Friday, 5 June 2020

After How Long Sardar Patel On Front Pages

Updated: November 16, 2013 12:23 pm

Narendra Modi might have failed to take over Sardar’s legacy but he certainly succeeded in getting him on the first pages of national dailies. Try to remember when his name appeared on first pages! It would be a difficult try. He lost his prominence in the annals of Nehru-Gandhi’s Congress a long time ago.

Sardar’s daughter Maniben recalled that after her father’s death she went to meet Pandit Nehru. She handed over a bag and a book, which she told him were given to her by her father with instruction that they were, after his death, to be handed over to Nehru, only and no one else. The bag contained Rs 35 lakh and the book was an account book.

Maniben told friends that she sat for sometime hoping Nehru would ask how she was going to live after her father’s death. But when Nehru did not say anything, she left. In her old age, having a very poor sight, she would often stumble and fall. People would then help her. But when she was dying, the then Congress Chief Minister Chimanbhai Patel went to her place with a cameraman.

He got him to click a picture of his standing by the sick Maniben.

She could never know why Nehru was silent. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India was insulted, humiliated and disgraced by Nehru. “You are a complete communalist and I’ll never be a party to your suggestions and proposals,” Nehru shouted during a crucial Cabinet meeting to discuss the liberation of Hyderabad by the Army from the tyranny of the Razakars, 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, in his memoirs With No Ill-Feeling to Anybody. Nair had close ties with both Sardar and VP Menon, his Man Friday.

Though Nair has not written the exact date of the above mentioned Cabinet meeting, it could have happened during the weeks prior to the liberation of Hyderabad by the Indian Army. Operation Polo, the mission to liberate Hyderabad from the Nizam, began on September 13, 1948, and culminated on September 18. While Sardar Patel wanted direct military action to liberate Hyderabad from the rape and mayhem perpetrated by the 2,00,000 Razakars, Nehru preferred the United Nations route.

Nair wrote that Nehru’s personal hatred for Sardar Patel came out in the open on December 15, 1950, the day the Sardar died in Mumbai. “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.

“But Menon convened a meeting of all secretaries and asked them to furnish the names of those who wanted to attend the last rites of Patel. He did not mention anything about the note sent by Nehru. Menon paid the entire cost of the air tickets for those secretaries who expressed their wish to attend Sardar’s last journey. This further infuriated Nehru,” Nair has written about his memoirs in the corridors of power in New Delhi.

Prof MGS Narayanan, former chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research, said there was no reason to disbelieve what Nair has written. “But his memoirs did not get the due recognition it deserved. It is a historical chronicle of pre-and post-independent India,” he said.

We understand why prominence was not given!



The War By Nitish


So far the electoral fight was expected to be between Rahul and Modi, but it is possible that Nitish, driven by his immense dislike and a psychopathic hatred of Modi could pop himself in the fight to somehow defeat him.

During the Chintan Shivir at Rajgir Kumar after calling Modi a liar and a fascist declared that he would never become a PM. What was the basis for such a definite forecast? Possibly, nothing but just his wish to see Modi floored.

Kumar is not expected to do well in his own state. But he would join forces with parties like the Left, SP and Mamata to ventilate the dangers if Modi wins. It would at least satisfy him, that he did his best to defeat Modi.

But if he wins, Modi could not be very well disposed towards Kumar! Icy-cold wind could blow over Patliputra after May 2014.



No Hope For Crown Prince Yet


Who will be Prime Minister post-election in case a coalition is brokered and of which the Congress is also a partner. In all probability, the Congress would have more seats than any other partner. This means that it would claim to have its nominee as Prime Minister.

In that case, the Congress would certainly select Rahul Gandhi. But it seems a few leaders of the partner parties could have reservation about Rahul becoming Prime Minister and presiding over them at cabinet meetings. One of these leaders said he would be too nervous about what Rahul might say and create a controversy. He quoted the example of Jupiter velocity. Rahul had reportedly advised Dalits to escape from their present miserable existence with Jupiter velocity.

At another occasion, he expostulated that poverty was a state of mind. Did he mean that below the poverty line families could transform themselves into happy go lucky types by just adjusting the state of their minds? And how should one change one’s state of mind?

Rahul Bhayia has so far not spoken about it. It would indeed be unfair to burden him with finding a solution too. His “war room” aides and the ‘computerji’ could come out with the right input.

Of all those who have reservation about Rahul becoming PM, Sharad Pawar has been open and candid. He said, “One has to prove his mettle in administration. Rahul Gandhi should have joined the Manmohan Singh government. He did not join. …Here there is no question of working together. There is a generation gap.”

Pawar apparently meant that apprenticeship of Rahul is as yet not over. Would Pawar occupy the chair? But if he does he would not vacate it for Rahul. Others like Jayalalitha, Mulayam Singh, Mamata might also have similar objection.

Rahul bhaiya has, it seems, to wait until one dare not think.



  Draping Lotus And Make It Invisible      


The Congress Party has asked the Election Commission to cover lotus all over India during the run up to the 2014 General Election because it is the symbol of BJP. This would sound ridiculous but such requests have been made earlier as well.

Do the Congress Party election strategists really believe that a lotus in a village pond could influence villagers to vote for the BJP candidate in their constituency? How does a flower influence the choice of a villager, through sensory communication or by floral magic?

Jokes apart, such beliefs are not only outdated but downright ridiculous. BJP leaders could ask EC to ban hands being kept out since hand is the Congress symbol. A ban would mean that when we would go out, we would have to keep our hands in pockets. No handshakes, no adaabs, no pranams. Brooms would have to be kept in cupboards as they are symbol of Aam Aadmi Party.

Worse cyclists would have to either use buses or their feet until the elections are over, for it is the symbol of Samajwadi Party.

This is a joke too far. Such requests are like some hanging a string of lemons and green chillies in the bumper of their cars or a piece of black cloth or the face of a demon hung on the top of a house to ward off evil eye. It is a sight, a seven series BMW, of 2012, with a string of lemon and chillies being driven by a uniformed chauffer with a peak cap.

A psychologist said such demands like lotus to be covered reflects the thinking and believes of 18th century when “witches” were burnt and magic resorted to for harming ones rivals.


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