Union Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday said she was willing to pay the price for standing up for her beliefs, asserting that the "true mettle" of politicians is determined on whether they are able to stick to their stand in the face of criticism.
The comments by the Information and Broadcasting Minister came in the backdrop of her ministry withdrawing its contentious press release on fake news following a directive from the Prime Minister's Office after wide-spread criticism by media and opposition parties.
"I felt that if belief systems change as per political convenience then what kind of a leader or what kind of a Parliamentarian will that make you? So for me, what is tough possibly is to believe in something, and at times there is cacophony which goes against your very belief," the minister said at a panel discussion.
"Your true mettle as a politician or a leader is then determined as to whether you are swayed by that cacophony or whether you still stand your ground. And I am willing to pay the price for it and I am," Irani said, without elaborating. Irani was responding to a query by Hero Enterprise Chairman Sunil Kant Munjal who asked how difficult it was for her to get her daily work done when she holds on to her guns despite opposition to her beliefs or action.
She said "I think, in our every day life, all of us irrespective of our professions or vocations, obviously believe in something. We have the confidence to go that extra mile to implement it.
"Success is not guaranteed, but at least for myself I always said that there will not be any moment where I will be caught not having fulfilled my destiny because of want of that desire to make it or that desire to achieve that goal," she said.
Irani had come under attack earlier this month after I and B Ministry amended guidelines on accreditation of journalists for, what it said, to check fake news.
The amended guidelines had stated that if the publication or telecast of fake news was confirmed, accreditation of the journalist would be suspended for six months in the first violation, for one year in case of a second violation and permanent cancellation in case of a third violation.
The guidelines were withdrawn following a directive to do so by the PMO.