Sardar Patel and the Sikhs
· “For Sikhs Vallabhbhai was their Best friend”, wrote Baldev Singh
Patel thundered: “I will not tolerate Delhi becoming
Dr. Hari Desai’s weekly column “Back to Roots” in “Asian Voice”, the Newsweekly of ABPL Group, London 23 June 2018 For full text visit https://bit.ly/2JTGchu and comment.
· “Before partition the Sikhs constituted the majority community in Faridkot; the Muslims in Kapurthala, and the Hindus in Jind. In Patiala, the Sikhs formed, according to the census of 1941, 47.3 per cent of the total population. The partition and the consequent two-way migration materially affected the population ratio in these States.
· The correspondence between the Maharaja of Patiala, who was made the Rajpramukh, and Sardar Patel speaks of the love and loyalty of the Sardar for the Sikh community too. Even when Sardar Tara Singh was running campaign for a separate Punjab Suba, the Maharaja and Sardar Baldev Singh remained loyal to India. Sardar Patel always honoured the sacrifice given by the Sikhs and favoured an honourable place to the Sikhs as a community.
· The partition of India followed bloodshed, killings and uprooting of millions of people from both the sides. Thousands of refugees from Pakistan were pouring into the streets of Delhi bringing tales of misery, death and rape which incited the local Hindus and Sikhs to take up arms against their Muslim brothers of Delhi.
· Patel had thundered:“I will not tolerate Delhi becoming another Lahore.” When he went to Amritsar on 30 September 1947, he advised the Sikh leaders: “Break the vicious circle of attacks and retaliation at least for a week. And if Pakistan did not respond in kind, India would take them to task.”
· “I will ask the Sikhs to take control of the country and rule. They may be able to rule because they have got the capacity, they have got the resources and they have got the courage. In any field, either in agriculture, in engineering or in the army, in any walk of life you have proved your mettle. Why do you being to think low of yourself?”