Speaking at a session titled, ‘The Current State of India-Pakistan Relations’ which held in Delhi on Thursday, Mani Shankar Aiyar while talking about integrating Muslim community into rest of the country said, “Biggest issue of nation building is integrating Muslim community into rest of country, but there is a large section in India that believes Muslims were responsible for India’s vivisection and therefore draws parallel between Muslims who made Pakistan and Muslims who remained here in India.” The session was also attended by Pakistan’s former Foreign Affairs Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.
Further speaking about integrating Muslim community into rest of the country, Mani Shankar Aiyar said, “Are we going to integrate them (Muslims)? Can we do it if there is a hostile relationship with Pakistan? We are damaging our own nationhood by enabling Pakistan to continue being considered enemy territory for no reason other than that it is inhabited and created by Muslims. So we need to work out ways of consolidating our own nationhood and one very important aspect of that is somehow creating a relationship with Pakistan which will enable our Muslims to not be held responsible for what Hafiz Saeed does or did or will do.”
Mani Shankar Aiyar was suspended by the Congress party after he took a derogatory jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling him a ‘neech kism ka aadmi’ (a vile man). Aiyar’s comment on PM Modi drawn sharp criticism from many political leaders across parties. Congress party vice-president Rahul Gandhi even asked his senior party leader to apologise for his remarks on the prime minister.
Not only Rahul Gandhi, but even PM Narendra Modi himself gave a befitting reply to Mani Shankar Aiyar at a poll rally in Gujarat’s Surat. PM Modi had said, “I beg to the people of India, please let them be. Let them keep calling me ‘neech’ we will not respond. We do not have this mindset and want to congratulate them for theirs. If anything, we will answer them for their mindset with our votes on 9th and 14th.”