Ever since Gujarat government announced the building of world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity, of Sardar Patel, Congressmen have suddenly awoken to the fact that Sardar Patel was from their party, and have started saying that Modi or BJP cannot claim Sardar Patel’s legacy. It all started with Modi’s government announcing the project to build the world’s tallest statue named “Statue of Unity” to honor the architect of United India, Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel.
True, Sardar Patel was a Congressman and there was no BJP back then during his times. But it is also a fact that any Indian can claim legacy of its leaders. More so, Sardar Patel is from Gujarat and what stops the government of Gujarat from building a monument of one of its greatest leaders? Do they need to take the permission of Congress party for that?
Why is the Congress having problem if a BJP government decides to build a mega monument honoring a great leader of this country? After all, Sardar Patel is from Gujarat, and Gujaratis are building a monument of a leader from their soil!
Even more so, how much has Congress itself nurtured the legacy of one of its tallest leaders in history? What was the respect given in Congress to this leader when he was around in the party? Look at the below excerpts from “With No Ill Feeling To Anybody” by MKK Nair, a 1947 batch IAS officer, who had close ties with Sardar Patel.
Nehru did not want Sardar Patel to send Indian army to take over Hyderabad, whose ruler was then planning to join Pakistan. Nehru instead wanted to go to United Nations on the issue, just like the way he had messed up the issue of Kashmir by going to UN. It was Sardar Patel’s determination which ensured that Hyderabad did not become another Kashmir.
Nehru even called Sardar Patel a Communalist! And Congress today claims that Sardar Patel is their secular leader? Why did then their own Nehru call him a communalist? Nehru’s hatred to Sardar Patel was so much that when Sardar Patel died, Nehru denied government expenditure to those officials who wanted to attend his last rites!
Even after Nehru, till today, how many government projects have been announced by Congress in the name of Sardar Patel? How many monuments, roads, airports, bridges, buildings, have they named after Sardar Patel? How many Congress billboards and advertisements feature Sardar Patel?
Forget Patel, how many programs have been announced by Congress governments in the name of ANY Indian leader other than the Nehru dynasty and Mahatma Gandhi? Doesn’t India have any other great leaders at all?
And now that Narendra Modi’s government is building a great monument of Sardar Patel, Congress suddenly remembers their dear leader? Isn’t it high time that Congress first starts introspecting from within about what has the party did so far based on which it can claim the legacy of Sardar Patel?