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  India   Politics  29 May 2024  BJP targets Aiyar ‘doubt’ on China invading India

BJP targets Aiyar ‘doubt’ on China invading India

THE ASIAN AGE. | ASHHAR KHAN
Published : May 29, 2024, 11:19 pm IST
Updated : May 29, 2024, 11:19 pm IST

BJP calls his comments an attack on the integrity of India and an insult to every soldier who had sacrificed their life for the nation

Mani Shankar Aiyar.
 Mani Shankar Aiyar.

New Delhi: The BJP on Wednesday targeted the Congress Party over Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remark that “China ‘allegedly’ invaded India in 1962”, saying that his comments were an attack on the integrity of India and an insult to every soldier who had sacrificed their life for the nation.

Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club here Tuesday night, Aiyar referred to the 1962 India-China war as “alleged Chinese invasion”. “In October 1962, the Chinese allegedly invaded India,” he said at a book launch, according to a video circulating on the social media. Aiyar has subsequently apologised “unreservedly” for “mistakenly” using the term.

The Congress was quick to distance itself from Aiyar’s remarks, saying “allowances must be made for his age”. AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh posted on X: “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 20 of our soldiers were martyred and the status quo disturbed.”

BJP spokesman Gurav Bhatia went on to attack Aiyar, and said: “Nearly 1,400 of our soldiers sacrificed their lives in the 1962 war. They fought till their last breath. These traitorous words are of Mani Shankar Aiyar, but this thought is that of Rahul Gandhi.”

“Just a few days ago, Mani Shankar Aiyar had said Pakistan has the atomic bomb… Our Army is our pride. Why are signals being given to both enemy countries by the Congress? Is this happening because the Congress knows that it is about to be wiped out?” Bhatia asked.

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."

Speaking on the Indian Foreign Service, to which he once belonged, at the launch of Kallol Bhattacharjee’s Nehru’s First Recruits, Aiyar said: “The IFS up to my generation and even into the 21st century was an upper caste service. It was a service made up of ‘Macaulay ki aulad’ (children of Lord Macaulay). Now, it is becoming more democratic and it has a lot of Hindi speakers... We are getting the flavour of our country into the foreign service, and that I think is a very good thing”.

“I was very impressed on a visit to Istanbul to find a new recruit who could only speak to me in Hindi. But by the time I reached Istanbul again the following year, the same gentleman spoke fluent English and, more important, fluent Turkish. So, we are getting the flavour of our country into the foreign service, and that I think is a very good thing," he added.

 

Tags: mani shankar aiyar, chinese invasion
Location: India, Delhi