Aiyar faces retort from PM, rebuke from Rahul for 'neech aadmi' remark

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi with party leader Mani Shanker Aiyar. File   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on December 7 called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “neech aadmi (vile man)” and one who does “dirty politics”.

“He [Mr. Modi] is a neech kism ka aadmi  who has no sabhyata [civility],” Mr. Aiyar said after Mr. Modi accused the Congress of seeking votes in the name of B.R. Ambedkar but trying to erase his contribution to building India.

The Prime Minister made the remark while inaugurating the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi that was conceived 23 years ago.

“Such was his [Ambedkar’s] incredible strength that when years after his demise efforts were made by such people to crush his philosophy, when efforts were made to erase his contribution towards nation building, his ideals could not be wiped out from people’s memory,” he said.

Mr. Modi said he would not be wrong in saying that “more people are still influenced by his [Ambedkar’s] ideas than the family for which such efforts [to erase his contribution] were made.”

Mr. Aiyar claimed that it was the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who recognised Ambedkar’s potential. “What is the need for doing dirty politics on such an occasion,” he asked.

‘Mughal mentality’

Responding to Mr. Aiyar’s remarks, Mr. Modi termed them “Mughal mentality”. “Mani Shankar Aiyar today said I belong to neech caste, I am neech, this is an insult to Gujarat,” Mr. Modi said in Surat. “Have I done any neech work in my public life?”

While asking BJP workers not to respond to Mr. Aiyar’s remarks against him, he said, “This is Mughal mentality, which hates people who even wear good clothes."


Apologise, says Rahul

Amid the development, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi asked Mr. Aiyar to apologise to Mr. Modi. “BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party. The Congress has a different culture and heritage. I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer [sic] to address the PM. Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted.

Aiyar tenders apology

Later, Mr. Aiyar tendered an apology. “I never meant low-born. There is a difference in English language between words ‘low’ and “low-born." But in Hindi if low means low-born, then I tender apology,” he told reporters.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 4:33:30 PM |

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