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Mani Shankar Aiyar

Speaker for October 2nd, 2003 Young India Event

Mani Shankar Aiyar, born Lahore 10 April 1941, took his academic degrees in economics from Delhi and Cambridge and served 26 years in the Indian Foreign Service, the last five of which were on deputation to the Prime Minister's Office under Rajiv Gandhi (1985-89). He resigned from the Foreign Service in 1989 to take up a career in politics and the media, entering Parliament as a Congress MP from the state of Tamil Nadu in 1991 and being re-elected in 1999. He is a Special Invitee to the Congress Working Committee, the highest policy-making body of his Party 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 his Pakistan Papers and Remembering Rajiv, as also edited a four-volume publication, "Rajiv Gandhi's India". He is married with three grown-up daughters. His special interests include grassroots democracy, foreign policy particularly in the neighborhood of his country and West Asia, and nuclear disarmament.


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