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Mani Shankar Aiyar Calls China's Invasion Of India In 1962 'Alleged', BJP Questions Congress On 'Love For Chinese'

Swarajya Staff

May 29, 2024, 01:25 PM | Updated 01:25 PM IST

Senior Congress Leader Mani Shankar Aiyar (Flickr)
Senior Congress Leader Mani Shankar Aiyar (Flickr)

In what seems like another instance of foot in mouth, former Union minister and veteran Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has again sparked controversy, this time with his comments on China.

Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia, Aiyar referred to the 1962 India-China war as an “alleged Chinese invasion”, a statement that drew significant backlash.

In a video that has gone viral, Aiyar is heard saying, “In October 1962, the Chinese allegedly invaded India”, as per a report by The Indian Express.

However, when questioned by an audience member about his choice of the word “allegedly", Aiyar apologised, claiming he had used the term mistakenly.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has criticised Aiyar’s comments, accusing him of attempting to revise historical events.

Amit Malviya, the BJP’s IT Cell chief, accused Aiyar of trying to “whitewash the Chinese invasion”.

Malviya’s tweet stated: “Mani Shankar Aiyar, speaking at the FCC during the launch of a book called Nehru’s First Recruits, refers to the Chinese invasion in 1962 as ‘alleged’. This is a brazen attempt at revisionism. Nehru gave up India’s claim on a permanent seat at the UNSC in favor of the Chinese. Rahul Gandhi signed a secret MoU. The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation accepted funds from the Chinese Embassy and published reports recommending market access for Chinese companies."

It further continued, "Based on these reports, Sonia Gandhi’s UPA opened up the Indian market for Chinese goods, hurting MSMEs. Now, Congress leader Aiyar wants to whitewash the Chinese invasion, post which the Chinese have been in illegal occupation of 38,000 sq km of Indian territory. What explains Congress’ love for the Chinese?”

Congress has distanced itself from Aiyar’s comments. General Secretary Jairam Ramesh stated that Aiyar had apologised unreservedly for his mistaken use of the term “alleged invasion” and urged allowances for his age.

Ramesh emphasised that the Chinese invasion of India in October 1962 was real, as were the Chinese incursions in Ladakh in early May 2020, during which 20 Indian soldiers were martyred.

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