New Delhi: Taking a jibe at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's remark on dynasty politics, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani on Saturday said new India is defined by people who dare to dream and who strive only on the basis of their merit.
Irani, who is also the Textiles Minister, said that in 'New India', people will have more respect for those who reach the top through their hard work.
She was hitting out at the remarks of Rahul Gandhi about dynastic politics and that most of the country runs like this. "That's how India works," the Congress leader had said during a talk at Berkeley University during his visit to the US.
Speaking at the India Today Mind Rocks 2017 event, Irani took a dig at Gandhi saying the Narendra Modi-led central government is working to create a "New India" where dynasty will not decide the opportunity one gets.
"I think whoever lives in Delhi and is from working family always had a problem that someone might come and say to him/her, 'don't you know who my father is'," Irani said.
"...Competing with another individual on the basis of merit is something that everybody accepts, but that you are defined solely by the house that you are born in and hence will become a disadvantage to other who want to rise because of competition."
Irani pointed that the dream of new India can be achieved when women can hold their heads high, feel secure and empowered.
Speaking on sexual offences against women, Irani also gave tips to girls and women to tackle eve-teasing.
"If you ask any girl sitting here, none will say that you can glorify eve-teasing by any means," said Irani.
She also said that New India is a land of equal opportunities, a place where all women are respected.
Recalling her journey from Delhi to the Mumbai entertainment industry, Irani said that being a Delhi girl, she was not scared. She opined that Delhi girls are capable of doing whatever they want to.
Responding to a question related to her inclination towards politics, the Minister said she was involved in politics along with acting. However, at one point of time, she felt that she could not continue both and decided to quit acting.
She also appealed to the youths to stay away from the deadly online Blue Whale Challenge game, which has claimed many lives in India and across the world.
Irani also emphasised on teaching children about "good touch and bad touch".
On being asked about the seven-year-old student, Pradhuman, who was murdered at the Ryan International School in Gurugram, Irani, who was earlier Human Resource Development Minister, said parents need to be more involved in the parent-teacher associations in both government and private schools.