Mani Shankar Aiyar

Occupation:

Politician

Designation: Former Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas
Institution / Org:

Indian National Congress

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Mani Shankar Aiyar (born April 10, 1941, Lahore) is a former Indian diplomat who resigned from the foreign service and became a politician working for Rajiv Gandhi in 1989-1991. He is a member of the Indian National Congress party and was Panchayati Raj Minister until he lost his seat in the 2009 Election. He served as Union Cabinet Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas from May 2004 through January 2006 and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports till 2009.He represented the Mayiladuthurai constituency of Tamil Nadu in the 14th Lok Sabha.



Early life



Mani Shankar Aiyer is the son of V. Sankar Aiyar, a chartered accountant, and Bhagyalakshmi Sankar Aiyar. His younger brother is the journalist, Swaminathan Aiyar. They lost their father at age 12 in an air crash.He attended Welham Boys' School, The Doon School and St. Stephen's College, Delhi. After the loss of his father, Aiyar's mother had to negotiate with Doon to allow him to continue his studies with reduced fees and in return she taught at the school.



He graduated in economics from Delhi University, and then did a two-year Tripos in Economics at Cambridge University which, in the Oxbridge tradition, became an M.A. with passage of time. He was a member of Trinity Hall. He was also an active member of the Marxist Society in Cambridge. In Cambridge, Aiyar joined student politics and once even tried to win a presidential contest. He was supported by Rajiv Gandhi in his campaign who was his junior both at Doon and Cambridge.Until very recently he used to live in Sainik Farm, a construction declared illegal by the Delhi High Court ( as the last Lok Sabha Members Yearbook 2006 shows).



Career



He served for 26 years in the IFS, the last five of which were on deputation to the Prime Minister's Office under Rajiv Gandhi (1985-1989).He resigned from service in 1989 to take up a career in politics and the media, entering Parliament as a Congress MP from Mayiladuthurai in 1991,1999 and 2004 was badly mauled in 1996, 1998 and 2009.He is a special invitee to the Congress Working Committee and chairman of both the party's political training department and the department of policy planning and coordination. He is, besides, a well-known political columnist and has written several books, including Pakistan Papers and Remembering Rajiv, as also edited a four-volume publication, Rajiv Gandhi's India.His special interests include grassroots democracy, Indian foreign policy, particularly with India's neighborhood countries and West Asia, and nuclear disarmament.



Personal life



He was married on January 4, 1973 to Suneet Mani Aiyar. He has three daughters; the eldest is a lawyer, the second a development consultant, and the youngest a would-be historian doing her PhD at Harvard.


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Shaista ( Dubai,United arab Emirates) Tuesday, December 28, 2010 11:06:14 PM (MDT - USA)
I really admire Mr Mani Shankar, never miss his any talk shows. I love the way he put his point and feels he is a true representative of MODERN POLITICS.

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