Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who recently came out of the woodwork and interacted with media to express his unsavoury remarks for the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi, appeared thoroughly rattled as journalists questioned him over his ‘neech’ remark on PM Modi. Mani Shankar had recently penned an article in which he had defended his ‘neech’ remark for PM Modi he made in 2017 for which he was temporarily ousted from Congress.
“Sorry sir, aap naraaz mat hoiye.” Watch till the end. 🤦🏽♂️😄 pic.twitter.com/WTyXpeKWDl
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) May 14, 2019
In his recent interaction with the media, Mani Shankar Aiyar said to one of the journalists that he was getting ‘angry’ at his choice of questions. “There is a person in India, Narendra Modi. Haven’t you heard about his sharp attacks? Go and ask him,” Aiyar said. When the journalist dared to ask him, what he thinks would be the result on 23rd May, Aiyar shoved away the mic held to him and imperiously shouted “F*ck off” to the journalist.
However, what is truly amazing is the servility of the reporter who kept apologizing to Mani Shankar Aiyar for asking him seemingly tough questions and driving him up the wall. However, this is not the first time that Mani Shankar Aiyar has lost his cool on National television. Even as Aiyar lost temper and attempted a shoddy parody of PM Modi, the reporter continued profusely apologising for his questions that rubbed Aiyar the wrong way.
In 2017, Aiyar was expelled from Congress for his unruly behaviour and using a casteist slur to attack PM Modi. Many people at that time had speculated that his expulsion was because he might have upset Congress’ caste strategy with his ‘neech’ comment. However, it was just a smokescreen to placate the growing protest against Aiyar for his repulsive casteist remarks. The ouster was short-lived as he was again quietly reinstated in the party by the Congress president Rahul Gandhi, emboldening him and giving an impression that one can get away unpunished with abusing and using casteist slurs against opponents.
Aiyar had been incorrigible in his approach to attack his opponents. Earlier, during 2014 elections, Aiyar had contemptuously insulted Modi by saying that he was a ‘Chaiwala’ and he should dream of serving chai to parliamentarians, not of becoming the PM. Modi being an astute politician, used this barb to his advantage and scored a home run with his ‘Chai pe Charcha’ campaign and instantly connecting with the aspirational middle-class.
Aiyar’s cavalier disregard for civility in public life was evident when he was seen forcibly yanking the mike off the Republic TV journalist and shouting at the journalist to “f*ck off“. Aiyyar clearly felt no compunction for his act, as he pulled off the same incident of abusing a journalist. What was horrific then was that an India Today reporter was seen shielding Mani Shankar Aiyyar and defending his misbehaviour against a fellow journalist.
Even in the recent case where Mani Shankar Aiyar asks the CNN News18 reporter to “f*ck off”, the journalist who is being abused by Aiyar is seen abundantly sorry for his questions. The glaring servility of the media towards the habitual offender can’t be more pronounced. Instead of asking tough questions to his bosses- Congress leadership and Congress president Rahul Gandhi on his reinitiation in the party, journalists enthusiastically lap him up for his irrelevant political views only to take the rap for their misplaced alacrity.
The hurling of expletives at journalists by Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar shows that the politician has very low regard for the journalists and is confident of having to suffer no consequences for his flagrant misdemeanour. It also exhibits his unmitigated trust in the Congress party leadership that wouldn’t take any sustained and irreversible action against him. Media journalists would do well to realise that brown-nosing to this apparently abusive politician won’t yield any good, but only encourage him to continue with his scurrilous behaviour.