‘Brazen attempt at…’: Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ’Chinese allegedly invaded India’ remark sparks spat between Congress and BJP

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's remarks using the word ‘alleged’ for the Chinese invasion in 1962 kicked up a political row late Tuesday with the BJP calling it a ‘brazen attempt at revisionism’.

Written By Alka Jain
Updated29 May 2024
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar. (ANI Photo)
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar. (ANI Photo)

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's use of the word "alleged" to describe the 1962 Indo-China war sparked a political debate on Tuesday, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) calling it a "brazen attempt at revisionism."

Aiyar, speaking at an event at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Delhi on Tuesday evening, was quoted narrating an anecdote, saying, “In October 1962, the Chinese allegedly invaded India.”

However, he later apologised for using “alleged” in a brief statement. “I unreservedly apologise for having mistakenly used the word 'alleged' before 'Chinese invasion' at the Foreign Correspondents Club this evening.”

BJP leader Amit Malviya slammed the Congress over Aiyar's remarks. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Malviya wrote, “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 favour of the Chinese, Rahul Gandhi signed a secret MoU, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation accepted funds from the Chinese Embassy and published reports recommending market access for Chinese companies…,” he said.

"…based on them, Sonia Gandhi's UPA opened up the Indian market for Chinese goods, hurting MSMEs, and 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's love for the Chinese?” the BJP leader asked.

Responding to the BJP's criticism, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh pointed out that Aiyar had subsequently apologised "unreservedly" for using the term "alleged invasion" “mistakenly.” He accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of giving the Chinese a “clean chit” for their incursions in May 2020.

"Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar has subsequently apologised unreservedly for using the term "alleged invasion" mistakenly. Allowances must be made for his age. The INC distances itself from his original phraseology," he wrote on the microblogging site.

“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,” he said.

“The outgoing PM, however, gave a clean chit publicly to the Chinese on June 19th 2020, seriously weakening our negotiating position. 2000 sq km of territory including Depsang and Demchok remain out of bounds for Indian troops,” Ramesh added.

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