The invaluable contribution of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the unification of the country as its first Deputy Prime Minister and Union Home Minister, cannot be ignored, but since the past several decades, questions are being raised on respect accorded to the stalwart.
The BJP has been alleging that the Congress has always neglected Patel’s role in order to glorify the Nehru-Gandhi family.
Politically, the BJP has staked its claim to the political legacy of Sardar Patel in Gujarat as well as across the country. Although the BJP claims that Patel was sympathetic towards the RSS, various opposition parties remind the saffron party that after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, Patel had banned the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as the Home Minister.
While talking to IANS, senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar recalled the era of independence and said that the Congress which had promised to give ‘Purna Swaraj’ or complete freedom, instead led to creation of a divided India.
At the time of the crisis, Patel played an important role in the country’s integration as the first Deputy Prime Minister and Union Home Minister. Hailing Patel, the Sangh leader said that if the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was also handled by the former instead of Jawaharlal Nehru, then this problem would not have arisen.
Recalling Patel’s role during the partition, Kumar claimed that the former had played a major role in stopping the massacre of Hindus coming from Pakistan and providing all kinds of assistance to them on their arrival.
He also claimed that Patel praised the Sangh for helping the Hindus and persecuted people from other communities who came to India in 1947 from Pakistan.
Responding to a question about the ban imposed by Patel on the Sangh at the time of Gandhi’s assassination, the senior Sangh leader said that it was the Congress’s decision to ban the RSS after the assassination of Gandhi. Due to the pressure from the Congress, Patel had to ban the Sangh, but as soon as the facts of the investigation came before him, he played a crucial role in removing the ban on the Sangh calling it “innocent”.
Kumar said that the Congress tried to spread canards in this regard from the beginning, but till date it could not prove the allegation that RSS was involved in Gandhi’s assassination.
Reiterating political attacks on the Congress, Kumar also said that unfortunately, the ability, skill, contribution, stature and popularity of Patel did not go down well with the Nehru-Gandhi family running the Congress. Therefore, the Nehru-Gandhi family behaved badly with Patel.
Patel was insulted even while alive and was deprived of the honour he deserved after his death. It is because of these sins and crimes, the Congress stands marginalised in politics today.