NEW DELHI: A twitter war broke out between Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani and Bihar education minister Ashok Choudhary on Tuesday as the former took offence at the latter using the salutation ‘dear’ when addressing her. A heated exchange ensued as both of them engaged in a war of words over the new education policy.
However, Choudhary seemed surprised with the developments, saying he had put his views in a “dignified” manner and found no reason for the Union minister to have taken offence.
The spat was sparked when Choudhary tweeted: “Dear @smritiirani ji, when will we get New Education policy..? When will year 2015 end in your calendar..?
Visibly annoyed, Irani shot back: “@AshokChoudhary mahilaon ko ‘dear’ keh ke kab se sambodhit karne lage Ashokji ?” (Since when did you start addressing women as ‘dear’?)
Choudhary retorted: “Not to disrespect but educate... Professional emails start with “dear”.
And then a series of tweets followed, with both accusing each other over the level of consultation carried out for preparing the education policy, or the lack thereof.
Making the most of the fight, Twitteratis started taking digs at the tweets. One tweeter said: “The word “dear” is gender neutral! Advise Wren & Martin”.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also lit up the twitter scene when she replied to a tweeter who sought her help to fix his defective refrigerator, saying, “Brother I cannot help you in matters of a Refrigerator. I am very busy with human beings in distress.”
Since it was posted, Swaraj’s tweet has been retweeted and ‘liked’ by over 6,000 people.
The complete Twitter exchange between Irani and Choudhary can be found below:
"Dear .@smritiirani ji, कभी राजनीति और भाषण से वक़्त मिले तो शिक्षा निति की तरफ भी ध्यान दें"— Dr. Ashok Choudhary (@AshokChoudhaary) June 14, 2016
@AshokChoudhaary mahilaon ko 'dear' keh ke kab se sambodhit karne lage Ashokji ?— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) June 14, 2016
Not to disrespect but educate... Professional emails start with "dear". @smritiirani Ji Kabhi mudde pe jawab dijiye, don't circle around it.— Dr. Ashok Choudhary (@AshokChoudhaary) June 14, 2016
@AshokChoudhaary all my communications to you or any other person start with 'adarniya' but since you are now communicating allow me 1/3— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) June 14, 2016
@AshokChoudhaary have not received state views on education policy neither did you in your 1 on 1 meeting with me give any suggestions 3/3— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) June 14, 2016