Yale "alumnus" Smriti Irani confirms she isn't a graduate
She was once India's HRD Minister but no one really knew how educated Smriti Irani is. Then she made a thumping proclamation that she had a degree from the prestigious Yale University. But on Thursday, Smriti admitted she is not even a graduate. Quite obviously, Congress clinched the opportunity to slam the Amethi-MP aspirant. Let's understand why Smriti's education has always been in news.
Smriti is neither sure about her course, nor year
In 2004, Smriti wrote in her affidavit that she completed her B.A. in 1996 from Delhi University's School of Correspondence. But the latest affidavit narrated a different story. She submitted that she didn't complete B.Com (?) from DU's SOL in 1994. Between 2004 and 2019, the year got changed and so did the course. What remained stagnant was the School of Open Learning.
Congress focused on Smriti's education when she became Cabinet Minister
Her education qualification, notwithstanding, Smriti became the youngest member of Narendra Modi's Cabinet in 2014. Back then, Congress raked the issue of her educational qualification. Ajay Maken of the grand old party had said an important post was given to a non-graduate. Subsequently, a petition was filed in Delhi High Court alleging that she filed wrong educational qualifications during nominations. The plea was dismissed.
In 2014, Smriti said she had a degree from Yale
Known for her fiery (and dramatic) speeches, Smriti didn't remain quiet when her education was dissected. During a program on a news channel in August 2014, Smriti said, "In that kitty of mine where people call me 'anpad' (illiterate) I do have a degree from Yale University as well. Which I can bring out and show how Yale celebrated my leadership capacities."
What did Smriti do in Yale? Here's the answer
Notably, Smriti didn't reveal details of her Yale degree. And as it turns out calling it a degree would be hyperbole. Smriti, along with 10 Indian MPs, had gone to Yale for a six-day leadership program in 2013. There, the parliamentarians focused on topics like economic transitions in China, effect on Indo-Pak relations after the US' troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, and elections.
Reportedly, she asked DU to not "disclose" her educational qualification
The furor over Smriti's educational qualification never really died down. And in 2017, a new detail emerged. According to PTI, Smriti had asked DU to not disclose her qualifications to an RTI applicant.
An enthusiastic Priyanka Chaturvedi sang to mock Smriti
Cashing on the opportunity, Congress mocked Smriti's degrees. Referring to Smriti's serial, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Congress' spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said, "A new serial is going to come which is titled Kyunki Mantri Bhi Kabhi Graduate Thi. Qualifications ke bhi roop badalte hain, naye-naye sanche mein dhalte hain, ek degree aati hai, ek degree jaati hai, bante affidavit naye hain."
Watch: Congress didn't let the chance slip away
Smriti's education degrees aren't the problem, her lies are
In India, where education is still a luxury, mocking a leader for their poor degrees is insensitive. But in this case, the issue has less to do with her degrees and more to do with her lies. As Smriti's senior in BJP, Arun Jaitley, says, versions of lies keep changing but the truth is paramount. It seems the ghosts of degrees will haunt her for a long time.