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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sardar Patel's Birthday

Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel's Jayanti
Mike Ghouse October 31, 2006


It is Sardar Patel's birthday on 10/31, and it was a pleasure to read about the man who was instrumental in integrating India as one nation. Googling produces thousands of links, and I have posted the first few links below. Most of the links are about the Universities, Educational Institutions and Awards named after him.
My father told me that my alias name "Sardar" - was named after Sardar Patel. I was born on Jan 26, 53, was there a special event occurred around that time with Sardar? I am curios. I am Sardar to my family elders and the older generation in my town. Here is a tribute to him.

While reading the articles, the following sentence caught my attention. It is exciting to know that Sardar Patel has said these beautiful words. This is one of the most thoughtful and a wise statement on the subject of maintaining equilibrium of a society, any society. It needs to be researched upon. I have written a few pieces on the subject of Justice and peace being interdependent. The one note I recall was if there is no justice we would have Angry Amitabh's wreaking a havoc and disrupting the equilibrium of a society to bring equilibrium.

'These are not two contradictory things. If you do not have economic development and distributive justice, you cannot have peace. But if you do not have peace it is difficult to have economic development. They are inter-related. They are not contradictory.'
God bless his soul
Jai Hind

Mike Ghouse
Shivraj Patil:A man of iron will
ON August 15, 1947, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel took over as the first Deputy Prime Minister of India and Home Minister under the prime ministership of Jawaharlal Nehru. Sardar Patel’s greatest contribution was the integration of India, which at the point of Independence was infested with a plethora of princely states trying their best to disintegrate the nation. More than half a century later, Shivraj Patil, soft spoken, clearheaded and firm-handed Home Minister of India, occupies the same seat as Sardar Patel, at a time when there are several internal and external fissiparous forces trying to damage India’s unity and integrity.
The Home Minister, in an exclusive interaction with The Day After Editor Sunil Dang and its Think Tank Director, Yogendra Bali, spelt out his agenda. It was to keep India united. A devotee of Satya Sai Baba and ardent fan of Indira Gandhi, Shivraj Patil had distinguished himself as a firm speaker of the Lok Sabha, upholding the majesty of the parliament.


Meeting the Home Minster a few days before the Independence Day had special significance for The Day After family. He was there about two decades ago when the journal was launched by the then Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. The DayAfter family presented marking the advent of Manmohan Singh as the new Prime Minister and the 20th birthday of The Day After, a copy with some pride and joy, to the Home Minister.
Pointing out to a query of Day After that he occupied today the same seat of the country’s home minister which Sardar Patel occupied in Nehru’s time and faced the same challenges from fissiparous and divisive forces, Home Minister Patil said, "It would not be correct to compare me with a great man like Sardar Patel, who was a great leader, a great politician and a great human being. His contribution to India's freedom and democracy was invaluable. He integrated this country. It is our duty to ensure that India remains united and competitive in every field.
In his characteristic way, Patil spelt out two vital ingredients of development and progress which formed the main plank of the new government led by Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi as Congress president. They are peace and unity. Without peace there could be no development and without law and order and tranquility there could be no peace and progress.
When asked how is he going to link up development with law and order and progress with peace?, the Home Minister said, "These are not two contradictory things. If you do not have economic development and distributive justice you cannot have peace. But if you do not have peace it is difficult to have economic development. They are inter-related. They are not contradictory." "There has to be a holistic approach" towards the country’s needs and problems.
What he thought of the major challenges and problems faced by him, his government and the country today? And what are his top priorities? The Home Minister immediately thought a clarification. He said, "you are asking me as a home minister, as a part of the government or as a part of the united progressive alliance"?
He said, "the most important thing is to see that we keep the country united. To ensure that it is not divided on the basis of religion, caste, creed and language. The second most important thing is to develop the economy and help the needy. Give them employment, develop agriculture, technology, industry, and trade with other countries.
Replying about the movements for formation of new states like Telengana and Harit Pradesh, Patil said "Such things are coming up but we have to tell the people that united we are stronger and divided we are weaker. And small considerations should not overburden us. Right demands should be met."
The monsoon is India’s best friend and worst enemy. Even at the present moment there are parts of the country in the North-East, Bihar and West Bengal which are drowned by the Brahmputra and other rivers in spate. There are other parts which are drought-stricken. When asked what the Home Minister’s perspective on meeting the monsoon enigma? he said, "You see this is not the situation which is prevailing only this year. This is a situation which prevails every year. Every year some parts of the country face floods while some parts face droughts. We have lived with this situation. We shall have to see that relief is given to the people and long-term measures are taken to meet the situation. We have enough food grains and medicine. It will be possible for us to give relief to them. The Union Government has been doing its best in providing relief to the people."
In view of the assembly elections in his home state Maharashtra at the end of this year, Sunil Dang pointedly asked "Do you think you will come back?" The question obviously concerned the Congress Party and its allies in Maharashtra. Patil said, "Well, we will do our best to come back."
It was pointed out to the Home Minister that like the once much hyped two-nation theory, a new two-laws theory was being practiced in the political circles these days in order to target and corner political celebrities of the rival parties. Did any law or Constitution make any distinction between crimes of political and non-political? Could we say that such and such crime as political and such and such non -political?
The Home Minister said, "you have answered the question yourself. This kind of distinction is not correct. A crime is a crime whether you commit it in a political atmosphere or in any other atmosphere. Crime is a crime and anyone who is responsible for it and is going against the law will be dealt with."
It was pointed out to Patil that as a very successful Speaker of the Lok Sabha in his own term as the presiding officer, he had earned great respect and reputation in parliamentary circles. But now the running of the august House was facing serious problems. Many felt that the parliament did not belong to any particular political party and it belonged to the nation. It should be allowed to run in an orderly and graceful manner. Did he have any suggestions on how to do that? His response was: "The present Speaker of the Lok Sabha is a seasoned parliamentarian. And he will be able to handle it. But we should not say that he alone is responsible for handling it. All the parties sitting in the House should be allowed to express their voice. They are allowed to demonstrate too. But there should be a limit. And that helps."
The United Progressive Alliance coalition was trying to set up new political paradigms and structures but its opponents still indulged in wishful thinking that this government would be short-lived and would not run beyond a few months, like they used to speculate during the first emergence of Indira Gandhi. What was your reaction to such speculations? The Home Minister said, "I think, what is their reaction and what is our reaction is not important. lt is important what is the people’s reaction. And I don’t think people want another election or change of government. And we would like to function if they want us to function."
Home Minister Patil was known to be a man who set targets for himself and was known to achieve them. What were his immediate targets now? In a reply he said, "Our dream and priority is that the terrorists activities in some parts of the country are controlled and contained. Our other objective is that understanding the type of relations are developed with the states so that disasters like floods and drought are controlled."
On the present demand from some of the North East states regarding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, he said, "This is the kind of demand which is sometimes raised from some quarters. Sometimes even people who are involved in terrorism also try to see that these type of demands are raised by innocent people. We are not interested in having strong laws unless these are required. In fact, we would like to rule without laws and with more understanding. But if innocent people are put to inconvenience or trouble and lose their lives and property there has to be a machinery to see that this does not happen. And if somebody is opposed to it, he has to explain to us how he would maintain the requisite kind of conditions".
The Home Minister’s attention was drawn to the SYL wrangle between Punjab and Haryana where the two state units of the Congress Party itself were pitted against one another. How could such a dispute be resolved? His response was: "We believe in the judgment of the people. They want to protect their interests. But they must also realise that if they want to be happy, they should also ensure that others too are happy. There is no problem in solving this issue but if you do not subscribe to this principle - that of understansing the other’s point of view too then there would be problems."
Asked whether any constructive results would come from the on-going dialogues with the Hurriyat Conference representatives in Jammu and Kashmir, the Home Minister said, "We should keep talking. We should always keep talking to them. And this is one of the methods for solving the problems. We think it should help. So, we are carrying on the dialogue."
The interaction left us with the distinct impression that the Home Minister, despite soft-spoken, was a man of iron will and meant business.
Pictures

Sardar Patel was the real architect of the Constitution - http://www.rediff.com/freedom/22patel.htm
Sardar Patel on wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sardar_Vallabhbhai_Patel
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel: Information from Answers.com - http://www.answers.com/topic/sardar-vallabhbhai-patel
Manas - History and politics of Sardar - http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/History/Independent/Sardar_Patel.html
Sardar Patel’s Letter to Nehru « From Thoughts To Words - http://madhukar.wordpress.com/2006/04/15/sardar-patels-letter-to-nehru
Sardar Patel - a real nationalists - Jan Sangh - http://www.janasangh.com/jsart.aspx?stid=157

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