Former actor and now Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Irani is celebrating her 45th birthday today. The model turned politician was given additional charge as Minister of Women and child development in May 2019.
She is India’s youngest minister in the government and the first woman to hold office as Union Minister for Human Resource Development and as Union Minister of Textiles.
The ‘Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ actor has also contested for the Miss India beauty pageant in the year 1998. The prominent leader is an avid user of social media and keeps sharing her humour and following the trends.
On the occasion of Smriti Irani’s birthday, here are some lesser-known facts about her life:
- Smriti Irani has a culturally diverse background. She was born to Shibani Bagchi, a Bengali, and Ajay Kumar Malhotra, a Punjabi-Maharashtrian.
- Irani completed her schooling at Holy Child Auxilium School in New Delhi. She then enrolled in a three-year-long Bachelor of Commerce course at Delhi University’s School of Open Learning in 1994. She did not complete it though, and left the program in the first year itself.
- In the early days of her career, Irani tried her luck in modelling. She participated in the Miss India contest in 1998, but couldn’t win it.
- The biggest milestone in Irani’s acting career was Ekta Kapoor-produced Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. She continued to appear on-screen in various TV serials and films till the early 2010s.
- Irani married businessman Zubin Irani in 2001. The couple has a son Zohr and daughter Zoish. Irani is a stepmother to Shanelle, Zubin’s daughter his previous marriage.
- The politician joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2003 and was named the head of Maharashtra Youth Wing in 2004. She unsuccessfully contested the 2004 General Elections against Congress’ Kapil Sibal from the Chandni Chowk seat.
- She is also a producer and has an entertainment company by the name of Ugraya Entertainment.
- Smriti became the Union Minister for Human Resource Development on May 26, 2014. On July 5, she was moved to the Textiles Ministry in PM Modi’s cabinet reshuffle.
- Smriti Irani had to face a lot of heat at the hands of the opposition parties and media over her appointment as the HRD minister. The controversy was regarding her educational qualification, to which a lot of vagueness was attached.
- The opposition parties and media raised the issue that she was not qualified enough and thus not eligible to hold the position of HRD minister.
- The controversy came to the fore when it was reported that Smriti had made two contradictory declarations about her educational qualification in the 2004 and 2014 General elections.