By revoking the suspension of Mani Shankar Aiyar from the primary membership of Congress, Rahul Gandhi has virtually owned up the diatribe of the notorious Congressman with foot-in-mouth against the nation.
Aiyar had not only shamed himself and the Congress by telling a Pakistani news channel from the soil of Islamabad in 2016 that the gridlock in ties between India and Pakistan could be resolved only after Narendra Modi is removed from the seat of power but he had also touched lowest depths of decency by describing the Prime Minister a Neech Aadmi a year after in 2017. “This person is a ‘neech aadmi’ (low-minded). He is not civilised and in a situation like this, there is no need to practise such dirty politics,” Aiyar had said.
The people like Aiyar had bruised the Indian pride more sinisterly than Hafiz Sayeed or chronic India bashers sitting across the border or in the Kashmir Valley. Remember the amateur understanding on Kashmir shown by Aiyar when he said the governments of India and Jammu and Kashmir had failed people in Kashmir. The observations were too sweeping and seemingly addressed to the galleries. Like other Congressmen, he too believes in populism, quite understandably, because of apparent hospitality bestowed upon him during his vacations in Kashmir. This is true about all his ilk– social activists, worn out bureaucrats in lurch of post retirement rehabilitations and the human rights votaries– who make a trip to the Valley in summers to escape scorching heat of plains. This spirit, however, gets lost during winters when mere thought of chill takes off their minds the ‘plight of Kashmiris’. The clan of free thinkers and humanists are seen like fair weather birds in the paradise that has been turned into a hell by the exploiters belonging to all hues.
A diplomat turned politician, Mani was required to make little distinction between himself and other free thinkers, especially being a member of the party which ruled New Delhi and Srinagar for quite a time. Instead of whipping up passions of youth he addressed, Mani better had prevailed upon his party for desisting from, what he had said, approach leading to failing the people of Kashmir. If Rahul Gandhi is thinking that by pitching loose cannon like Mani Shankar Aiyar against Narendra Modi, Congress can make any dent in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the fourth generation Nehru-Gandhi scion is totally wrong. He will get shock of his life when the people like Aiyar would turn more a liability than any asset. The Congress President should remember that the ‘Neech’ comment coming from Aiyar on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of Gujarat Assembly election had doomed the prospect of the party for another five years.
It is not the first time that Aiyar has said something which was seen as damaging Rahul’s prospects. On December 5 last year, when Rahul Gandhi had filed the nomination for Congress president’s post, Aiyar compared the succession process in the party to the Mughal rule. He asked whether there was an election when Jahangir succeeded Shah Jahan or when the latter gave way to Aurangzeb as the emperor.
The Congressmen are still haunted by the Chaiwalla comment for Narendra Modi by Aiyar had galvanized the BJP ahead of 2014 historic elections. The Chai Pe Charcha campaign was one of the few effective engines that led the BJP to Delhi throne on its own in over 65 years history of independent India.
By revoking the suspension of Aiyar, the Congress President has, in fact, obliged the BJP to launch a full throttled war against the desperate old grand party of India by hammering it through notorious Aiyar anecdotes.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper