Smriti Irani Birthday Special: The Indian politician and former television star will celebrate her 46th birthday on March 23. Since May 2019, she has served as India's Minister of Women and Child Development in the Union Cabinet.
She began her acting career in 1998 and received her first break in 2000. She rose to stardom in 2001 with her role as Tulsi, and she continued to be a part of television until 2012. She has had a 14-year acting career, which includes some films such as Amrita.
Her political career spans more than 18 years, beginning as vice-president of the Maharashtra Youth Wing in 2003 and continuing in her current position as Minister of Women and Child Development in the Union Cabinet.
Her Acting Journey:
Irani was a contestant in the 1998 Miss India beauty pageant. She was unable to make it to the top nine. Irani then performed with Mika Singh on the song "Boliyan" from the album "Saawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag" in 1998.
She began her acting career in 2000 with the television shows Aatish and Hum Hain Kal Aaj Aur Kal, both of which aired on Star Plus. Aside from that, she also appeared in the DD metro's Kavita series.
In the mid-2000s, Irani got the lead role of Tulsi Virani in Ekta Kapoor's Star Plus production, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. The show became popular, and she became known as Tulsi around the world, but she quit in 2007.
She also co-starred alongside Nitish Bharadwaj in Zee TV's Ramayan in 2002, playing the mythological figure Sita.
Irani and Balaji Telefilms co-produced the show Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasmaan in 2006. She also plays Uma, the main character in the film. The drama is based on the narratives of mill workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the company's (the mill's) closure. Uma's father and brother both lost their jobs, so she needs to work extra hard to support her family. In 2007, the show came to an end.
In 2007, she produced Virrudh for Sony TV, which was co-produced by Aditya Birla Group's media subsidiary Applause Entertainment. She portrayed Vasudha, the main character who is divided between her father and her lover. The show came to an end in 2008.
In 2007, she also produced Mere Apne, in which she co-starred with Vinod Khanna as the protagonist. The tale revolved around a family who, despite all the difficulties, managed to stay together. Kashinath, played by Vinod Khanna, was the head of the house, and Smriti Irani was his wife. The series aired on 9X until 2008, when it was cancelled.
Irani and Sakshi Tanwar hosted Yeh Hai Jalwa, a dance-based reality show on 9X that featured celebrities and their troops, in 2008.
Another show she produced in the same year was Zee TV's Waaris, a Zee TV series that lasted 64 episodes and finished in 2008. She starred in the comedy show Maniben.com, which aired on SAB TV in 2009. She also partnered with Contiloe Entertainment to co-produce the show. It was based on the same-titled Gujarati play. It came to an end in 2010.
She appeared in the Bengali film Amrita in 2012. The plot follows a woman who suffers because she is unable to assist her husband and son, who are on the wrong track. Tapan Saha co-wrote and directed the film.
After a two-year hiatus, she returned to television in 2012 to host Savdhaan India.
Her Political Journey:
In 2003, Irani joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. She was made vice-president of the Maharashtra Youth Wing the following year. In the general elections that year, she ran unsuccessfully for the 14th Lok Sabha against Kapil Sibal of the Chandni Chowk constituency in Delhi.
In the 2014 general elections, Irani ran against Rahul Gandhi in the Uttar Pradesh constituency of Amethi. Irani was defeated by Gandhi. Irani became a Member of Parliament for the Amethi constituency in 2019 after defeating Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha elections.
On May 26, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi named her to his cabinet as Minister of Human Resource Development. In a cabinet reshuffle in July 2016, Irani was moved from the Ministry of Human Resources Development to the Ministry of Textiles.
When former Minister Venkaiah Naidu resigned from the ministry to run for vice president, she was given the additional charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India). Irani was assigned the critical position of Union Minister for Women and Child Development during the second term of the Modi government.
Smriti Irani's first novel, Lal Salaam, was published by Westland Publishers in 2021. It is based on the Maoist onslaught in Dantewada in April 2010 and the involvement of central police forces in insurgencies.
Suggested Reading: Ten Things You Should Know About Union Minister Smriti Irani’s Debut Book