Duelling voices

For once, Parliamentarians stayed put — a welcome change from the walkouts that have been the norm — and debated some of the issues surrounding the death of Rohit Vemula.

By voice vote, Smriti Irani was the star. Sections of Twitter greeted her performance with the sort of glee Fox manifested when John McCain first ushered Sarah Palin onto the national stage.

And of course, the ultimate endorsement:

So here it is in full. Because like it or not, it is a key speech for these times.

The speech will, as speeches must, be fact-checked. That process is already underway:


Amidst all the fire and fury, there are several questionable statements in Ms Irani’s speech, and those questions will likely arise in the coming days, both within and outside Parliament. I agree though with the Prime Minister — do hear the speech in full.

Also worth listening to is this other speech — not quite as dramatic, but important in its own way, by Odisha’s BJP MP Tatagatha Satpathy, who says “The country needs action now, not police action”:

Also, if you have the time and the inclination, do listen to this speech given by then Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, on the right to dissent.