Wednesday, November 04, 2015

De-Macaulayization - 9

Mani Shankar Aiyar is a politician of the Indian National Congress.  He is a bit in the news these days for hobnobbing with Pervez Musharraf, even just after Musharraf has admitted to sponsoring terrorism in IndiaJournalist Dhiren Bhagat, in his book "The Contemporary Conservative" (1990) claimed that in 1962, when India was in a war with China, Aiyar, then at Cambridge in the UK, and the secretary of the Cambridge unit of the Communist Party, collected funds for the Chinese soldiers.  Supposedly Aiyar's influential family intervened to not let this anti-national activity interfere with his career.  Aiyar is a Sonia Gandhi loyalist, and in 2000 got into a drunken altercation with a Samajwadi Party leader, Amar Singh, for his successful opposition to Sonia Gandhi becoming Prime Minister of India.

This above is relevant because that is where the disgusting Macaulayite attitude comes through.
Reproducing some of the interview here, and highlighting the relevant portion.

What was the provocation for the brawl at Satish Gujral's party?

In spite of being greatly provoked, I kept my cool for a very long time. The party was in honour of H.K. Dua, press advisor to the Prime Minister and a good friend of mine, who'd recently got married. Practically everybody who matters was there. Mani came up to me absolutely drunk and charged: `You are a racist. You prevented Sonia Gandhi from becoming the Prime Minister only because she's a foreigner.' I kept quiet.

Did you think it wasn't worth countering? Or was it because you did stall her premiership?

I did not prevent her from becoming the PM. It was the collective decision of Samajwadi Party MPs and MLAs under Mulayam Singh's leadership. As a spokesperson it was my duty to articulate the party's view.

Surely that wasn't provocation enough?

Mani didn't stop at that. He called me an opportunist, a political weather cock. I countered: I was with Mulayam and I'm still with him. It's you who, when denied a Congress seat, went over to Mamata and when she spurned you, you came back, calling her names. Mani shot back: `You are a broker of industrialists, you are Ambani's dog.' Without losing my shirt, I replied: Fine, as far as the Ambanis are concerned you people are virgins. Your party has not taken a single penny from them. As for proximity with industrialists the Congress has been in close touch with many of them. I told him: Yeh tu nahi, sharaab bol raha hai. To which Mani replied: `Mera dil aur dimaag bol raha hai'. Continuing in the same vein I said: Mote Mani Shankar, sharaab ke nashe mein dhhut tera sara shareer dol raha hai.

He was not offended?

He just wanted to provoke me, and when I didn't get provoked, he said, `What sort of a Thakur are you?' He just wanted to pick up a fight.

Why would he do that?

So that he could go back and tell Soniaji, I fixed Amar Singh, I'm the only one who could do it, and thus ensure a berth in the Congress Working Committee. I told Mani, I know your gameplan. I'm not going to help you get into Soniaji's charmed circle. To which he said, `You are under-estimating my clout with her, I write all her speeches. I did it for Rajiv.' Sure, how can anybody forget those infamous lines, `Mein VP Singh ki naani yaad karadoonga. God help the leader and the party which has a speech writer like you, I replied. He gave a maa ki gali. I said politely, but firmly, I can also abuse your mother, but I won't stoop so low. For god's sake don't provoke the beast in me.

But he did? 
He was irrepressible... He said, `We belong to the Oxford and Cambridge set... your leader can't even articulate himself in English... Oh that bloody Mulayam -- he looks just like me. It could be because my father visited UP at some point. Why don't you check with Mulayam's mother'. This was crossing all limits. I grabbed him by the neck and did what I had to do.

You beat him up?

I did much less than what he deserved.

You said that knowing his gameplan you refused to get provoked. Why did you get provoked?

Mulayam Singh is very close to my heart. He is my leader. I'm sorry about what I did. I don't think it was right.

So you regret what you did?
I don't. I'm human, I'm not an angel. I got provoked when he talked about my leader's mother in such a derogatory manner. As a member of civil society I'm ashamed.

Mani Shankar Aiyar also termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi a chaiwala (tea vendor) not deserving to be Prime Minister.   Whenever the era of elitists like Aiyar is over will not be too soon.

PS: Perhaps I should point out that the stuff about English came fairly late in Aiyar's escalating insults.