Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday triggered a major political storm by calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a ‘neech aadmi’
BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party. The Congress has a different culture and heritage. I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer to address the PM. Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said.
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) December 7, 2017
3) The Prime Minister referred to Aiyar’s remarks in an election meeting in Surat and attacked the Congress leader, saying he had called him a “neech jaati” (low caste). “They can call me ‘neech jaati‘. Yes, I am from the poor section of society and will spend every moment of my life to work for the poor, Dalits, tribals and backward classes. That is my culture. They can keep their language, we will do our work,” Modi told an election rally.
4) Modi said Aiyar came from a good family, has a number of university degrees, was a diplomat for a number of years and remained a minister in the Manmohan Singh government, but was resorting to such insults. “This is an insult to Gujarat. Not just to Gujarat but to the entire nation.”
He said Aiyar was speaking out of the “Mughlai mindset” that “sees everyone as ‘neech‘”.
5) Reporters got around to Aiyar at a function in Delhi’s WWF Auditorium Hall and asked him about Modi’s attack and Gandhi’s demand that he issue an apology.
“Yes, I used the word ‘neech‘. Now, I am not a Hindi speaker and I translate from English to Hindi. So I used ‘low person’, I translated ‘low’ in my mind. If it happened to mean something else. I apologise. ‘Neech‘ as I understand is a direct translation of ‘low’,” Aiyar clarified.
“I never meant ‘low born’. In English there’s a clear distinction between ‘low’ and ‘low born’. It is very possible that in Hindi — which is not my natural language and which I learned after much effort — I translated ‘low’ as ‘neech‘. But if neech also means ‘low born’ then I apologise that I used a word which can be interpreted in many ways, and in the way Modiji is interpreting it, I have nothing to do with that,” he said, adding, “I don’t think he is low born but his language is very, I’ll say in English, is very low language. Why would he use such a low language for the Congress on such an occasion. Whatever I say they want to misinterpret. As far as I am concerned the bulk of my remarks dealt with Modi’s very, very nasty remarks about the Congress, particularly with Gandhi’s relationship with Ambedkar.”
The Congress Party has challenged the weaker and backward sections of India by calling the Prime Minister as ’Neech’ . The strength of India’s Democracy will be displayed when a person of humble background politically defeats the dynasty and its representatives.
Mani Shankar Aiyer’s ‘Neech’ remark against the Prime Minister displays a mindset that only one elite family can be a ruler and the rest are only the ‘Neech’.
Mani Shankar Aiyer’s ‘Neech’ -attack on Prime Minister- a deliberate casteist statement, a convenient apology, a strategic suspension. People should see through this game
8) A couple of days ago, the Prime Minister had brought up another comment by Aiyar to liken Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi’s imminent elevation to the consecration of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
First Published: Fri, December 08 2017. 08:44 IST