The reference to Sardar Patel by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad on Tuesday was no doubt a political gimmick. But nobody can deny that India would have been different had Patel been the country’s first Prime Minister. Dynastic rule in the Congress could have been avoided and many issues like Kashmir might not have existed.

V. Tilak Subramanian,

Chennai

No doubt, Patel was a great leader and his contribution to the unification of India was monumental. But he was not a mass leader like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1947, India needed a mass leader to bring people together. When Nehru died, the whole nation felt it had lost a friend, philosopher and guide.

There might have been some flaws in the way Nehru handled Kashmir and some other issues but none could match him in his leadership qualities.

B. Sathyanarayanan,

Chennai

All our leaders of the post-Independence era inspired people and contributed to nation-building in their own way. Patel, Nehru and several others were exemplary in accommodating the views and interests of even the Opposition. Our present leaders should follow their predecessors’ principles in letter and in spirit instead of fighting over trivial issues.

G. Vamsee Prateek,

Vijayawada

We have seldom heard the Congress praising Sardar Patel so much. Although many people know that he was a Congressman, his differences with Nehru are far more public than his allegiance to Nehru and the Congress. That is the reason the Congress did not claim his association so strongly earlier.

Abhishek Kunal,

Hyderabad

India’s destiny would have indeed been different had Sardar Patel been the first Prime Minister. Jawaharlal Nehru and Patel were personalities apart. While Nehru spent much of his time between London and Moscow, the Sardar was busy solving the problems of a nascent country. Nehru was much annoyed by the forceful methods used by Patel in integrating the princely states with the Indian Union.

S.S. Kaddargi,

Gulbarga

We, the citizens, have inherited the legacy of our leaders and want to coexist peacefully, irrespective of our religion and caste. Let us hope God will bestow wisdom and maturity on our leaders so that we can live in peace, happiness and prosperity.

T. Ramaswamy,

Chennai

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