Smriti Irani is an actress-turned-politician, who is a Member of Lok Sabha from Amethi Constituency in the 17th Lok Sabha (2019-2024).
Smriti Irani was born as ‘Smriti Malhotra’ on Tuesday, 23 March 1976 (age 47 years; as of 2023) in New Delhi. Her zodiac sign is Aries.
She did her schooling from Holy Child Auxilium School in New Delhi. She is a 12th pass. She enrolled for B.Com in the School of Open Learning, Delhi University but left the course in between.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Weight (approx.): 80 kg
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
She was born to a half-Punjabi and half-Maharashtrian Hindu father, Ajay Kumar Malhotra, and a Bengali-Assamese mother, Shibani Bagchi (ex-member of Jana Sangha, the right-wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS)).
She has two younger sisters.
Husband & Children
She got married to Zubin Irani, a Parsi businessman. The couple has a son named Zohr Irani and a daughter named Zoish Irani.
She also has a stepdaughter named Shanelle Irani, who is Zubin’s daughter from his first marriage with former beauty contestant, Mona Irani.
Shanelle Irani got married to Arjun Bhalla on 9 February 2023 at Khimsar Fort, Nagaur, Rajasthan.
Her paternal grandfather was Punjabi, and her paternal grandmother was Marathi. Irani’s maternal grandfather was Bengali, while her maternal grandmother was Assamese.
Smriti Irani follows Hinduism. She is an ardent follower of lord Ganesha and is often spotted wearing a Ganesha locket.
Smriti Irani joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2003.
In the 2004 Lok Sabha Elections, she contested against Kapil Sibal from Chandni Chowk Constituency in Delhi and lost. In the same year, she became the President of the Maharashtra Youth Wing of the BJP. She was also nominated as the executive member of the central committee of the BJP. In 2009, she campaigned for Vijay Goel’s candidature in New Delhi. In 2010, she was appointed as the National Secretary of BJP and was also appointed as the President of the Mahila Morcha (women wing) of BJP. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, she contested against Rahul Gandhi in the Amethi Constituency and lost by 1,07,923 votes. Nevertheless, Narendra Modi appointed her as the Human Resource Development in his cabinet, making her the youngest cabinet minister of that time.
In a cabinet reshuffle in 2016, she was switched from the Ministry of Human Resource Development to the Ministry of Textiles. In 2017, she was handed in the additional charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which was taken away from her in 2018 and was given to Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. In 2019, she contested the Lok Sabha Elections from the Amethi Constituency against Rahul Gandhi and won by a margin of 55,120 votes and became the Minister of Women and Child Development. In July 2022, she was given additional charge of the Ministry of Minority Affairs. NDTV
Career-TV, Films & Theatre
She was one of the contestants of Miss India Beauty Paegent in 1998. However, she couldn’t reach the top 9.
In 1998, she made her first appearance in the song “Boliyan” of the album “Saawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag” with Mika Singh. In 2000, she made her Television debut as an actress with the show “Aatish” and “Hum Hain Kal Aaj Aur Kal.” Both the serials aired on Star Plus. In the mid-2000s, she became a household name when she played the role of ‘Tulsi Virani’ in Ekta Kapoor‘s production “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (2000-2008).” The serial ran for eight years, and Smriti became the most loved Bahu on television.
In 2007, she made her debut as a TV producer with the Sony TV’s serial “Virrudh.”
She hosted the TV show “Yeh Hai Jalwa,” a dance reality show which aired on 9x in 2008.
In 2010, she made her Hindi film debut with the film “Malik Ek.”
In 2011, she made her Telugu debut with the movie “Jai Bolo Telangana.”
She made her Bengali film debut with the movie “Amrita” in 2012.
She has done various theatre projects; the first one being a Hindi play, “Kuch Tum Kaho Kuch Hum Kahein.” She then did her first Gujarati play titled, “Maniben.com.” She also did a Telugu play named “Jai Bolo Telangana.”
- She was accused of providing contradictory affidavits regarding her educational qualifications. In 2004 Lok Sabha elections, she claimed to have a degree in BA (Bachelors of Arts) and in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, she claimed to have a degree in Commerce (B. Com). It was later clarified that she had done part 1 of her Bachelors in Commerce and did not complete her three-year degree course.
- She was once criticised for not taking proper actions in the suicidal case of a Dalit Student, Rohit Vermula of the Hyderabad University.
- She was criticised by several Vice-Chancellors of universities for sacking two vice-chancellors, during her tenure as HRD Minister.
- In 2014, there was a massive uproar after she declared to replace German with Sanskrit as the third language in Kendriya Vidhyalayas.
- In 2017, IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) were at the strong disagreement over Smriti’s decision when she cleared the clause that included IIMs under the ambit of her Ministry.
- A lot of bureaucrats left her ministry, citing her bossy nature.
- On 23 July 2022, the Congress party levelled accusations against her daughter Zoish of running a restaurant and bar in Goa ‘illegally.’ According to Congress, Zoish obtained the license through ‘fraudulent’ means, and the license to run the bar was procured in the name of a deceased person. Following these accusations, the Congress party demanded the resignation 0f Smiriti Irani. Later, Smriti Irani refuted the accusations made by the Congress party and said that they targeted her daughter with ‘malicious’ intent. The Indian Express Smriti Irani said,
The allegation that my daughter runs an illegal bar is malicious with the intent not only to assassinate her character but also to politically malign me. And to the Gandhi family, which directed that this press conference [by Congress] be held against my child, I tell you this, send Rahul Gandhi back to fight the Lok Sabha election in 2024 from Amethi and he will lose again. That is my promise as a BJP worker and as a mother to that 18-year-old. I will see them in the court of law.”