Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, speaking at the News18 Rising India Summit on Saturday, said that the 2014 Lok Sabha election to the Amethi constituency began as a political battle, but turned into a personal journey.
Irani had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election against Congress president Rahul Gandhi. She was later elected to the Parliament as a Rajya Sabha MP.
Smriti Irani speaking at the News18 Rising India Summit. News18
"I was challenging the idea that you can be a political representative and ignore the constituency for years. The issue was, how can I, who was born to parents who barely had Rs 200 in their pockets, become a Cabinet minister and give back to society?" she asked.
Irani also spoke on the recent controversy over the film Padmaavat, and slammed the media for spreading 'fake news' on cuts to the film. Irani said, "The fake news that there were 400 cuts made headlines but the fact that Sanjay Leela Bhansali came out and said that the movie was released uncut never made news."
CBFC chairperson Prasoon Joshi also spoke on changes to films, saying, "About 9,000 films have been passed in the last 8 months. Eighty-two percent of them were passed without any changes. The rest were passed with minor changes in consultation with the filmmakers."
Joshi also responded to criticism on removing the letter 'i' from the title of the film Padmaavat, saying, "We removed the 'i' from Padmaavati because we collectively agreed on the fact that the original poem was called Padmaavat." However, he said, "I do not deny that there has been politics on the issue."
He also said, "Artists do not have an intention to hurt the society. An artist begins his or her work to benefit the society. I truly believe in that."