Criticism Over Smriti Irani’s Global Hunger Index Statement
Union Minister Smriti Irani is facing backlash from opposition leaders after making a controversial statement about the Global Hunger Index (GHI). She claimed that the index is calculated by “calling 3,000 out of 140 crore people and asking them if they are hungry.”
Speaking at a conference in Hyderabad, Smriti Irani expressed doubt about the credibility of the Global Hunger Index. She argued that it is based on a small sample of 3,000 people out of India’s massive population of 140 crore (1.4 billion). She also highlighted the fact that the GHI ranked Pakistan better than India, which she found hard to believe.
The Global Hunger Index for 2023 placed India at the 111th position among 125 countries, with a score of 28.7. In comparison, Pakistan was ranked 102nd on the index, with a score of 26.6.
Opposition leaders, particularly Supriya Shrinate from the Congress party, strongly criticized Smriti Irani’s statement. Shrinate called out the insensitivity and ignorance in Irani’s remarks. She pointed out that the Global Hunger Index is not calculated by making phone calls to people and asking if they are hungry. She emphasized that as the Women and Child Development Minister of India, such statements were disappointing and embarrassing.
Shrinate further explained that the Global Hunger Index relies on four key indicators: undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality. These indicators provide a comprehensive picture of hunger and malnutrition in a country.
In her response, Shrinate urged Smriti Irani not to make light of the serious issue of hunger. She reminded Irani of her influential position and the availability of ample meals during her travels, emphasizing that the reality of hunger is very different for many others.
Priyanka Chaturvedi, a leader from the Shiv Sena party, also criticized Smriti Irani’s comments. She used the phrase “If arrogance had a face” to express her disapproval of the statement.
It’s worth noting that Smriti Irani has previously criticized the Global Hunger Index, describing it as a “flawed measure of hunger” and arguing that it does not accurately represent India’s hunger situation.
In essence, this controversy revolves around the accuracy and significance of the Global Hunger Index and how it reflects the hunger and malnutrition situation in India. Irani’s remarks have ignited a debate, with opposition leaders expressing concern and emphasizing the importance of addressing hunger and malnutrition effectively in the country.