Chinese ‘allegedly invaded' India in 1962: Mani Shankar Aiyar sparks fresh row; BJP, Congress react | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Chinese ‘allegedly invaded' India in 1962: Mani Shankar Aiyar sparks fresh row; BJP, Congress react

May 29, 2024 12:30 PM IST

Jairam Ramesh of Congress pointed out that Mani Shankar Aiyar has subsequently apologised, and that the party distances itself from the “original phraseology”.

Mani Shankar Aiyar News: Mani Shankar Aiyar, a senior Congress leader, triggered a fresh controversy after he referred to the 1962 Indo-China war as an “alleged Chinese invasion”. As a purported video of an event at the Foreign Correspondents Club on Tuesday, where Mani Shankar Aiyar made the statement, started circulating on social media, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh pointed out that his party colleague had subsequently apologised “unreservedly” for using the term "alleged invasion" “mistakenly”, and that the party distances itself from the “original phraseology”.

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar.(ANI)
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar.(ANI)

Jairam Ramesh also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of giving the Chinese a “clean chit” for their incursions in May 2020.

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In the video clip from an event – the book launch of 'Nehru's First Recruits' – Mani Shankar Aiyar is heard sayin, "...In October 1962, the Chinese allegedly invaded India."

Later, in a brief statement, Aiyar said, "I unreservedly apologise for having mistakenly used the word ‘alleged’ before 'Chinese invasion' at the Foreign Correspondents Club this evening."

BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya, however, hit out at the Congress over Aiyar's remarks.

“Mani Shankar Aiyar, speaking at the FCC, during the launch of a book called Nehru's First Recruits, refers to the Chinese invasion in 1962 as 'alleged'. This is a brazen attempt at revisionism,” Amit Malviya wrote on X (formally Twitter).

"Nehru gave up India's claim on 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," he alleged.

What explains “Congress's love for the Chinese?” Amit Malviya asked.

Amid the controversy, Jairam Ramesh, in a post on X, said, "Allowances must be made for his (Aiyar's) 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 40 of our soldiers were martyred and the status quo disturbed," Ramesh wrote.

"The outgoing PM, however, gave a clean chit publicly to the Chinese on June 19th 2020, seriously weakening our negotiating position. 2000 sq km of territory including Depsang and Demchok remain out of bounds for Indian troops," Ramesh added.

The Congress general secretary also reposted his old remarks in which he had accused PM Narendra Modi of giving a clean chit to China.

Mani Shankar Aiyar recalls IFS exam episode

At the event, Mani Shankar Aiyar also recalled an episode from the time when he had taken the examination for the Indian Foreign Service.

"On the day, Tawang fell, the Foreign Service exams began in London. When it was over...I was prominent in politics, and the newspapers used to make reference to me as being very left-wing, being a communist. After I passed the foreign service exam, and I had done very well. I found I was not finding any kind of admission letter. So, I wrote to the ministry of external affairs, that I have not received the joining letter," Aiyar said.

"I got the reply through Telegram stating 'Regret to inform you, that you have been rejected from all services' and I immediately realised what this was about...The Intelligence Bureau had a very important source of information on Indian students studying in foreign universities...it was called Yellow Rats... They came to the conclusion that since I am a communist and since I raised money for the Chinese. I was not able to raise money for my dinner, how will I raise money for the Chinese? I was removed from the list and rushed back to India," Aiyar added.

Mani Shankar Aiyar's recent controversies

The former Union minister has been no stranger to controversies.

Earlier this month, Aiyar courted controversy after an interview clip of his went viral, wherein he could be heard saying that Pakistan is a "respected nation" that also possesses an atom bomb so India must enter into a dialogue with them.

He added that there have been “no efforts” from India to “reach out” to Pakistan in the last ten years.

In February, the Congress veteran sparked another row after coming out in praise of Pakistani people and terming them as the "biggest asset of India".

Speaking at the session titled 'Hijr Ki Rakh, Visaal Kay Phool, Indo-Pak affairs' in Lahore, Aiyar shared his affection for Pakistan and its people, saying he had never been to a country where he had been welcomed with such open arms as he was in Pakistan.

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