Smriti Irani’s speech in Lok Sabha: An actor’s tips to the minister

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 26, 2016 16:35 IST
HRD Minister Smriti Irani in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday. (PTI)

Human resource development minister Smriti Irani’s speech in Parliament on Wednesday has given rise to a heated debate in political circles, with some appreciating the manner in which the former TV actor ‘strongly’ put matters into perspective and others accusing her of distorting facts for the sake of making an emotional appeal.

But Bollywood actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, best known for his role as Murari (Dhanush’s friend) in Raanjhanaa (2013), chose to look at the matter from a different angle. In a long letter to Irani, he explained that though the speech had inspired a ‘junior actor’ like him, a few changes in her style of delivery could have further improved her otherwise perfect Lok Sabha act.

Dhanush and Zeeshan in a still from Raanjhana. (Youtube grab)

Read: Sorry Smriti Irani but Rohith Vemula was a Dalit hero, not a child

“Dear Smriti Irani!” Ayyub said in a Facebook post. “Just watched your speech on Lok Sabha TV, and was extremely affected as a junior. We have been taught since childhood that we should keep learning… I feel proud that you are still making every effort to try and act. I can understand that TV made a star out of you too early, and you didn’t get too much of a chance to act.”

A screen grab of Zeeshan’s Facebook post.

The actor admitted that politics can be as good a platform for acting as cinema. “Not many get the opportunity to feature in movies, and hence it’s good that you chose another big platform (for acting). Your monologue was praiseworthy,” he said.

However, Ayyub said that Irani still has a long way to go before she became the perfect actor. “I am sorry to say this, but you need to work a lot on your acting skills… you can’t survive with this kind of acting in theatre. Your speech was too monotonous, and you just held on to a single emotion. I understand that it was good (I want to cry but won’t), but think you should have made your voice crack (I guess you tried that once, but it didn’t quite work) or asked for water in the middle of your speech. That would have made it more effective.”

Read: In her now-famous speech, Smriti takes on treason but dodges caste

“You kept searching for papers and that made it (look) natural, but where was the conviction, beta?” he asked. “We could clearly see that you were full of emotions, but there was persistent monotony and a complete lack of conviction.”

Smriti Irani speaks in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI)

Ayyub was full of praise for the person behind Iran’s speech. “Whoever wrote your monologue... err... speech did a good job of making perfect use of poetry, but a little focus on logic and the flow of events might have made it better. However, I am not a writer and can’t say much about the script… errr… speech.”

The actor reiterated the need for Irani to hone her acting skills in the final words of the letter. “You must pay more attention to your acting, because there’s a lot of scope for improvement. Hope you won’t mind my comments. Your junior and admirer, a mere actor,” he said before signing off.

Read: For the 2nd day, Irani keeps up attack on Oppn over Vemula, JNU issues

Watch Smriti Irani’s complete speech

Other Bollywood actors, including Rishi Kapoor and Huma Qureshi, also tweeted their reactions to Irani’s speech – albeit in a less sarcastic manner.

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