the university, dated February 11, 2016. In this, 35 security personnel and 3 female guards gave their statement with their signatures. They said that at 16.45 pm, the personnel reached the venue. 38 people have given their response. They are part of the security of the university, and not the police. They say – “The crowd started to swell. Umar and Anirban stood there. ‘Afzal Guru, Maqbool Bhat zindabad’, ‘Kashmir ki azadi tak jung rahegi’, ‘Bharat ki barbaadi tak jung rahegi’, ‘jis Kashmir ko khoon se seencha, woh Kashmir humara hai’, ‘hum kya maange azadi, bandook se lenge azadi’, ‘go India, go back’, ‘Indian Army murdabad’. There were a few people present there with their faces hidden with cloth.

This is not a video, not a police, not an Arnab Goswami, this is the report of the security personnel who do not have connection with the government.

Madam, an office order is issued by JNU. The letter is addressed to the complete staff and faculty at the university. This committee, which again has nothing to do with the government, … A Communist party leader had said here that Smriti Irani had tried her best to get her own vice chancellor, but someone else was deputed. The person who we tried for was a Padma winner, decorated by the Congress government, not ours. This is the right of the President to appoint a VC.

This is the same VC, who we did not appoint, issued this. “Misrepresentation of a proposed cultural event, although the objective was to hold a political meeting. Forcefully holding the event when the permission to hold was withdrawn. Creating a law and order situation in the campus and the prima facie inquiry committee finds the following individuals to be involved. The individuals who have been named by the faculty of JNU – Syed Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Ashutosh Kumar, Rama Naga, Anant Prakash Narayan, Kanhaiya Kumar, Aishwarya Adhikary, Shweta Raj. Considering the seriousness of the offence, and in order to enable a fair inquiry into the incident, the inquiry committee has recommended that the above mentioned students be academically suspended from JNU with immediate effect, during the pendency of the inquiry. However, they are allowed to stay in their respective hostels during the period of inquiry.”

This is not an order issued by the Home Ministry. The university faculty had issued this judgment based on facts.

To accuse is known to be a sign of a successful democracy. I am presenting this evidence to counter people who have accused us. This has been attested by registrar of the university. The registrar was not appointed by us, but by the previous government. This pamphlet is dated February 22, 2013. Malikarjun Khadge was passionately saying today – “Hang everybody, including professors, if they speak against the nation.” If he was here today, I would have shown him this.

Two professors came out with a Kashmir solidarity rally during his government. “To show solidarity for the struggle freedom in Kashmir, and refuse to be a part of the collective conscience of this country.”

Another evidence we have from the university. “Abolish death penalty. Burn effigy of home ministry, not minister. Speak up against the judicial murder and hanging of Yakub Memon.”

Who was there in Mumbai on  March 12? It’s my mother’s birthday, hence I remember that day till now. Bombs went off. Indians died. The terrorists did not ask the religion or caste of the people who died.

This poster says: “Supreme Court judge, Hindu Fascist State of India, the state was scared of Yakub Memon. Our media is a communal corporate media. We are a murderous republic and our cannibal collective conscience was satiated by hanging Yakub Memon’s. We must rise against this judicial muder.”

A call to rise against Supreme Court, which they approach for bail now. That is the strength of my democracy. A call to rise against the president of India, to whom you go and implore and say – “Nyay kijiye [please deliver justice].” The people who call him a hangman go knocking on his doors and he opens his doors and welcomes them. That is the strength of my democracy.

Another MP here said that I am from Communist Party and Kanhaiya is my party member. Brother, I agree.

Madam, this is a poster, which has the name of a child, unfortunately. I look at this child who has been mobilised as a weapon against the State. This is a child who does not have an idea that India is one, but a child who must have been infected with this thought. By those who want to bear arms to overthrow the state. It bears the name of Kanhaiya Kumar, Shaila Rasheed, Rama Naga – they are all members of the student union. Apart from saying – “Condemning the hanging of Afzal Guru”, they claim it as a “nervous attempt by the Congress government.” And this, Madam Speaker, is a notice given out on February 10, 2016. On the 9th night this transpires in the campus, and on the 10th this pamphlet is stuck all across with signatures.

It says – “The public meeting was also disrupted for Mahishasur Martyrdom Day.”

What is Mahishasur Martyrdom Day, madam speaker? Our government has been accused. I miss today Sugata Bose and Saugata Roy in the House – champions of free speech, because I want to know if they will discuss this particular topic which I am about to enunciate in the House, on the streets of Kolkata. I dare them this.

Posted on October 4, 2014. A statement by the SC, ST and minority students of JNU. And what do they condemn? May my God forgive me for reading this.

“Durga Puja is the most controversial racial festival, where a fair-skinned 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 nine nights of honeymooning during sleep.”

Freedom of speech, ladies and gentleman. Who wants to have this discussion on the streets of Kolkata? I want to know. Will Rahul Gandhi will stand for this freedom. I want to know. For these are the students. What is this depraved mentality? I have no answers for it. [Irani throws away the pamphlet]

Then, I thought, when many leaders say – “They are kids. They are saying it. Pardon them.” It is possible. But how does this depravity gets seeded into the minds of our children?

Unfortunately, the rows of the Congress party here are empty, madam speaker. I have said it time and again, ‘shiksha ko ranbhoomi mat banao’ (Don’t make education a battleground). No one listened to this request of mine in both Houses. Today I am compelled to say this, madam speaker, are these just slogans?

I seek to quote a Roman philosopher, who said – “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gates freely. His lie whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of the government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor, he speaks in the accent familiar to his victims. He wears their face and arguments that appeals to the baseless that lies deep in the hearts of men. He rots the soul of the nation. He works secretly as an unknown. In a night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

If I had quoted Chanakya here today then people said it was saffronisation.

This is the reason I seek to quote a Roman philosopher.

I wondered, where do our kids learn from? I am presenting an example in this House today, which just came to my desk. This is a history book for students of class 4 – Teacher’s Reader. What are our teachers taught? The author of this book is Teesta Setalvad. This book has been commissioned by UPA’s Kapil Sibal. The same UPA whose chairperson is Soniaji. Let’s see what is to be taught to student of class 4.

“In our text and syllabus, we continue to perpetuate the colonial legacy of portraying ancient India, as synonymous with Hindu and Medieval India past with the Muslim.” I quote from this book, Madam Speaker. Arvind Sawantji is from Maharashtra. This book was given to Don Bosco, Matunga. The school of my colleague Piyush Goyal.

“When we teach Shivaji, Akbar, Aurangzeb as responsible educators and animators, we need to ask which Shivaji do we need to take into the classroom.”

It is not only against Shivaji that is taught. Congress politicians allowed the killings for three days during the Sikh riots. That is also taught.

“Hindu-Christian riots in Kanya Kumari. How the propaganda of Hindu organisations target Christian minorities.”

You are teaching this to a child in the 4th standard. This is their idea of secular education. History taught to standard 6th. I quote, madam speaker.

“Kashmir is a much demonised land today…{pause} that the State militates against. The atrocities of the Indian State.”

Are we shocked that our students go to universities and say “Kashmir ki azadi tak jung ladenge..”?

Scenario 4 on Page 5 – order issued to Delhi schools after the death of Indira Gandhi.

“Check what an English teacher is teaching.” One of the words given to the children to draft a sentence was the word arrive. Of the several children who raised their hands, the one that the teacher chose to read out is – ‘When a Sikh arrived in Delhi, he was killed by a Hindu.’

Scenario 2 – The title is fascinating – ‘Breeding Prejudiced Minds’. This commissioned by the UPA, led by the Congress party, given to children in the 6th standard.  They are taught.

Scenario 3 – Teaching of history in school boards all over Maharashtra. Has a single prescribed textbook on Shivaji. Teachers from the school in Bombay have expressed great difficulty in controlling emotions. One of them has said – “The schools that have active enrolment of Muslim students are rushed through the chapter on Afzal Khan and Shivaji’s confrontation. It is a politically and socially loaded connotation. I can’t meet eye to eye with Muslim students, so I start my chapter with an apology. There are many Afzals in my class.” Says this teacher teaching in class 6th.

I begged and I pleaded, don’t make it about us and them. Our children are not vote banks. But nobody heard me.

NCERT had warned not to distribute these books. No one heeded to their warning. Wasn’t the NCERT of our government? The committee that studied these books and incidents, I am compelled to say that one of the committee members is a Muslim Vice Chancellor appointed to his post by the Congress government.

An income tax officer, who served under the Congress government, now a Supreme Court lawyer. I did it because I will not be accused of politicising something, which should be a matter of concern for every Indian citizen and Parliamentarian. What do those committee members said after they read these books.

“This committee fails to understand that to what and whose purpose is this trust serving?” By quoting from authors from Pakistan writing pertaining to education of Indian students to an impressionable mind of a standard 6 student. This committee was enraged when the name suggested intention and action – Allah zarmeen Pakistan, Hindutva hell in Hindustan.

Madam speaker, I have not shied away from answering any question in this Parliament.

My plea is this. Across universities, when vice-chancellors said that we want to raise our flags proudly. They were condemned. Mr Gandhi went to Uttar Pradesh and said -“All these VCs belong to the RSS.” I am sure he doesn’t know that even today that among the chancellors of central universities, there are 20 VCs who were appointed by the Congress. 16 VCs were again appointed by the Congress. I challenge  any of these Congress-appointed VCs to come and say with evidence  that I have saffronised them, I will quit politics.

In this same House perhaps. Sonia ji is not here, so can’t tell her. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said – “India is not a piece of land. It is a nation that is alive Rashtrapurush.”

He had said – “Yeh vandan ki dharti hai, abhinandan ki dharti hai / Yeh arpan ki bhoomi hai, darpan ki bhoomi hai / Ki nadi nadi humaare liye Ganga hai, iska kankar kankar humaare liye Shankar hai / Hum jiyenge to iss Bharat ke liye, marenge to iss Bharat ke liye / Aur marne ke baad bhi, Gangajal mein behti huee humaare asthiyon ko koi sunega, to ek hi awaz aayegi – Bharat Mata Ki Jai.”

The question that rises is that the same Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had said this had supported Indira Gandhi. Considered her a reflection of Durga. When for the pride of the nation, Indiraji had said – “Go and protect humanity.”

Today it seems that politics makes strange bedfellows. Sugata Bose delivered a speech, that was academically very good. I applaud to such speeches. Soniaji and Rahulji were compelled. We all should compliment each other.  Shook his hands. I only wished that Dr Bose was to gift them a book called The Dead Reckoning by Sharmila Bose, Dr Bose’s sister. A renowned historian. In the book, she writes that the Bangladesh liberation war was a fallacy. That the Pakistani army did nothing to Bangladeshis that Indira Gandhi went to support. The question that rises now – [Satta to Indira Gandhi ne bhi khoyi thi lekin unke bete ne Bharat ki barbadi ke naaro ka samarthan nahi kiya tha]. Even Indira Gandhi lost power, was out of power, but his son never supported slogans of India’s destruction.

The death of students is unfortunate. UGC had formulated regulations in 2012, in which it was required to have an anti-discrimination officer in all campuses. We had called a meeting of VCs. They accepted that there will be such an office in all campuses.

We set up the Judicial Commission. Those students weren’t delivered justice, the ones who lost their lives when the Congress in power. We did not indulge in biased politics. We said – The law should prevail, and hang those who are found guilty. It was attempt. I try to attempt every day.

This is my request to all. 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. Let the law take its course please. Let the police do its work. 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.

My request to you all is that wherever you face a challenge – you said SC/ST kids should be in faculty – this is the same request I made of all vice-chancellors. I have myself requested them to listen to all children, especially who to them with emotional legacies and social challenges. It is incumbent upon us to provide them refuge and a productive life. My request is, help me build this nation, and not destroy it from within.

Thank you madam speaker.