His book, "Memoirs Of A Maverick," is a delightful read. It’s the sort of book that you can read in one sitting. And today, I am truly honored to host him again, this time on my podcast. He joins me from his home in Delhi, diplomat, politician, columnist, author, Mani Shankar Aiyar.Nov 08, 2023, 08 56 | Updated: Nov 08, 2023, 12 51
My guest today is the remarkable Mani Shankar Aiyar. If you haven’t heard of him, let’s simply admit that you’ve been living under a rock.
If you've been anywhere near the worlds of diplomacy, politics, or literature, you will know of him in detail but let me sum up his remarkable journey as succinctly as I can.
Mani Shankar Aiyar joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1963. He then went on to become the Consul General in Karachi, Pakistan in 1978 through 1982. His path took a significant turn when he entered the Prime Minister's Office in 1985, working closely with the late Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.
However, in 1989, he made a pivotal decision to leave the diplomatic arena and dive headfirst into politics. He served off and on as a Member of Parliament for the Congress Party for 25 years.
Aiyar is a diplomat and politician—a man of words with a deep well of knowledge and a vast literary appetite. His unfiltered and honest expression, which has sometimes landed him in hot water, causing his own party, the Congress Party, to distance themselves from his candid remarks.
His sense of humour is decidedly wicked and Wodehousian and he is nothing if not completely hilarious on demand. In one interview he spoke of his early Marxist leanings and being investigated by Indian intelligence for it. Of this, he said, “I think the Intelligence Bureau ultimately came to the conclusion that I was indeed a Marxist but of the Groucho variety.”
For all his education a career in the best places in administration, Aiyar remains a socialist. He believes that the real and equitable development of India can happen only ground up, from the villages. To this, the country created the Ministry Of Panchayati Raj… for him. He was its first minister.
His book, "Memoirs Of A Maverick," is a delightful read. It’s the sort of book that you can read in one sitting. And today, I am truly honored to host him again, this time on my podcast. He joins me from his home in Delhi, diplomat, politician, columnist, author, Mani Shankar Aiyar.
ABOUT MANI SHANKAR AIYAR
After Doon School and St Stephen’s College, he joined the Indian Foreign Service and served for 26 years. In 1985, Rajiv Gandhi inducted him into the Prime Minister's Office from where he migrated four years later into politics and Parliament.
Buy MEMOIRS OF A MAVERICK: https://amzn.to/3FJfsuy
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