Whether Sardar Patel would have made a better Prime Minister than Jawaharlal Nehru will always be a matter of conjecture (“Rediscovering Patel,” November 1). Patel was a strict disciplinarian and, generally, people find it difficult to manage with disciplinarians. Nehru, on the other hand, was a liberal and could adjust to varied situations. Patel was indeed a Congressman, like most leaders of the pre-Independence era were. The Congress of those days, however, cannot be compared with the present-day Congress which has many self-seeking and opportunistic politicians.
The BJP finds it convenient to forget that Sardar Patel was a Gandhian. Throughout his life, he upheld Gandhian principles and was devoted to the cause of India, while both the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha were opposed to Gandhiji and his methods. The legacy of Patel or, for that matter, any great leader, cannot be a monopoly of an organisation or group. But whoever claims to be heir to the legacy should prove his worth by deeds, not mere rhetoric.
Varun Kumar Mahla,
The competing claims to Sardar Patel’s legacy do not enthuse the common man. Neither the Congress nor the BJP has done anything to justify its claim to his legacy. On the contrary, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be remembered for running a government under which thousands of farmers committed suicide and Narendra Modi as one who was at the helm when the 2002 Gujarat riots took place.
K. Narayana Rao,
The Congress played an important role in our freedom struggle and it had many leaders who have been reduced to footnotes in history. No one can deny the fact that the sacrifices of one family are highlighted.
The intelligence of Rajaji, the simplicity of Kamaraj, the dynamism of Gokhale, Shastri and countless leaders need to be recognised. They were an embodiment of nationalism and symbol of unity.
S.A. Srinivasa Sarma,