Department of Physics
JBAS College for Women,(Autonomous),
Mob. No.: 9789863590,
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CONTRIBUTIONS OF SARDAR VALLABHAI PATEL IN MAKING MODERN India
The Iron Man of India
500 princely states
Jolt at Junagadh
Invasion of Kashmir
The Bismarck of India
The real architect of Indian Constitution
Leading the Nation
Yeoman’s Service in white revolution
The indefatigable Legend
In the course of every well-tempered and successful revolution, a few figures of destiny emerge: Washington, Jefferson in America; Stalin and Trotsky in Russia; Gandhi, Nehru and Sardar Patel in India. When the nation was under the darkness of slavery by the colonies there came the lights that dispelled not only the slavery but also ill-treat of the people. One among them was the Iron Man of India who was the great captain of modern India’s destiny, a figure cast in marble, like a Hercules of Greek sculpture. For generations of Indians who grew up under his leadership, he has remained the Sardar of Bardoli who throughout his life was found to be the most successful conquest of Mahatma Gandhi towards non-violence.
The Iron Man of India
Sardar along with Our Mahatma Gandhi were practically and symbolically, of the same stature, more united in idealism and self-sacrifice, non-violent revolutionaries. Patel’s well play in architectonic qualities of mind, which like his presence, was hard, massive granite. To that he added an indomitable will which refused to recognize defeat. This strength of mind and will, ennobled by the sufferings of a long struggle, gave him the courage to plan and to build. He had a strong will and when his will was pitted against the will of authority the gods seemed to tremble and at least authority surrendered. Thus, well-known by every citizen of the nation as the Iron Man.
It was lucky that in her crucial hour of freedom, India found the right man. It was, is intellectual that the first thing he did first. The experience of mastery from his teenage in protecting his neighboring villages with self created defending militaries, when the village was prone to the abuse of theft and robberies and injustice by invincible culprits, enabled him to attain a similar mastery over election machinery. Freedom found Sardar in a different role and he displayed many parliamentary and administrative gifts as legislator and minister. He had the perfect front-bench manner, the right blend of seriousness and sarcasm, the readiness to argue and to hit back. Thus, the satyagrahi became an exponent of parliamentary democracy.
The arduous task of swiftly uniting all the princely states would not have been possible if not for Patel who personally met each prince for negotiations and convinced them to accede to India. Though some filthy rich, powered hungry princes posed some of the greatest hurdles to Patel who in turn made such hurdles and such princes appear as paper dolls, and reinforced his title of being the Iron man of India. He tackled the question of principalities and odd states territories in a great manner which left his wildest critics. Within a year Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel redrew the Indian map with every princely state merging the union of India and therby, making part of the political stream of life that was prosperous with harmony and cultural unity.
500 Princely States
Mother India is now independent. Though Britain relieved us from centuries of imperialism, they had no good intention towards the nation that they induced the desperation among Indians and so the communal riot begun. Casting the rod when it is hot, they proclaimed new enforcements in addition to the partition of Pakistan and Bangladesh; it was the liberty for the minor and subordinate provinces to lead their state freely without any concern with the nation. This made every landlords and Zamindars, to establish their rule and stay detached from the country. These issues where the need of the hour to be reformed. Joining the Interim Government in September Vallabhbhai became the Minister in charge of Home Affairs, and successfully dealt with the intricate problem of the accession of Indian states and helped consolidating the Indian union.
It was his firm hand that assembled the fragmented states all together into the whole nation after a long time in the history. Sardar Patel implemented the mode of tactical influence as well as extremity in the consolidation. Thus, within two years India once again cited to be a healthy sub-continent. There came true the dreams of the pessimist of India that took back three provinces namely Kashmir, Junagadh and Hyderabad from joining the political lead of the nation.
Jolt at Junagadh
It was a small princely state that stood against the union of India which was conspired by Pakistan to capture. There came the man of valor Sardar Patel who recklessly scrutinized the Brigadier Guruthayal Singh who led Indian Army surrounding the state defending it from the invasion of neighboring countries. Where it’s Nawab, fled out of fear; handing over the vulnerable state in the hands of mother India.
On November 12, 1947 Sardar Patel landed there with the stride, who commanded Hyderabad to follow or it will be made to follow, by this the man once again proved his prowess, unshakeable determination.
The Razakars were a private; militia organized by Quasim Razvi to support the rule of Nizam Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII and resists the integration of Hyderabad State into Dominion of India. They also attempted to make the Nizam accede his princely state to Pakistan instead of India. The Razakars were affiliated to the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen political party.
These Razakars were responsible for the killing, rape and brutual murder of many people in the Telangana and Marathwada region who were driven out. Eventually, Sardar Patel, the man who was the combination of strength and subtlety decided to undertake “police action” in Hyderabad state to force the king Nizam’s hand. Operation Polo was launched and the Indian Army led by General J.N. Chaudhuri, entered the state from five directions. The Razakars fought briefly against overwhelming attack by Indian forces before surrendering on 18 September 1948, therefore the Nizam was forced to withdraw his complainst from the UN Security council. Thus, the merge of Hyderabad into the Indian Union was announced.
Invasion of Kashmir
When the Pakistani invasion of Kashmir being in September 1947, Patel immediately wanted to send troops into Kashmir. But agreeing with Nehru and Mountbatten, he waited till Kashmir’s monarch had acceded to India. Patel then oversaw India’s military operation to secure Srinagar, the Baramulla Pass and the forces retrived much territory from the invaders. Patel, along with Defence Minister Baldev Singh administered the entire military effort arranging for troops from different parts of India to be rushed to Kashmir and for a major military road connecting Srinagar to Pathankot be built in 6 months. Patel strongly advised Nehru against going for arbitration to the United Nations, insisting that Pakistan had been wrong to support the invasion and accession to India was valid. He did not want foreign interference in a bilateral affair. Patel opposed the release of Rs. 550 million to the Government of Pakistan, convinced that the money would go to finance the war against India in Kashmir. The Cabinet had approved his point but it was reversed when Gandhi, who feared an intensifying rivalry and further communal violence, went on a fast-unto-death to obtain the release. Patel though not estranged from Gandhi, was deeply hurt at the rejection of his counsel and a cabinet decision.
“Here, in this same city, the blood of hindus, Sikhs and Muslims mingled in the bloodbath of Jallianwala Bagh. I am grieved to think that things have come to such a pass that no Muslim can go about in Amritsar and bo Hindu or Sikh can even think of living in Lahore. The butchery of innocent and defenceless men, women and children does not behave brave men….I am quite certain that India’s interest lies in getting all her men and women across the border and sending out all Muslim from east Punjab. I have come to you with a specific appeal. Pledge the safety of Muslim refugees crossing the city. Any obstacles or hindrances will only worsen the plight of our refugees who are already performing prodigious feats of endurance. If we have to fight, we must fight clean.” These were words of the Iron man of India during the communal riots between Hindus-Muslims at Bengal and east Punjab. He also added that “Such a fight must await an appropriate time and conditions and you must be watchful in choosing your ground. To fight against refugees is not fight at all. No laws of humanity or war among honourable men permit the murder of people who have sought shelterand protection. Let there be truce for three months in which both sides can exchange their refugees. This sort of truce is permitted even byu laws of war. Let us take the initiative in breaking this vicious circle of attacks and counter-attacks. Hold your hands for a week and see what happens. Make way for the refugees with your own force of volunteers and let them deliver the refugees safely at our frontier.” Following his dialogue and his speech, no further attacks occurred against Muslim refugees, and a wider peace and order was re-established soon over the entire area.
The Bismarck of India
In leaving behind a motley crowd of about six hundred states and princes to go whichever way they liked, the British had let hell loose. The Sardar’s achievement was an assertion of tact and will-power. In the successful conclusion of the integration of a country which had been cut up into many states too often in history, the Sardar has been compared to Bismarck. The comparison is both just and unjust. Bismarck’s practical nature and essential sagacity had been obscured by his sense of power and by illustrations of his unscrupulous nature, but he was of a higher order of statesmanship than the crimson cardinals of France. His work was German unity, but in a welter of warlike states he had to press his purposes with more violence than tact, more power than persuasion. In seeking domestic solutions, he had to work a foreign policy and grapple with foreign states. The Sardar had an easier task in a far less violent set-up, but the opportunity was tougher as it gave no quarter to unscrupulousness and the owe of conflicting popular wills could always be invoked in a democratic age.
To criticize the different methods he used in the task of integration or the slowness of democratization would be ungenerous, taking into consideration the few urgent years of freedom. To the future, the achievement of the oneness of a country on the verge of sequestration would appear great and lasting. He was too keenly aware of the need of stability and consolidation to think of revolutionary processes.
During his tenure of being the home minister, Patel envisioned some of the greatest policies to keep India secure and develop it overall, which unfortunately was not considered seriously by Nehru. Beside Patel’s letter to Nehru, warning him about the threat to India from China, which was unfortunately ignored by Nehru and had to pay a heavy price for it during 1962 war. The Real architect of Indian Constitution
As the history of Mother India prone us about Dr. Ambedkar as the architect and official chairman of the drafting committee of Indian Constitution, the real backbone was the Bismarck of India.
Patel had played a dominant and decisive role in the Constituent Assembly from day one and was the motivator for the team. It was Sardar Patel who had recommended Ambedkar to be appointed for the post and ensured that he completed his tenure despite Nehru’s wish to drop him at one point. He was passionate, focused and never hesitated to take a strong stand against Nehru on issues like fundamental rights, electorate and status of Kashmir etc. It would come as a surprise to many that it was Sardar Patel who had presented recommendations on political safeguards for minorities.
Patel had dominated the assembly and his ideas being appreciated and imbibed to such an extent that Dr. Chopra quoted it by saying: “It could be aptly called the Patel Constitution” in his “Collected works of Patel”.
The Governor-General of India, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari along with Nehru and Patel formed the triumvirate which ruled India from 1948-1950. Prime Minister Nehru was intensely popular with the masses, but Patel enjoyed the loyalty and the faith of rank and file Congressmen, state leaders and India’s civil services. Patel was a senior leader in the Constituent Assembly of India and was responsible in a large measure for shaping India’s constitution.
Patel was the chairman of the committees responsible for minorities, tribal and excluded areas, fundamental rights and provincial constitutions. Patel piloted a model constitution for the provinces in the Assembly, which limited powers for the state governor exercise power which could impede an elected government. He worked closely with Muslim leaders to end separate electorates and the more potent demand for reservation of seats for minorities. He was responsible for the measure that allows the President to appoint Anglo-Indians to Parliament.
His intervention was key to the passage of two articles that protected civil servants from political involvement and guaranteed their terms and privileges. He was also instrumental in the founding the Indian Police service and for his defence of Indian civil servants from political attack, he is known as “the patron saint”
Yeoman’s Service in White revolution
Beside his mandatory politics, he recklessly involved in nation’s development in several sectors. The initiation of co-operatives for milk industry was the brainchild of Patel which led to white revolution which was headed by Dr. Kurien of Amul. Patel was instrumental in motivating farmers to join the movement to break the monopoly enjoyed by private players and place the power among hands of the farmers.
The indefatigable Legend
The most historic and commendable achievement of Vallabhbhai Patel was the integration of India and his vital and prominent role in the Independence of India. Being a man of chivalry and intellectual he stepped down the incumbency of Prime Minister of India so that Nehru could become the Prime Minister. He refused the office only for Mahatma Gandhi’s request. Janab. Narendra Modi stated while addressing the opening ceremony of Smruti Smarak of Shri Sardar, which if Sardar Patel had become the 1st Prime Minister of India, then the condition of India would have been great and different. He also added that Sardar was a secular and liberal leader respected for his effective and different ideology.
In order to add plume, his achievements extends without shedding a drop of blood citing the miracle of his personality. The amazing qualities of leadership, of being a indomitable Satyagraha leader who was once found to be a man extremity, also flowered in best way in the management of the country, administration of law and order and making sure the stability of the country and making it impenetrable.
Once in a generation, there comes an intellectual leader and visionary, who aim for the skies, feet firmly on the ground, mind made of diamond and fist made of iron, with sheer dedication and focus which might put Eagles also to shame. Such and so called man, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who died at the age of seventy-five after an intermittent and cruel illness, when a nation still in the making needed his political genius, which was comparable to Akbar’s. To a people accustomed to the augustness of his presence, the country looked like a stage without a proscenium. He represented strength. Whatever he said and did, he was the strong man of an Augustan age.
In his regime, the social forces which had been chafting at stabilization asserted themselves. Tense limbs relaxed at the prospect of unleashing. As to the country, the Sardar had given to the Congress a sense of strength. He had endowed a party of agitators with the instincts of a ruling power. It is truth imbibed in day-to-day life that people had Gandhi and Nehru but needs Patel who gave them their self-possession. It was during his golden age in the Indian History stretched over years; India was united and became one. Thus, Let us salute the unshakable and unstoppable legend for his tireless efforts in making the Nation as our own Nation and which bestows the source of ecstasy upon us, reowning the pride of Mother India.
“He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.”