Vallabhbhai Patel and the Indian Muslims
· Patel was for legitimate safeguards since minorities were not foreigners
· He foresaw “Reunion of the Partitioned India” due to roots of Muslims
Dr.Hari Desai’s weekly column Back to Roots” in “Asian Voice”, the Newsweekly of ABPL Group, London 16 June 2018 Web Link : https://bit.ly/2JNjzL1
· Though Maulana was opposed to the partition of India, he accused Patel of being “an even greater supporter of the two nation theory than Jinnah.” In his book “India Wins Freedom”, Azad went to extent of saying: “Jinnah may have raised the flag of partition but now the real flag bearer was Patel.”
· Patel is a much-misunderstood man of Indian politics. His views, especially those on the question of minorities, are subjected to conflicting and contradictory assessment. Many of the misunderstandings may be removed if they are examined in a proper perspective. Though his critics may describe him as fascist, communal and anti-Muslim, none can dispute that Patel’s secular credentials were beyond any doubt.
· In a letter to M. B. Birla, he wrote: “I do not think it will be possible to consider India as a Hindu state with Hinduism as the state religion. We must not forget that there are other minorities whose protection is our primary responsibility. The state must exist for all irrespective of caste and creed.”
· Shankar mentions at least four incidents to present the Sardar’s secular and none anti- Muslim credentials: 1. He appointed Josh Malihabadi, despite his political affiliations and the community to which he belonged, to a responsible post as Editor of the Urdu magazine “Aaj Kal” under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 2. The first Indian Chief Commissioner of Delhi whom he appointed , was a Muslim-Khurshid Ahmad Khan. 3. He introduced the Urdu language for All India Radio broadcast. 4. When the daughter of the Nawab of Bhopal wanted to visit her husband in Pataudi during the disturbances, Sardar decided to take her himself and to arrange for the safety of the husband and wife during their stay in Pataudi.