A vile tongue

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A vile tongue

Mani Shankar Aiyar called the Prime Minister ‘neech'. But it's he who must see the mirror

For all the recurrent damage he has inflicted on his party, mere suspension from the Congress would seem to be a gentle tap on Mani Shankar Aiyar's palm, administered with the force of a swat to drive away a persistent mosquito. Years of benign indulgence by Ms Sonia Gandhi dulled him into the belief that fawning loyalty to the party's First Family will insulate him forever from disciplinary action. He was spared the rod even when he went hammer and tongs at late PV Narasimha Rao and briefly even quit the party to become a founder member of the Trinamool Congress. Aiyar's latest vile comment that Modi is a neech person has the potential of overturning whatever chances the Congress might have had of performing well at the hustings in Gujarat. This comes just a few years after he called Modi a chaiwala unfit for higher calling, and offered to give him space outside the AICC conference venue to peddle tea. This remark made before the 2014 Lok Sabha poll had outraged Indians. Modi turned this offensive comment to huge political advantage, asserting pride in his humble origins, thereby connecting with India's poor and underprivileged. The Congress paid dearly and its tally was reduced to a paltry 44 seats in the Lok Sabha.

Such is Mr Aiyar's elitist superiority complex that he regards everyone outside his charmed circle of the Brahminical priviligentsia as gutter snipes, without realizing that his own behavior fits that description most aptly. Arguably he went to St.Stephen's College, Oxford University and got into the IFS. But then, so did several thousand others who never lost their humility or basic human etiquette. Stephanians would be ashamed of the disrepute he has brought to the institution by his uncouth demeanour. Such is his passion to stay in the limelight that he would readily turn the knives into the innards of his own party rather then put sellotape on his indefatigable mouth and stop his endless blabber. Even after he got sacked from the Petroleum Ministry in the UPA Government for volubly going against official policy Aiyar failed to tone down his empty banter. He has always delighted in running down his presumed enemies which probably includes most of humankind. Despite being one of India's most dislikable personalities, Aiyar has routinely blasphemed others including leaders of his own party.

Finally, it would appear he has met his match in Narendra Modi, who has little patience for such supercilious uppityness. The time had long come to silence Aiyar's rakish behaviour and the Prime Minister seems determined to do that. Once, Samajwadi leader Amar Singh had dealt a firm blow to the rear part of Aiyar's anatomy and ego at a well attended social gathering. After staying chastened for a few years thereafter Aiyar resumed his offensive rants. Fortunately, the Congress party's president-designate has acted, even if not firmly enough. If he is now expelled from the party by Rahul Gandhi, he will have nowhere else to go and the nation may be rid of a scourge called Mani Shankar Aiyar. Good riddance, most would say! 

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