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Fact Check: Did Smriti Irani Make Any Objectionable Comment on Goddess Durga? Here’s The Truth

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A video has been doing the rounds on social media, claiming that Union Minister Smriti Irani called goddess Durga a ‘sex worker’.

The video is being shared with a caption: “*स्मृति ईरानी* आपने हमारी आँखें खोल दीं। आपने अध्ययनपुर्ण भाषण में समाज को बताने की कोशिश की कि, *”एक वेश्या (दुर्गा) ने हमारे स्वाभिमानी, कर्मठ, साहसिक बहुजन नेता मैशासुर को शादी के झांसे में नौ रात रंगरलियां मना कर धोखे से हत्या कर दी।”* सही जानकारी के लिए हम आपके शुक्रगुजार हैं।”

(English translation: Smriti Irani You opened our eyes. In an erudite speech, you tried to tell the society that, A prostitute (Durga) fraudulently murdered our self-respecting, hard-working, courageous Bahujan leader Maishasur by giving him nine nights of revelry under the pretext of marriage.” We are thankful to you for the correct information)

In the viral video, she can be heard saying: “Durga Puja is the most controversial racial festival, where a fair-skinned beautiful goddess Durga is depicted brutally killing a dark-skinned native called Mahishasur. Mahishasur, a brave self-respecting leader, was tricked into marriage by Aryans. They hired a sex worker called Durga, who enticed Mahishasur into marriage and killed him after nine nights of honeymooning during sleep.”

Here’s the link to the above video.

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the video, and found it to be deceptive.

We ran a keyword search and found that the video is from 2016 when Smriti Irani was addressing the Lok Sabha. We found the original video uploaded by Bharatiya Janata Party on their official YouTube channel titled: “Smt. Smriti Irani’s speech in reply to debate on JNU and Rohith Vemula issues – 24.02.2016.”

After listening to the entire video, it became evident that the viral clip is misleading.

The viral clip has been taken from 31:50 minutes of the original video. In the video, then HRD Minister Smriti Irani is referring to a pamphlet posted in JNU commemorating “Mahishasura Martyrdom Day.”

Here’s the transcript of the relevant clip (from 30:50 – 32:25): “What is Mahishasur Martyrdom Day, madam speaker? Our government has been accused. I miss today Sugata Bose and Saugata Roy in the House – champions of free speech because I want to know if they will discuss this particular topic which I am about to enunciate in the House, on the streets of Kolkata. I dare them this. Posted on October 4, 2014. A statement by the SC, ST and minority students of JNU. And what do they condemn? May my God forgive me for reading this.

Durga puja is the most controversial racial festival, where a fair-skinned beautiful goddess Durga is depicted brutally killing a dark-skinned native called Mahishasur. Mahishasur, a brave self-respecting leader, was tricked into marriage by Aryans. They hired a sex worker called Durga, who enticed Mahishasur into marriage and killed him after nine nights of honeymooning during sleep.”

The above information proves that Irani was actually reading out a pamphlet, and those were not her own words. Hence the viral clip is misleading.

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