Indian soldiers posted at the Siachen range lead an impossibly tough life. Away from their families for six months, they make do with bare necessities in a temperature that can turn your breath into ice. And to lift up their spirits, Union textile minister Smriti Irani will travel to Siachen base to visit soldiers on Raksha Bandhan Day.
The move has been chalked out by the BJP-ruled government, of which Smriti Irani is a part. Eight other women ministers from the BJP will travel to frontier postings across India. Women lawmakers spending some time on an auspicious day with our jawans is of course a great move.
While Irani’s other female colleagues will reach out to soldiers stationed in the North East, Rajasthan and Kashmir, Irani will travel to the world’s highest battleground located in the Siachen range. So was it Irani who choose the spot, or was it the command of the BJP party?
Whatever be the cause, Irani will brave cold waves and a risky helicopter ride to meet the soldiers. Last month, when Irani lost her Human Resource portfolio and was shifted to the less glamorous textiles profile, Twitter couldn’t have enough of the change. She was pulled down for her ‘demotion’ and was trolled for getting to run a ministry that was barely visible.
But Irani was composed, and she had announced that she stands by her duty. A month later, the lady, known for being very assertive, has proved her detractors wrong by not only running the textile ministry well, but also rocking her role. Last week, Irani was in the news for buying her own coffee at a popular coffee shop in Delhi. She was without entourage and in her best behaviour, without any trace of being a VVIP.
A couple of days before that, Irani promoted Indian handloom by donning a silk sari from Bihar. The woman has her heart in place, and has been shutting her critics up with elan. I believe she need not have gone to the freezing Siachen base to cheer her soldier brothers up. But that she chose to do it is what endears the fiery minister to the masses.