Much ado about Mani Shankar Iyer

So he is at it again. Verbal diarrhea at its worst. Recent episode is about the MPs being loud mouthed in Parliament. He has said that they are animals and hence shout like one. In a way he is right to a great extent. However if we look at his performance in the Rajya Sabha especially during the Lok Pal debate, we find that he was on his feet as well as on top of his voice for the most part because Ram Jethmalani chose to malign Rajiv Gandhi. Hence Mani wanted to draw attention from the “family” and hence tried his best in the vocal contest.

Now let us look at what is wrong with Mani and what is right about what he said.

Mani, the quintessential leftist in the centre-left govt that he has been part of, came to stardom due to his classmate Rajiv Gandhi. Schooled at Doon school and later at St.Stephens Delhi, he got the “holier than thou” attitude once he became a foreign service officer. Later when his friend became the PM, he resigned from bureaucracy and became the minister of Panchayati Raj ( yes , you are right . The term Panchayati Raj differs from Goonda Raj in that they are differently spelled and also that Panchayati Raj is the term often associated with alien life and ministers, if assigned one, are mostly on the verge of entering a lunatic asylum).

With Rajiv’s demise, he faded away and tried various sycophantic means to be in power but was over powered by vested interests ( read Reliance, US, Essar etc ) and shifted out of the petroleum ministry. From then on he has become the non-official guarantor of secularism in national TV.

Having tried many means of being in the limelight, he tried his best to be of some relevance in Tamil Nadu. While at the center he is an outcast because of his “imaginary” leftist views, he is despised in Tamil Nadu because of his surname ( IYER is a four letter word in Tamil Nadu ) and an acerbic tongue that seems to suggest that who ever happens to be on the other side of him would need to declare himself as a nincompoop.

However one eminently admirable trait of Mani is his ability to pretend that he is immensely wanted in the Congress party and speak thus in the media. However sycophantic he has tried to be, he has so far been kept away from the corridors of power by the powers that be ( read Reliance, US ). Hence his diatribe against the parliamentarians now.

Not that what he said was not right. Manis’ words are true to the last dot. We don’t see anything happening in the Parliament. What we see regularly in the parliament is the routine of parliamentarians testing their vocal cords and their lung power and in some cases their 6.5 packs as well ( being MPs they are entitled to an extra 0.5 pack more than ordinary folks ).

But I would not pardon Mani for his remark that all MPs shout like animals inside the parliament. How could he say so against the MPs from Tamil Nadu ? Has anybody seen any MP from Tamil Nadu speak in parliament, leave alone shout ? How dignified and polite ( read dumb founded ) they are in Parliament ? While in Delhi, the only time they open their mouth is in the Parliament canteen.

Wait a minute – I need to scold Mani for his remark on MPs especially the Tamil MPs despite their dignified behavior. How could he be so unjust to the Tamil MPs ? How could he accuse them of shouting when they don’t know what is happening in the Parliament as the other MPs shout either in Hindi or in English , albeit rarely ? They often stand up in Parliament dumb founded resembling an Anna Durai statue. The only difference between the Tamil MPs and the Prime Minister is that the latter speaks once on Aug 15.

Hence , Mani, beware, my Tamil Blood is boiling beyond any measurable limit due to your intemperate comments. Please apologize to the Tamil MPs as you cannot accuse them of any shouting in Parliament when they have hardly opened their mouths either for Sri Lanka or Cauvery or FDI or Mullai Periyar or anything of interest to the common man.

I give you a way out of this conundrum. If you can’t apologize to the MPs, then apologize to the animals for comparing them with MPs.

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