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.