In the year 2000 Mani Shankar Aiyar made the headlines when he got into a spat with Amar Singh over the comments he made in an inebriated state. Amar Singh recollects the incident in an interview, “Mani came up to me absolutely drunk and charged: `You are a racist. You prevented Sonia Gandhi from becoming the Prime Minister only because she’s a foreigner,’ I kept quiet”.
Amar Singh recollects that as the confrontation escalated Mani Shankar in his intoxicated state insulted SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mani Shankar Aiyar had said, “We belong to the Oxford and Cambridge set… your leader can’t even articulate himself in English… Oh, that bloody Mulayam — he looks just like me. It could be because my father visited UP at some point. Why don’t you check with Mulayam’s mother”.
These horrible comments by Mani Shankar Aiyar crossed the bounds of Amar Singh’s tolerance as he says, “This was crossing all limits. I grabbed him by the neck and did what I had to do.”
“You beat him up?” he was asked and he replied, “I did much less than what he deserved.” Amar Singh went on to explain, “If the hosts invite such characters, give them too much to drink and don’t intervene when things get out of control, I’m sorry, I can’t help it.” This event from more than 18 years ago was just the beginning of Mani Shankar Aiyar and the controversies that were to follow him in the course of his political career.
Mani Shankar Aiyar has madeit to the headlines again recently with his comments over his previous casteist remark. Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar in an article had justified his “neech aadmi” comment against Prime Minister Narendra Modi by saying that his remark was prophetic. Saying that Modi was set to be ousted on May 23, Aiyar said, “That would be a fitting end to the most foul-mouthed prime minister this country has seen or is likely to see. Remember how I described him on 7 December 2017? Was I not prophetic?”
Speaking to ANI, the former Union Minister had said “Ye aadmi bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, is mein koi sabhyata nahi hai, aur aise mauke par is kisam ki gandi rajniti karne ki kya avashyakta hai? (This man is a low-life person, he isn’t cultured… at this moment why does he need to practice such dirty politics?).” However, Mani Shankar Aiyar through his recent comments has just added to his past history of blatantly foul discourse and nonsensical comments.
Mani Shankar Aiyar in the run-up to the general elections had made the infamous ‘Chaiwala’ jibe for Narendra Modi. “I promise you in the 21st Century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country….But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him,” Aiyar had said at the venue of the AICC meeting in January of 2014.Mani Shankar Aiyar’s comments on Narendra Modi didn’t go down well with the nation, with many considering the comment to be against people from humble backgrounds. BJP, taking on the hate, had turned around the Mani Shankar Aiyar jibe and created a whole new campaign called ‘chai pe charcha’ which connected with Indian voters.
BJP’s mega victory in the 2014 general elections also seems to have impacted Mani Shankar Aiyar in an adverse way and further degraded his comments even to the level of insulting India on Pakistani television.
Mani Shankar Aiyar while speaking to a Pakistani TV channel had called for Pakistan’s help in ‘removing’ Narendra Modi from power. He said “Agar aap varta chahtey hain, to Narendra Modi ko hataiye, humay ley aaiye.” (If you want dialogue with India, get rid of Narendra Modi and bring us into power). Speaking against the Indian Prime Minister on a Pakistani TV channel, even if one has political differences surely does not reflect well on someone worthy of being called a senior leader in their party. Such comments coming from Mani Shankar Aiyar, who himself has served as a diplomat are shameful.
Even after facing huge flak over his comments on Pakistani television, Mani Shankar Aiyar had again made controversial comments on Pakistani media. In an interview to a Pakistani news channel, after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Rafale deal, he admitted that the Congress party was trying to mislead the nation on the issue. Congress’ motive was to create an unfavorable perception among the masses regarding the current BJP government so that they won’t be able to return to power in 2019.
कांग्रेस फिर पहुंची पाकिस्तान की शरण में !!#RafaleDeal पर SC के फैसले से दुखी पाकिस्तान को अय्यर का मरहम।
— India Report Card (@InReportCard) December 15, 2018
Mani Shankar Aiyar was also suspended from the primary membership of the Congress for his insulting remarks towards PM Modi, when he addressed him as a ‘neech aadmi’ in a direct reference to his caste roots while campaigning for the Gujarat assembly elections in 2007. Following an ultimatum to apologize by party president Rahul Gandhi, which fell on deaf ears, Mani Shankar Aiyar was officially stripped from his primary party membership. However his primary membership was officially restored by the party’s central disciplinary committee, as validated by the party’s incumbent President, Rahul Gandhi.
Mani Shankar Aiyar with his comments has even gone to the lengths of justifying the terror attacks that took place in Paris. Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar ended up justifying the attack on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris in which 12 people were killed by alleged Islamist terrorists. He had said, “We have to admit that ever since there has been a war on terror after 9/11, many innocent Muslims have lost their lives. This is what America did in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is therefore only to be expected that there will be a backlash Countries like America can’t do what they want just because they are powerful. Why should just powerful countries act this way? Why should those who are less powerful not respond? Powerless people will find powerless means of responding when there are drone attacks,”.
Following the deadly Sukma attack by Left-wing extremists in which around 25 soldiers had lost their lives , Mani Shankar Aiyar had written an article in NDTV titled “‘How We Are Letting Heart Of India Slip Away” adding more salt to the wounds the article didn’t have a single line of condemnation of the brutal killing of 26 jawans but Mani Shankar Aiyar went on justifying the Left-wing extremists killing spree. Mani Shankar Aiyar blamed the prevalent corruption in the society and justified the killings implying that Naxals were provoked by “an intimidating forest guard, the corrupt forest contractor, the bullying thanedar, and the bribe-taking patwari’.
Illogical and insensitive comments by Congress leaders have further alienated them from ground realities. Mani Shankar Aiyar has undisputedly emerged as one with the most crass and illogical remarks. Many remarks by Mani Shankar Aiyar have been hurting the congress rather than the helping the already sinking boat, which might also be the reason behind his absence from the Indian political scene for long. However it remains to see how long the Congress-left nexus supports his sycophancy.