A self-proclaimed Yoga teacher, Ira Trivedi, has become the centre of a major controversy as it came to light that she runs a show at the national broadcaster, Doordarshan. As people on social media demanded that Ira Trivedi be sacked for her inflammatory comments, they also wondered how she secured the project on Doordarshan. It turns out that Ira Trivedi’s family has deep ties with the Congress establishment. She is the grand daughter of VC Shukla, a close aid of Sanjay Gandhi and the I&B Minister during the Emergency era who wielded tremendous power to muzzle the press.
The controversy erupted after her 2017 interview with News18 went viral. In that interview, Ira Trivedi had described beef as the ‘cheapest source of protein’. This comment was made in reference to beef ban. Apart from being an utterly wrong statement, it must be noted that this issue has been closely connected with the sentiments of the Hindu community. She even termed Hinduism as regressive in a controversial tweet reflecting her deep prejudice against Hinduism.
This is my hand folded request
Just Unite on This
A actor called Ira Trivedi Abused Hindu Dharma on 30 Aug 2017 (Screenshot 1)
Now DD national gave her a Contract (Screenshot 2)
Please protest against this
In a Secular country Govt. Hired a person who abused Hindu Dharma pic.twitter.com/2pdcOGgn9Z
— Khushi Singh (@khushi2318) July 24, 2019
Right-wing activist, Shefali Vaidya, exposed comments that the “Yoga teacher”, Ira Trivedi has made in the past. She tweeted, “Let me see, your statements were 1) Hindu women fear to go to temples as they think they will be molested. 2) Beef is cheapest source of protein 3) Quran is deeply progressive 4) Hinduism is deeply regressive. Were you born stupid, or did you achieve it in stages?”
Let me see, your statements were 1) Hindu women fear to go to temples as they think they will be molested. 2) Beef is cheapest source of protein 3) Quran is deeply progressive 4) Hinduism is deeply regressive. Were you born stupid, or did you achieve it in stages? @iratrivedi https://t.co/EwycTSCQwR
— Shefali Vaidya ஷெஃபாலி வைத்யா शेफाली वैद्य (@ShefVaidya) July 25, 2019
Later on DD National tweeted from its official handle, “Don’t miss #Yogabhyas with Yamini Muthanna, Friday morning at 6:30 am on @DDNational.” It must be noted that Ira Trivedi’s show is also scheduled for the same timing. From these developments, it seems likely that Ira Trivedi has been sacked although we are waiting for an official confirmation into this matter.
Ira Trivedi’s hypocritical stance on Hinduism was on expected lines as her family has been very powerful in Congress ecosystem for decades. Her great grandfather was first chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and a powerful leader in Congress party. Her grandfather, the late Vidya Charan Shukla was Information & Broadcasting minister under Indira Gandhi’s torturous emergency period.
VC Shukla used every means to curtail press freedom in India during the period of emergency (1975-77) imposed under Indira Gandhi. Editors of many newspapers were jailed, the electricity connection of printing press lane was disrupted and journalists were threatened under his watch.
ViC Shukla was also behind banning Kishore Kumar from All India Radio and Doordarshan. He asked singers to praise the Indira Gandhi government and when veteran singer Kishore Kumar refused to sing at a Congress rally in Mumbai, VC Shukla banned Kishore Kumar’s songs from playing on All India Radio and Doordarshan. The Income Tax department also raided the house of Kishore Kumar to seek revenge for the Congress party.
When some newspapers left blank space to protest against zealous censorship imposed by VC Shukla, he called the editors and told them that leaving blank space in the newspapers will qualify as a crime. Ira Trivedi’s grandfather, VC Shukla was an opportunist and he moved to the top while his party was in power.
Ira Trivedi’s father, Vishwapati Trivedi, a 1977 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh has been secretary to many ministries including Home, Shipping, Social Justice & Empowerment, and Mines. However, the most notable among these was his stint at Air India where he was appointed as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) was most notable. He availed 121 business class passenger tickets for his family and extended family (Brother, Sister, son in law, and daughter in law). The father of Ira Trivedi also received a whopping 8, 55,074 rupees as performance-linked incentive (PLI) during his tenure at Air India.
The then aviation minister Patel gave clean chit to Ira Trivedi’s father. He even defended Trivedi and said that he has done nothing illegal. “Civil servants on deputation to the top position in the airline have been raking in fat cash incentives and free tickets by availing performance-linked incentives, though Air India is not making a profit and the incentives are meant for regular employees,” said a report by India Today which mentioned how Trivedi milked Air India for personal benefit.
Ira Trivedi’s father, Vishwapati Trivedi was also national president of Brahmin Samaj of India and organized meetings in opposition to SC/ST amendment brought by Modi government. He was appointed as independent director of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) but resigned when he accumulated huge debt due to poor infrastructure investment performance.