< Previous |
| Next >

Mani Shankar Aiyyar

See more videos


The Man Who Doesn’t Hold Back

Born in Lahore in 1941, Mani Shankar Aiyar is an outspoken Congress politician, a vocal critic of neo-liberal development policies, an ardent believer in grassroots democracy and usually a dissenting voice within his own party.  “I am ashamed of belonging to the bureaucracy,” he once said in the Rajya Sabha on a discussion about development funds not reaching their destination. In another recent public statement he called the Congress headquarters “a circus.” A former Indian diplomat with 26 years of service in the Indian foreign services of which the last five in the Prime Minister’s office under Rajiv Gandhi, Aiyar resigned from the IFS in 1989 to join politics. He has been elected as Congress M.P from Mayiladuthurai in 1991 and 2004. He has served has Union Cabinet Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Sports Minister.  Most recently, he was Minister of Panchayati Raj Minister until he lost his seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. The Founder President of the Society for Secularism, Aiyar is frequently invited to seminars on poverty alleviation, foreign policy and nuclear disarmament in India and abroad. He is a well-known political columnist. He is the author of Pakistan Papers and Remembering Rajiv, and has edited a four-volume publication, Rajiv Gandhi’s India. At present, he is a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee and a chairman of both the party’s political training department and the department of policy planning and coordination.

< Previous | /
| Next >