Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.

National Security

Some Less Known Facts About Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel

Dt:  25/10/16


Some Less Known Facts About Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel


Dr T.H.Chowdary*



Beginning 31 October, the nation will be  celebration the 141th  Jayanti of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel who for his  extraordinary historic work of integrating over 500  Princely states into the Republic of India is held to be  superior to Otto Von Bismark who  integrated over  20 German  principalities, dukedoms  and  kingdoms into the  modern German State.  It is quite  well known that  after Gandhiji’s and  Sardar Patel’s death, Jawaharlal Nehru  not only dominated the Indian Congress and Indian Nation but also saw to it that the contribution of Sardar Patel,  Netaji Subhash  Chandra Bose and other stalwarts of  India’s struggle for freedom are relegated to almost oblivion. 


2. It is only  in the past few years with the decline of the dominance  of Sonia Maino- led Congress  that the nation is recalling the great deeds of  persons like Sardar Patel and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose besides those of  Pt. Madan Mohan Malavya, Lala Lajpati Rai and Balagangadhar Tilak.  We do well to recall some great deeds of  Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel on this 141th Jayanti which is being celebrated as Ekta Saptah.


3. Junagarh with 85% Hindu population and 15% Muslims & others had  a Muslim ruler.  On 15 Aug 1947 he acceded  his state to Pakistan.  The  people rose in revolt. They had the  support of Sardar Patel and the rest of India. Mountbatten advised Sardar Patel to take Junagarh case to the UN Security Council. The Sardar, ( unlike Nehru in regard to Kashmir)  rejected Mountbatten’s advice. The Nawab fled. The revolting people  established  a provisional government and later in Feb 1949 conducted a plebiscite, the  result of which was unconditional accession to  India and merger with Saurashtra.  Soon after the flight of the Nawab and takeover of Junagarh by India’s Commissioner in Rajkot, Sardar Patel,  K.M Munshi and    N.V Gandgil  visited Junagarh in November 1947. They went to Dwaraka, where the temple of Somnatha was  five  times  destroyed and  four  times reconstructed.  The  last destruction was  during   Aurangzeb’s rule when it was also  converted into  a mosque. 



Sardar Patel, the Dy Prime Minister of  India  declared   that  the  government has decided to reconstruct the  Somnath  temple.  Nehru could not  oppose . Gandhiiji wanted that the cost of re-construction should not be borne by the  government but by peoples’  contributions. Sardar Patel died before  the construction was completed and    the Linga  re-installed.  His decision could not be flouted by Jawaharlal Nehru.  Nehru objected to President Rajendra Prasad’s  visit to Somnath for the  consecration ceremony.  Rajendra Prasad dis-regarded Nehru’s  advice . The Somnath  shrine  was  rebuilt in all its  glory due to Sardar’s resolve in vindication of free India’s will to wipe out the humiliation that  invader rulers inflicted upon this country.  It is as well to recall that Babur was not an Indian . He was not buried  in India but in his native land. The Babri masjid in Ayodhya   is a  parallel to Somnath . While due to Sardar Patel we could  rebuild the Somnath , under  the  rule of Nehru Dynasty and  its continuance by a foreigner, the non-reconstruction of   Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is a humiliating   issue  for our  country - men. 


4. Sir C P Ramaswamy Iyer, the  Diwan of Travancore was wanting his  state to be  independent and not accede to India or  Pakistan.  Sardar  Patel   was told that the  Maharaja was holding Lord Padmanabaha’s territory  in Trust and therefore the Lord’s independence could not be surrendered to anybody. Sardar Patel then asked, “ how then did you allow Lord Padmanabha to be subordinate to the British ?”   Sir C.P was removed as Diwan; the  maharaja acceded his state to India. Patel wanted to send Sir C.P as Ambassador to the  USA to utilise his great  talents. Nehru vetoed and  sent his  relative instead .  Sir C P proposed that since 98% of Muslims voted for parittion and  Pakistan , they should be declared as foreigners. Nehru did not  agree; Nehru did not  also agree to Dr Ambedkar’s proposal for exchange of minorities  between Pakistan & Hindustan.  So, the Muslim problem in India  continues as before 1947.


5.  The Nizam of Hyderabad was given the   titles as “His Exalted Highness (HEH)”   by the British  and Faithful Ally of the  empire.  He contributed  large sums for the  British war effort  during  the  first and  second world wars. While Mountbatten supplementing the  efforts of Sardar Patel did his bit to persuade the Indian Princes and Nawabs to   unconditionally accede to the  Indian Union,   he nevertheless wanted not accession but a treaty between the  Nizam’s government and  India. Whatever  agreement was about to be  reached in Delhi, was being ultimately rejected by the Nizam under the influence of  the notorious Qasim  Razvi and his Razakar goondas.  At long last,  Mountbatten    got some agreement which was    in the  sort of a treaty of alliance and not accession,  agreeable to the  Nizam.  A few days before his   departure  from India in June 1948, Mountbatten   accompanied by Nehru and Sardar Baldev Singh took that agreement to Sardar Patel who was recuperating  in Dehradun. Sardar Patel looked at that  and  rejected it.   Mountbatten was dejected and  expressed his disappointment  and sadness. Despite what all he has done  for India,  he would be leaving Nizam’s question unsolved. Sardar Patel  asked him whether  this agreement  meant so much to him.  Mountbatten said ‘yes’. Then Sardar  Patel  took back that agreement  and   put his signature to it.  Mountbatten was elated and so was Jawaharlal  Nehru. When this was presented to the Nizam,  he rejected it.  Mountbatten was heartbroken. He left India    with the  sad thought that   he could not  get the  Nizam and Government of India agree to the “agreement” whose terms   he crafted   to the  personal  satisfaction of the Nizam. This incident shows Sardar Patel’s  genuine  regard for Mountbatten and at the  same time,   his conviction that the Nizam, under the influence of the Islamists   in his state, would not   agree  and that  military action alone  would resolve  the problem.


6.  After the departure of  Lord Louis Mountbatten as the Governor General of India in June  1948, Sardar Patel  had a free hand to deal with the recalcitrant Nizam of Hyderabad who was  dragging his feet, not daring to declare the Hyderaabd state as an independent  kingdom  nor willing to accede to the  Indian Union  but wanting a special pact between  India  and the Nizam as though these two were  equal   sovereign states.  Sardar Patel prevailed over  Jawaharlal  Nehru  to take  military action to get the Nizam to heel. The Indian forces were to march into the  Hyderabad state from three directions in the early hours of the  14th  of September 1948. The commander -in -chief of India’s armed forces, General Sir (Francis Robert)  Roy Bucher, a British man rang up Jawaharlal Nehru  to postpone  the march as  Pakistan was in mourning over the  death of Md Ali Jinnah on the  9th  of Sept . Nehru asked the C- in -C to speak to Sardar Patel. Patel was woken up in the mid night  and told that Pakistan was in mourning and the Nizma’s airforce  positioned in Karachi would be bombing Bombay, Delhi and Ahmadabad. Roy Bucher thought that Sardar would be unwilling to have the  cities   bombed and  that he might respect Pakistan’s sentiments over the death of Md Ali Jinnah. But  the iron man said  : “Are you serving India or Pakistan ? What has India got to do with Md Ali Jinnah ?  Did not London withstand the blitzkrieg, the continuous  bombing by Hitler’s Germany during the second world war?   Were the British afraid to continue the  war because  of the  bombing and do you think that  India, “unlike Britain would be frightened”.  These  hard and decisive words made Roy Bucher shut up and proceed with  the military action against Hyderabad.


7. Kashmir was taken  off from Sardar Patel   his  hands by Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru  listened to Mountbatten and  took the Kashmir issue to United Nations  and that remains an unsolvable  problem for India . Nizam also took India’s alleged aggression to the  Security Council of the United Nation  but  before    the Security Council could come to grips with any resolution, Sardar Patel finished the Police  Action and   there is no Hyderabad  problem  like the Kashmir problem to  torment India    with  thousands of  cuts, for a thousand years as  vowed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and    Gen.  Zia- ul -Huq.


8. Immediately after partition, millions  of Hindus and Sikhs were expelled from Pakistan on pain of death and  rape and  loot. Those who survived  the murderous attacks of the  Islamist goondas came to Delhi and were taking refuge in the  various  mosques and sarais.  Jawaharlal Nehru  was asking the police to see that the  houses vacated by the  Muslims of  Delhi who left for Pakistan are not occupied by the  incoming rush of refugees,  Hindus and Sikh from Pakistan  hapless, penniless, shivering in the  winter  cold were  taking shelter in the mosques in Delhi.   Gandhiji went on a fast  (mid January 1948)  demanding  that   the Hindu Sikh refugees  must vacate all the  mosques and  houses  vacated by  the Muslims who left for Pakistan. Sardar Patel and Rajendra Prasad and other  Congress - men were terribly distressed at the plight  of the  Hindu  and Sikh refugees,  Gandhiji’s fast and Nehru’s  orders that no property  of Muslims in Delhi  should be  occupied by Hindu-Sikh refugees.  Sardar Patel,   the Home and  Dy. Prime Minister, distressed at the  stubbornness of  Gandhi and Nehru,    submitted  his resignation  from  the   cabinet.  Lord Mountbatten felt that the Government of India  could not be run without Sardar Patel.  He  went to Gandhiji and requested him to prevail upon  Sardar Patel to withdraw his resignation and continue in the Cabinet. Gandhiji called for a reconciliation meeting between Nehru and Patel. Patel was to Gandhi  like hanuman was to Rama. Gandhiji took a pledge from  Sardar Patel that he would not  quit the government  and that he would  continue to be a loyal second to Nehru. Patriotism and the  need for effective governance and respect for Gandhiji prevailed and Sardar Patel withdrew his resignation.


9. Sardar Patel  was the  Chairman of the Minority Sub -committee during the   framing  of the   Constitution of India. Instructed by Abdul Kalam Azad,  the  former Muslim Leaguers who on the  invitation of  Jawaharlal  Nehru joined the   Congress and the nationalist Muslim  members of Congress proposed  that    separate  electorate and  weighted reservations  for Muslims  which the British gave, should be continued and that Sharia courts  should be established to deal with legal matters pertaining to Muslims .  Sardar Patel saw this  as a sinister continuation of the  two-nation  theory mentality even after  the tragic  partition to create the  Islamic state of Pakistan as a national home for the sub-continent’s Muslims.  He  worked upon a few   Muslim members, particularly  Begum Aizaz  Rasul who was formerly a Muslim League leader in the UP Legislative Assembly to forcefully denounce these proposals.  The Sardar very deftly got the committee  to reject  the separate electorate and reservations for Muslims in the Indian  Constitution. 


10. At a meeting of over 70,000 Muslims attended by Abul Kalam Azad in Lucknow in December 1948, pre-independence Muslim League’s demands were again aired.  In January 1949 in Lucknow and following it in February 1949 in Hyderabad, Sardar Patel clearly told the Muslims who chose to stay in India after partition, that they should be totally loyal to India and  should not ride two horses; that is, continue to cherish and flaunt and promote Pakistaniat among Muslim residents of India. This is in contrast to  Jawaharlal  Nehru  interpreting secularism as special care for Muslims and as a, first step, for  which, he himself moved a bill in the  Parliament of India to subsidise Muslims religious Haj pilgrimage to Mecca and   several other appeasement measures.


11.  In September 1950, the Congress party’s president was to  be elected.  Jawaharlal Nehru proposed and  backed up Acharya Kripalani.  Sardar Patel put up Purushottam Das Tandon. Tandon (Patel) defeated Kripalani (Nehru) by 1306 to 1022 votes.  Patel died on 15 December 1950. Nehru then  forced Tandon to  resign and assumed the  Presidentship himself.  (Indira Gandhi repeated Nehru’s performance in 1969 when she split the  Congress to establish her hegemony over the Party and hand it over to her progeny as inheritance)


12. Mountbatten’s  preference for Patel to Nehru  to head the newly created States Ministry was for good reasons.  He wrote: “I am glad to say that Nehru has not been put  in charge of the  new State’s Department which would have  wrecked everything ...“.  Patel is essentially a realist and very sensible”.  He told the  Princes that  “the States Department  was under the  admirable guidance of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel”. Mountbatten  thought that Patel was the  strongest  pillar of the  cabinet.


13. After the first meeting of the Cabinet of the Interim Government on the 4 Sept 1947, the Governor General and  Vice  Roy, Wavell recorded of the  Congress ministers, “ I do not trust by a yard ....... Sardar Patel was very reasonable and  sensible in his  arguments unlike Jinnah and  he is certainly the most impressive of the Congress leaders and has the  best balance”.


14.  When it was decided that a memorial should be raised to the Sardar, Nehru suggested digging of wells and small rural development schemes in the name of Sardar  Patel. The Committee and Congressmen were shocked at Nehru’s pettimindedness  and disregarding him, installed his statue at the Parliament House in Delhi.  (2,247 words)