Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Sardar & A Son of Sardar

Congress spokespersons Manish Tiwari, Anand Sharma, Digvijay Singh etc. have accused Narendra Modi and BJP of trying to usurp Sardar Patel's legacy, which as per them "belongs to Congress". This is because sharing the dais with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the opening ceremony of Shri Sardar Vallabhbhai Smruti Smarak, in Ahmedabad on Tuesday,   Narendra Modi said that the country's destiny would have been different had Sardar Patel become the first Prime Minister. He credited Patel, the first home minister, with uniting the country and said the same unity and integrity was under threat from terrorism and Maoism at present. Reading from a prepared speech, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tried to question Narendra Modi's claim on Sardar Patel's legacy as he said that the late leader was secular and a Congressman and he was proud to be a member of the same Congress party that Patel was associated with.

PM and his Congress colleagues should realise that the Congress they represent today is not the same congress which won India's independence, which had people from different ideology like SP Mukherjee (Jan Sangha founder), Jaya Prakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia etc. In 1969, Indira Gandhi was expelled from the Indian National Congress(INC), which won India's independence  & she formed break away Congress(I) and they all represent that Congress(I) only. Congress has reduced the present Congress to a single family dynastic organization headed by someone from that family or a stooge of that family. The other real heroes of India’s independence movement or even post independence India have been relegated by the present Congress in to oblivion. No leader who  participated in the freedom movement would now be wishing to identify themselves with today's congress. But patriot Indians have an inherent right to revere any national hero beyond the pale of the political hue he is coloured with because of association with a political party. Sardar  Patel is neither the property of Congress nor BJP. He is the pride and property of the Nation, who united India and if Congress had not come in Patel's way, there would not have been a Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) today. All of us know that every second building, stadium, road or program/project in every part of the country is named after Nehru, Indira or Rajiv Gandhi. In comparison one could count in finger tips, the instances where Sardar Patel's name has been used. Today as Modi has built the tallest statue of Patel, Congress has suddenly remembered that Patel was their man. Congress people behave as if it was only Gandhi and Nehru who got freedom for India and they are the torch bearer of their legacy and the entire India is the legacy left by them for the Congress. Modi never claimed that Patel was BJP’s legacy. It is only the Congress that has stated so (Manish Tewari’s interview to Times Now Channel). After Narendra Modi took initiative to revive Sardar Patel's importance as a national hero, the Congress is rattled and raising the issue of who owns Patel legacy. The fact of the matter is that personalities like Gandhiji, Netaji, Patel, Shastri, Ambedkar etc are not monopoly of the congress just because they happened to be congressmen. Mr Tiwari should be reminded that BJP has taken over from Congress the legacy not just of Sardar Patel but also of other national leaders like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Subhash Chandra Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Sri Aurobindo, Lala Lajpat Rai etc. That has happened because the Congress has marginalised all other great leaders except that of Nehru Dynasty. BJP  has also taken away from Congress many nationalist slogans like Vande Mataram, Bharat Mata ki Jai etc. The Congress no longer uses them for fear of losing a particular minority community’s support. All that the Congress party remembers and dreams about is Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi. Let the Congress come out with data on how many schemes, roads, monuments etc. have been built or named for these 3 dynastic leaders and for the rest of the freedom fighters put together. Let the nation know and then open your mouth and claim the legacy of Sardar Patel. For all these years Congress had forgotten Sardar Patel. Allmost entire country has been named after Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi and when somebody else remembered Sardar and wished to commemorate his name, Congress suddenly woke up from deep slumber and started claiming Sardar’s legacy as if Congress had patent on Sardar Patel.
Here is a Congress PM,  who speaks of Sardar Patel’s legacy when his party has consistently ignored his  achievements for uniting India and never gave him his due respectful place in Congress’s history as much as to even forgot his birth anniversary. 31st October, is remembered by them for  Indira Gandhi’s death anniversary and not for Sardar Patel. Can any Congress leader honestly say that he/she ever placed a wreath on Sardar's Samadhi on this day? For the current Congress people, Congress’s history starts from Nehru and ends with Rahul Gandhi via Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Congress bestowed the Bharat Ratna on Sardar Patel in 1991 - 41 years after he died - but the same Bharat Ratna was given to Rajiv Gandhi  in the very year he died (1991)- such was their love & respect for Patel.
Mr. Prime Minister, why does  Congress think that they are having the right to distribute "SECULAR" certificates to anybody. People of India will decide who & what is secular and who & what is not. Patel was definitely not a follower of the current brand of secularism of Congress. This “fake secularism” is a gift of India Gandhi  to the Indian constitution and political culture during emergency. Yes, it’s a fact that had Patel been our first PM, Kashmir and other such problems would have never existed today alongwith a particular minority community appeasement policy. Patel opposed Nehru’s plan for reservation for Muslims in the parliament which resulted in the then Govt. withdrawing such a proposal. He wanted all communities to forget their religion & first become Indian with their undivided loyalty to the nation. Patel was brutally honest and said that people belonging to the minority community in the country should not try to ride on two horses. Patel also thought that the onus was on Muslims to defeat suspicions about the actions of some of their co-religionists in the pre-partition days. Congress should first explain to the people of this country, whether they are secular. If they claim to be secular, then how can the PM who represents this "Secular" party says things like "Muslims have the first claim on resources of this country. The word secularism has some respect and therefore please don't insult it. The politics of Congress to please a certain community as pure vote bank are very well known.
The Congress spokespersons are misleading the nation that Sardar Patel had a feeling of hatred towards RSS and he was instrumental in banning them. However, there are published documentary evidences available in the form of exchange of letters between Patel and Nehru to prove that this is a false claim. Nehru wanted to completely ban the RSS after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. But Patel argued that they couldn't do so because of lack of concrete evidence against the outfit and being a democratic country, issues had to be dealt with as per the rule of law. Infact, contrary to such false claims, Patel was instrumental in lifting the ban on RSS within 2 months. He even wanted RSS to merge with Congress and had a few rounds of discussions with RSS leadership. Even a resolution was passed by congress towards this effect but at that time Nehru was travelling abroad and on his return he refused to accept that resolution. But in 1963, the same Nehru invited RSS to join the republic day parade and march alongwith Indian armed forces, because he had just received a slap on his face from the Chinese. He was weak after his Chinese policy blunder and defeat in the war in 1962  - therefore friendship with RSS seemed fine then.  Modi has rightly brought about Sardar Patel's' resurrection which is too much for the Congress to digest and therefore started harping on old issues to cover its own follies. People are wise enough, not to be fooled by such utterances.
 
Today, on the 138th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, let’s revisit the entire intra-party power struggle within Congress on the eve of India’s independence and  figure out why he was deprived of the honour of becoming the first Prime Minister of India, given his proven track record of being an able administrator and a no-nonsense politician, in favour of Jawaharlal Nehru despite the overwhelming support he enjoyed amongst the country men and also inside Congress. By 1946, it had become quite clear that India’s independence was only a matter of time. The Second World War had come to an end and the British rulers had started thinking in terms of transferring power to Indians.  An interim government was to be formed which was to be headed by the Congress president as Congress had won the maximum number of seats in the 1946 elections. All of a sudden, the post of Congress president became very crucial as it was this very person who was going to become the first Prime Minister of independent India. The last date for the nominations for the post of the President of Congress, and thereby the first Prime Minister of India, was April 29, 1946.  And the nominations were to be made by 15 state/regional Congress committees, but not a single Congress committee nominated Nehru's name.  On the contrary, 12 out of 15 Congress committees nominated Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and the remaining three did not nominate any body’s name. Obviously, the overwhelming majority was in favour of Sardar Patel. So Gandhi conveyed to Nehru that no PCC has nominated his name and tried to make Nehru understand the reality. A shell-shocked Nehru was defiant and made it clear that he will not play second fiddle to anybody. Nehru coerced Gandhi into supporting him by saying that if he split the Congress, the entire independence plan would go awry as the British would get an excuse in delaying independence by raising the question as to who should be handed over the reins of power, Congress with Nehru or Congress minus Nehru. So Gandhi thought that it would be safe to ask Sardar Patel for making the sacrifice than to reason with a power-smitten Nehru. In fact, he had commented that Nehru had gone power-mad. Gandhi always knew that Sardar Patel would never defy him. So, he instructed Acharya J B Kriplani to get some proposers for Nehru from the Congress Working Committee (CWC) members despite knowing fully well that only Pradesh Congress Committees were authorized to nominate the president. When Gandhi told Patel to voluntarily step aside from the race for Congress president, he readily agreed. When Dr Rajendra Prasad heard of Sardar Patel’s withdrawal of nomination, he was disappointed and remarked that “Gandhi had once again sacrificed his trusted lieutenant in favour of the glamorous Nehru”. But Gandhi’s decision proved too costly for the nation.  First of all, Gandhi  introduced the concept of forced decisions by the so-called ‘high-command’ in Congress, which is now being followed by this political party for every decision making.  Secondly,  Nehru’s follies on Kashmir and China proved beyond doubt the fact that Gandhi committed a mistake in backing Nehru by showing utter disregard to overwhelming support from the majority of PCCs for Sardar Patel. Even two known critics of Sardar Patel conceded the point that Gandhi’s decision to choose Nehru over Patel was erroneous. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad confessed in his autobiography that was published posthumously in 1959, “It was a mistake on my part that I did not support Sardar Patel. We differed on many issues but I am convinced that if he had succeeded me as Congress President he would have seen that the Cabinet Mission Plan was successfully implemented. He would have never committed the mistake of Jawaharlal which gave Mr. Jinnah an opportunity of sabotaging the Plan. I can never forgive myself when I think that if I had not committed these mistakes, perhaps the history of the last ten years would have been different”. Similarly, C Rajagopalachari wrote, “Undoubtedly it would have been better if Nehru had been asked to be the Foreign Minister and Patel made the Prime Minister. I too fell into the error of believing that Jawaharlal was the more enlightened person of the two”. If Congress today says that nobody should doubt the wisdom of Gandhi in making Nehru the PM over Patel, then can they also explain why they forget the wisdom of same Gandhi who said that Congress should have been disbanded after India’s independence?
Mr.Prime Minister, is it not known to you how Nehru had treated a senior leader like Patel during his tenure, which has been documented by the people who worked with both Nehru and Patel at that time?  It was the exemplary skills of Sardar Patel,  which forced all the 550 Princely States to merge with Independent India. But still Sardar Patel, the then Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India, was insulted, humiliated and disgraced by the then Prime Minister, Nehru, during a Cabinet meeting. “You are a complete communalist and I’ll never be a party to your suggestions and proposals,” Nehru shouted at Patel during a crucial Cabinet meeting to discuss the liberation of Hyderabad by the Army from the tyranny of the Razakkars, the then Nizam’s private army. “A shocked Sardar Patel collected his papers from the table and slowly walked out of the Cabinet room. That was the last time Patel attended a Cabinet meeting. He also stopped speaking to Nehru since then”, writes MKK Nair, a 1947 batch IAS officer who worked closely with Sardar and VP Menon his secy., in his memoirs “With No Ill Feeling to Anybody”.  Nehru was against sending Indian forces to liberate Hyderabad and tried to scuttle Patels plan and instead wanted to take this issue to UN. Had Patel not acted tough and inspite of Nehru’s objection liberated Hyderabad during the “Operation Polo”, we would have been having another Kashmir right in the heart of India today. The formation of North East Frontier Service under the Ministry of External Affairs by Nehru and the removal of the affairs of the Jammu & Kashmir from the Ministry of Home Affairs are the major reasons behind the turmoil in both the regions. This was done by Nehru to curtail the wings of Sardar Patel.  We would not have the Kashmir problem if Nehru had listened to the advice of  Patel and the then Army Chief General Kariappa to delay taking his complaint to the UN for three days so that the Indian Army could drive out the Pakistani invaders from Kashmir. Despite this Nehru referred Kashmir issue to UN, Patel totally opposed this and said "it is purely an internal matter and why should we refer this to UN". Patel also said, "if only Nehru had listened to my advice, not a single Pakistani would have been allowed to stay inside Kashmir even for a single day. Patel raised this issue in the Congress Working committee and Nehru & Patel were at loggerheads.  History has proved it beyond doubt that had Patel been the PM in place of Nehru, the country would not have faced the humiliation of 1962 war. Days before his death, Patel had written a letter to Nehru warning him about China’s nefarious designs but Nehru didn’t pay any attention to that letter.
Nehru started showing his hatred towards Patel as he always wanted only “Yes men” around him. Sardar Patel reconstructed the famous Somnath temple against the wish of Nehru without any state funding and when Rajendra Prasad, the then President wished to attended inauguration of the renovated temple, Nehru objected. But still Rajendra Prasad went ahead but Nehru was absent. However,  later on Nehru wanted to renovate the Babri Masjid at Government expense, a proposal Sardar had turned down as the  Home Minister. Sardar told Nehru that the Babri Masjid’s renovation was different from reconstruction of the Somnath Temple for which a trust was set up that raised nearly 30 lakh for the purpose. Government money was not spent - following which Nehru had to drop the idea (Patel’s daughter Maniben’s diary notes on September 20, 1950). MKK Nair wrote that Nehru’s personal hatred for Sardar Patel came out in the open on December 15, 1950, the day the Sardar breathed his last in Bombay. “Immediately after he got the news about Sardar Patel’s death, Nehru sent two notes to the Ministry of States. The notes reached VP Menon, the then Secretary to the Ministry. In one of the notes, Nehru had asked Menon to send the official Cadillac car used by Sardar Patel to the former’s office. The second note was shocking, Nehru wanted government secretaries desirous of attending Sardar Patel’s last rites to do so at their own personal expenses.
Congress has always sought to underplay the differences between Nehru and Sardar Patel, whose legacy gradually diminished with increasing stranglehold of Nehru-Gandhi family in the party since Independence.  But, excerpts from the diary of Sardar Patel’s daughter Maniben published as “Inside Story of Sardar Patel : The Diary of Maniben Patel” not only confirms the differences but also ruffles the feathers of present day Congress leaders with embarrassing disclosures. Maniben's diary reveals the deep regard Patel held Gandhi in and also his serious differences with Nehru on a host of issues including Hyderabad, Kashmir, foreign policy especially with regard to Tibet/China, Hindu-Muslim problems, the Nehru-Liaquat Pact and on corruption, socialism, centralised planning, Nehru's autocratic style of functioning etc. Indeed, Patel's differences with Nehru were both ideological and deep-rooted. In addition that  Nehru considered Sardar as a rival who could dethrone him due to Patel’s hold over the Congress organization and the respect he commanded from Congress leaders and the common people. However, Patel had no such ambition, particularly after he had given his word to Gandhi.
In retrospect, despite Nehru's love for great principles, his incapability to take decisions in time, his inability to work with colleagues like Patel, and his friendship with individuals such as the Mountbattens or Abdullah, who had their own vested interests, blinded him so much that he did not further India's national interests. The consequences have been tragic and the muddle he created 66 years ago still remains far from being sorted out. The nexus is between the Congress led, self-proclaimed liberal-secular class, supported by the caste based political parties and the plethora of foreign funded NGOs, who play one community against another in the name of  protection of human rights and poverty alleviation to ensure Congress continues to retain the power to rule India as it suits their interests. Historically, they have together tricked, suppressed, discredited any voice that tried to challenge them - Subhash Bose disappeared,  Sardar Patel side lined,  RSS became Gandhi's killer, Shastri mysteriously died in Tashkent, Jaya Prakash Narayan apparently poisoned in the hospital and they have been running the “Hate Modi Campaign” for a decade now. They can stoop to any low to retain their stranglehold on power. Patna blasts in Modi's rally are not coincidental. These forces can do anything to harm Modi as he has risen as the greatest challenger to the rotten dynastic rule, politics of caste & religious  divide, corruption & mis governance and everything else in the name of "secularism" and "pluralism". The congress trickster would do anything to continue the legacy of the dynasty to remain in power.