From TV to Textiles

Smriti Irani, known for her role of Tulsi in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, as well as leading the Indian HRD and Textile ministries in two terms, was born today in 1976.
Cabinet Minister Smriti Irani in a press conference; Source: Public Domain

Cabinet Minister Smriti Irani in a press conference; Source: Public Domain

She is the Minister for Textiles as well as Women and Child Development now, but Indians can remember her being a model, tv actress and producer before joining the NDA ministry as an electoral candidate. Born on the 23rd of March, 1976 in New Delhi, she would become a member of the RSS by virtue of her parents, who were associated with the Jana Sangh.

Irani would initially make her career in the fashion and tv industry. She participated in Miss India 1998. Even though that venture failed, she really made an impact on the TV industry - starring in successful daily soaps like in Aatish, Hum Hain Kal Aaj Aur Kal, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, etc.

These roles would land her 5 consecutive Indian Television Academy Awards for Best Actress. More TV serials would follow, from DD National to Zee TV, to Sony TV and 9X, and she would also undertake the production of some of these shows.

However, Smritis's big break would come in the 2000s, when she joined the BJP in 2003. Contesting various seats in New Delhi, she would remain largely unsuccessful, until 2010. She was appointed as the National Secretary. Then on, she would also head its Mahila Morcha, its Women’s Wing, and would also become a Rajya Sabha MP in 2011.

The 2014 General elections were the leading moment for her, as she mounted a challenge against Rahul Gandhi, the Congress head. While she was defeated, she still managed to make it a close fight.

Being appointed as a Minister for Human Resource Development, she would launch many initiatives to help academic networks, connections between universities, student aid programmes etc.

In the 2019 elections, she would finally manage to defeat Rahul Gandhi at Amethi, the Gandhi family's traditional seat. This time, she would get to manage the Ministry of Textile-leading workshop development, focusing on textiles of the northeast, developing schemes for technical textiles, etc.

As her ministership continues, there is perhaps more in store from her.

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