×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Smriti Irani Removed as India’s Information & Broadcasting Minister

Smriti Irani has been fired as India’s Minister for Information and Broadcasting. She is replaced by her deputy Rajyvardhan Rathore, but retains the textile ministry portfolio.

Irani, a former actress, had been in the job for only ten months. Rathore, a former professional shooter, will be the fourth person to head the I&B Ministry job since 2014, following Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Irani, since July last year.

Irani had been expected to attend the Cannes Film Festival, but her trip was cancelled only two days before her scheduled travel. Indian officials in Cannes explained her absence, and the attendance of Censor Board chief Prasoon Joshi in her place, by pointing to her role in regional elections back home.

Irani’s tenure in the I&B job had been plagued by controversies and problems. A decision to award management of International Film Festival of India in Goa to the National Film Development Council might have drawn applause if the NFDC had been given more notice and if Irani’s ministry had not interfered with the selection of films – “Sexy Durga” and “Nude” were both dropped from the lineup.

In March, it emerged that public broadcaster Prasar Bharati was being starved of funding for two months, in what was perceived as an act of retaliation.

In April, Irani’s ministry proposed legislation that would make fake news illegal. The idea was quickly withdrawn after protests from journalists that the new law would be used in a partisan fashion and be the death of news reporting.

The prestigious ceremony to present the prestigious National Film Awards also descended into chaos. When the awards president broke with tradition and decided not to hand out the prized personally, a contingent of 70 film makers organized a boycott.

The ministry also removed Nina Lath Gupta from her position at the head of the NFDC, and accused Gupta of mismanagement. In recent days, following a legal challenge, all accusations against Gupta were withdrawn.

Irani, who had previously been a favorite of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was recently cleared of misrepresenting her educational qualifications. But taken together with earlier controversies at the Human Resources Development, Irani has shown herself to be accident prone.

More Film

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

  • Roman Polanski extradition

    Academy Responds to Roman Polanski: 'Procedures Were Fair and Reasonable'

    UPDATE: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has responded to a lawsuit from director Roman Polanski that claimed he was unfairly expelled from the organization behind the Oscars. “The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate,” a spokesperson said. The Academy’s statement [...]

  • Lorraine Warren dead

    Lorraine Warren, Paranormal Investigator Who Inspired 'The Conjuring,' Dies at 92

    Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigator and demonologist whose life inspired franchises like “The Conjuring” and “The Amityville Horror,” has died. She was 92. Warren’s son-in-law Tony Spera confirmed the news. Spera said on Facebook, “She died peacefully in her sleep at home.” He continued, “She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul. To quote Will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content