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Mani Shankar Aiyar strikes again, claims China “allegedly” invaded India in 1962, Congress says he is senile and should be ignored

Congress foul-mouth Mani Shankar has an unparalleled reputation for making controversial statements that inadvertently harm his party. On the 28th of May, the senior Congress leader stoked a fresh controversy after he termed the 1962 Indo-China war as an “alleged Chinese invasion”, hinting that he does not believe that China attacked India.

Speaking at an event at the Foreign Correspondents Club on Tuesday, Mani Shankar Aiyar said, “In October 1962, China allegedly invaded India. On the day that Tawang fell, the foreign service exams began in London. When they were over, the newspapers used to make references to me as being very left wing and a communist…”

Mani Shankar Aiyar also attacked the Intelligence Bureau under PM Jawaharlal Nehru after he was not selected for the foreign services. He claimed that he was rejected because the IB read in the newspapers that he was a communist and raised money for China. The veteran Congress leader claimed the Intelligence Bureau lacked intelligence.

Aiyar’s comments calling China’s invasion of India in 1962 triggered an outrage on social media and Bhartiya Janata Party leader Amit Malviya slammed the Congress leader for giving clean chit to China. He also highlighted former PM Jawaharlal Nehru’s blunders like giving up India’s claim on the UNSC permanent seat, Rahul Gandhi’s MoU with China, etc as he questioned Congress’s “love” for China.

Taking to X, Malviya wrote, “Mani Shankar Aiyar, speaking at the FCC, during launch of a book called Nehru’s First Recruits, refers to Chinese invasion in 1962 as ‘alleged’. This is a brazen attempt at revisionism. Nehru gave up India’s claim on the permanent seat at the UNSC in favour of the Chinese, Rahul Gandhi signed a secret MoU, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation accepted funds from the Chinese Embassy and published reports recommending market access for Chinese companies, based on them, Sonia Gandhi’s UPA opened up Indian market for Chinese goods, hurting MSMEs and now Congress leader Aiyar wants to whitewash the Chinese invasion, post which the Chinese have been in illegal occupation of 38,000 sq km of Indian territory. What explains Congress’s love for the Chinese?”

Amidst the outrage, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, who besides his usual job in the party has also been distancing the party from the controversial remarks of its leaders like Aiyar and Sam Pitroda these days, blamed Aiyar’s age and distanced the party from his comments.

“Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar has subsequently apologised unreservedly for using the term “alleged invasion” mistakenly. Allowances must be made for his age. The INC distances itself from his original phraseology. The Chinese invasion of India that began on October 20 1962 was for REAL. So too were the Chinese incursions in Ladakh in early May 2020 in which 20 of our soldiers were martyred and the status quo disturbed…” Ramesh posted on X.

While Jairam Ramesh is now claiming that the Modi government gave clean chit to China’s illegal incursions into Indian territory in 2020, citing an incomplete video of PM Modi’s remarks made during a June 2020 all-party meeting, PM Modi did not deny the occurrence of Galwan clashes.

The Prime Minister said, “Neither have they intruded into our border, nor has any post been taken over by them (China). Twenty of our jawans were martyred, but those who dared Bharat Mata, they were taught a lesson [Na wahan koi hamari seema mein ghus aaya hai, na hi koi ghusa hua hai, na hi hamari koi post kisi doosre ke kabze main hai. Ladakh mein hamaare 20 jaanbaaz shaheed hue, lekin jinhone Bharat mata ki taraf aankh uthakar dekha tha unhe wo sabak sikhakar gaye].”

Indo-China war 1962

The Indo-China War of 1962, also known as the Sino-Indian War, was a brief but intense conflict that erupted between India and China over territorial disputes in the Himalayan border regions. The war began on the 20th of October, 1962, and lasted until the 21st of November, 1962, resulting in a decisive Chinese victory and a significant impact on India’s defence policy and regional geopolitics. Although there were multiple causes behind China’s invasion, the primary cause of the war was a long-standing border dispute over the Aksai Chin region and Arunachal Pradesh. China claimed Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin to be a part of its Xinjiang province. OpIndia has reported earlier how PM Nehru had ignored the military’s warning of a possible Chinese attack two years before the Chinese invasion.

Mani Shankar Aiyar and Pakistan: The eternal love story

This is not the first time that Mani Shankar Aiyar pushed the Congress party in a tough spot with his outrageous remarks. While Sam Pitroda hogged all the ‘limelight’ for his inheritance tax and a racist remark, Mani Shankar Aiyar expressed his admiration for Pakistan. Aiyar said that India should respect Pakistan. Aiyar said that India must respect Pakistan because ‘unki bhi izzat hai’ adding that they have “atom bombs”. The Congress leader made these remarks while advocating for a resumption of talks with Pakistan. Probably, Aiyar wanted the Modi government to give Pakistan the izzat the UPA government gave to the hostile neighbour after 26/11 and at Sharm al Sheikh.

In February this year, in line with the Pakistani narrative, Aiyar blamed ‘Hindutva’ for the Modi government not resuming bilateral talks with Pakistan. He also claimed that India currently does not have the “courage” to sit across the table and talk with Pakistan.

“Under Hindutva, they are trying to imitate Pakistan, which became an Islamic republic. The Gandhi-Nehru answer to the Islamic republic was that they would not become a republic based on religion but a republic based on all religions. But their philosophy that lasted for 65 years was overthrown in 2014 and for the next five years we are going to have the same mindset in Delhi,” Aiyar said.

Back in 2019, Mani Shankar Aiyar sought help from Pakistan to remove PM Modi so that India-Pakistan talks could progress.

In 2018, Aiyar said that he gets more “love in Pakistan” and a “lot more hatred in India”. Aiyar was speaking on the sidelines of an event in Pakistan. Getting love in Pakistan is obvious since Aiyar peddles Pakistan’s anti-India narrative.

Interestingly, overlooking Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s role in Direct Action Day, Aiyar once hailed Jinnah for his role in the freedom movement and even referred to him as Quaid-e-Azam. Aiyar said this in defence of Jinnah’s role in the partition.

Mani Shankar Aiyar’s vile attacks against PM Modi

In the run-up to the 2014 elections, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar had taken a dig at Prime Minister Modi’s humble beginning as a tea seller and said that Modi can distribute tea but can never be the Prime Minister. It, however, is widely known how PM Modi turned Aiyar’s attack into a badge of honour and held ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ and eventually won a historic victory in the general elections.

In December 2017, called PM Modi a “neech kisam ka aadmi” ahead of the Gujarat Assembly election. “Ye bahut hi neech kisam ka aadmi hai, is mein koi sabhyata nahi hai…” Aiyar said. PM Modi had again turned Aiyar’s ‘neech’ jibe in his favour and BJP ended up winning the majority in Gujarat elections. Back then, not Jairam Ramesh but the Congress Prince Rahul Gandhi himself tried to distance his party from Aiyar’s casteist remark against PM Modi and “expected” an apology from him. However, Aiyar never properly apologised.

While Jairam Ramesh is now suggesting that Aiyar is senile and should be ignored, the Congress party never took any strict action against Aiyar for his outrageous remarks over the years even though they and continue to harm the party. Interestingly, in 2019 Prime Minister Modi said that Congress has fielded “two batsmen” to defend the “naamdar” Rahul Gandhi. Here the two batsmen were none other than Sam Pitroda and Mani Shankar Aiyar. PM Modi said that Congress would blame these two for its defeat. It seems like the Congress party may have unleashed its two “batsmen” at this time when its defeat is nearly inevitable, to take the blame for the Gandhi prince’s yet another failed relaunch.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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