The first time Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought up the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru controversy was in 2014 to harbour sentiments against Congress in the minds of the public. But, four years later, it seems like we are still stuck in the past.
In PM Narendra Modi’s latest speech in the Rajya Sabha, Modi again attacked Congress by claiming “Congress members wanted Vallabhbhai Patel as the first Prime Minister of the country, but you imposed Jawaharlal Nehru. If Vallabhbhai were elected as our first Prime Minister, there would be no Kashmir problem today,” hinting at a strained relationship between Patel and Nehru.
Well, surely Nehru was not flawless but both of them were instrumental in helping India achieve Independence. It is also accepted that they might have had difference of opinions, but their relationship was not as one-dimensional as it is made out to look by certain political parties.
We found an appreciation letter written by Sardar Patel a month before Nehru’s 60th birthday on October 14, 1949. The letter was published in Abhinandan Granth where he elaborated the relationship he shared with Nehru.
Excerpts From The Letter
“Jawaharlal and I have been fellow-members of the Congress, soldiers in the struggle for freedom, colleagues in the Congress Working Committee, and other bodies of the Congress, devoted followers of the Great Master who has unhappily left us to battle with grave problems without his guidance, and co-sharers in the great and onerous burden of administration of this vast country.
Having known each other in such intimate and varied fields of activity we have naturally grown fond of each other; our mutual affection has increased as years have advanced, and it is difficult for people to imagine how much we miss each other when we are apart and unable to take counsel together in order to resolve our problems and difficulties
It was, therefore, in the fitness of things that in the twilight preceding the dawn of independence he should have been our leading light, and that when India was faced with crisis after crisis, following the achievement of our freedom, he should have been the upholder of our faith and the leader of our legions
No one knows better than myself how much he has laboured for his country in the last two years of our difficult existence. I’ve seen him age quickly during that period, on account of the worries of the high office that he holds and the tremendous responsibilities that he wields.
His thoughts have sometime a depth which it is not easy to fathom, but underlying them to all is a transparent sincerity and a robustness of youth which endear him to everyone without distinction of caste and creed, race or religion”
Read the full letter here.