Opinion » Comment

Updated: May 2, 2013 16:18 IST

Narendra Modi’s Patel test

TCA Srinivasa-Raghavan
Comment (72)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (left) and BJP president Rajnath Singh beside a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel during the party’s Foundation Day celebrations in Ahmedabad on April 6. Photo: AP
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (left) and BJP president Rajnath Singh beside a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel during the party’s Foundation Day celebrations in Ahmedabad on April 6. Photo: AP

If BJP asks Modi to put party ahead of prime ministership, his decision would then be what truly sets him apart

Narendra Modi, prime ministerial aspirant, is faced with a problem of Patelian proportions. The party’s middle and lower orders want him to be Prime Minister but, eventually, the day will come when he will have to see what serves his party’s and India’s interests best.

A little reminder from history seems to be in order here because most people remain blissfully unaware of it throughout their lives. Even the few who do know it, often forget its caprices. It is the Gandhi-Patel-Nehru-Party story of April 1946.

In terms of expectations, 1946 was not dissimilar to 2013. It was not known then that the British would be gone in 16 months. That surprise came in February 1947 when Lord Mountbatten announced it out of the blue.

But an interim Indian government was to be formed. That in itself was a major reason for hope to be in the air, just as it is now, including the possibility of an interim government because neither the UPA nor the NDA might manage 272 seats.

In 1946, the Congress, like the BJP now, had to pick a PM. There were three candidates: Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who had been Congress president for six years; Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a great organiser and leader with an earthy sense of India and its politics; and Jawaharlal Nehru, with none of these attributes.

The nominations for the new Congress president were due on April 29. Gandhiji had already indicated his preference for Nehru to Azad on April 20.

On the appointed day, 12 out of the 15 Pradesh Congress Committees (PCC) nominated Patel. The remaining three did not nominate Jawaharlal Nehru. No one seems to know what they did.

Gandhiji, stubborn as ever, then asked J.B. Kriplani to canvass support for Nehru. So some signatures were collected from those who were not actually legally entitled to nominate a Congress president. That privilege belonged solely to the 15 PCC chiefs.

But no one challenged this and Nehru’s nomination was accepted. Immediately, Sardar Patel, on Gandhiji’s request, withdrew his nomination.

In fairness to him, Gandhiji did tell Nehru about what had happened. Nehru, it has been recorded, responded with silence.

After Nehru had been foisted by Gandhiji, Azad, who had wanted to continue as Congress president because that was the route to the PMship, decided to support him. But others, including Rajendra Prasad, were most upset that Patel had been asked to stand down (or in Nehru’s words, be ‘Number Two’ which he himself had refused to be).

Why did Patel agree? Firstly, because Gandhiji had asked him to and secondly, because he did not want a divided leadership to confront Jinnah and Co.

BJP’s Patel problem

It looks as if the BJP is faced with a similar dilemma. It has to choose between Mr. Modi as Prime Minister and someone else. Who that someone is doesn’t really matter.

There are four possibilities.

(A) It chooses Mr. Modi, and NDA wins;

(B) It chooses Mr. Modi, and NDA loses;

(C) It dumps Mr. Modi, and NDA wins;

(D) It dumps Mr. Modi, and NDA loses.

Clearly, A is the most preferred outcome for the BJP, and D is the least preferred one. B also is not to be countenanced. So the choice boils down to A and C.

The BJP has to work out the probability of these two events. On current reckoning, it seems to be assigning a very high probability to A and a very low one to C. Hence the tussle between L.K. Advani and Mr. Modi.

But eventually, as the elections come closer, it will have to revisit the odds on C. Even though they will change, they are unlikely to change drastically in C’s favour. Mr. Advani may think he has it in him but he is probably in a minority of one.

Modi’s moment

But politics is about surprises. So suppose something happens that closes the gap between A and C to a narrow one.

Will the party then tell Mr. Modi what Gandhiji told Patel, namely, in the interests of unity, will you stand down? What will Mr. Modi do then?

His decision might have to involve, when the time comes, paying heed to his ‘inner voice’ which places party and NDA above self. It worked wonders for the Congress, if you recall, in 2004.

The problem, however, is that there is no one in the BJP with the moral authority of Gandhiji. This means that if the party has to choose between Mr. Modi and someone else, Mr. Modi will have to show a degree of selflessness not usually seen in politics. Tyag works well in India.

That, truly, will be his real test, the one thing that will truly set him apart, and make him an even bigger and unstoppable force to reckon with the next time around.

This article has been corrected for a typographical error

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Where is the voice of people. Why don't the Hindu keep an option for
reply to comments. Is this the true journalism. I ask Hindu directly.
Keep the like buttons if you want more readership. Don't play abusive

from:  Arun
Posted on: May 3, 2013 at 09:40 IST

Support for Nehru was the biggest mistake of Gandhiji. Kashmir problem, China aggression and even partition are all result of this blunder.

from:  Dr. Sadhak Sen
Posted on: May 3, 2013 at 06:30 IST

@viswanathan: Is it fine when you divide people by caste or economic class? Why do you just compare Modi on one issue and one issue alone?
When people die of starvation or commit suicide due to bad economic policies, the toll could easily go in lakhs. Dont you want to blame govt for those deaths?
I am happy that Modi is promoting capitalism, because growth can never be exclusive. It spreads and it does not divide people on anylines. Capitalism in India is a dirty word, I am happy that Gujaratis have accepted it.

from:  vinay
Posted on: May 3, 2013 at 02:46 IST

Come to Gujarat and ask anyone about Sardar Patel, you will not find a singler person who does not know this history. They lament even today that Sardar was not given the opportunity even after getting support of majority. We feel Sardar was not given his due, but even worse than that it is that people at center were successful to supress the truth.

I respect Gandhiji a lot, but I did not like his decision on Sardar. It was a mistake. You know Sardar and Gandhji are 2 tallest leaders of our country who did not allow their kith and kin to get into politics by using their name & influence. Its unfortunate for India that such leaders are no more and they come once in a century or more.

I would like Modi to fail Saradar test. Because thats not best for the country

from:  Vinay
Posted on: May 3, 2013 at 02:40 IST

Reminding last election,one thing is sure that despite
BJP;s(Bajpai's)good performance,they lost election ! At that time the
uppermost feeling among people was that there is no unity among BJP
memebers(Bajpai's and Advani's groups).......and the result BJP lost.
That feeling will come back again among people if Modi is not selected
and BJP will loose despite questionable rule of congress.
In any election,it is voice of people matters and not that of the party.

from:  Ashok
Posted on: May 3, 2013 at 02:19 IST

what the NDA govt wanted to be done in the leadership of respected
ATAL ji. Narendra Modi has created a successful prototype in Gujrat. We
can very well examine examine on any test bench. The infra structure,
water to formers, electricity to all ( energy security) law and order,
fearless society. conservation of energy and new sources of energy
unity and equality among all. employment opportunities not only for
Gujrati youth but for other states also.reduction in corruption and
delay in public work. reduction in public expenditure and increase in
govt revenue. Most important thing is he has uplifted the moral of the
60 million people of Gujrat in the country and abroad. Not only this he
has created a hope in the heart of 1250 million people of India (people
talking in his favor openly or opposing him openly or are silent at

Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 20:32 IST

Mahatma requested Sardar Patel to voluntarily back out. The
request was meaningful. He would have been the unanimous choice.

But, whether Modi has that much clout?. Whether the top guns among
BJP would have voted unanimously in his favor?

Drawing a parallel between Modi and Sardar Patel, I think is a bit
disrespect to the latter!

from:  raghavan
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 20:22 IST

Do the people of India have to suffer again if the same colossal mistake
that Gandhi made is repeated by BJP.

from:  Pramod
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 19:13 IST

Mr Srinivasa should also have the courage to analyze why the BJP does not see Shushma Swaraj as one of the choice! NDA is sure to lose with Modi at the helm because it will consolidate the minority vote behind Congress. Moreover, Modi has no standing below the Deccan.

from:  Rajnish
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 18:59 IST

Good analysis, comments and article by TCARaghavan whose articles I read with interest. The only problem is it is not 1947 today when Politicians look at the broader picture plus, India's independance was at stake and everyone worked towards it. Here also, relasing India from the corrupt UPA govt. is at stake, but no one other than Modi in BJP can win. Advani has been tried in the past, and he has also has the habit of not speaking speaking on core issues and side track issues . The possibilities of A and B happening is high and not C. Only reason B can happen is because of Modi, other constituents of NDA may leave thereby dividing anti UPA vote and favoring UPA. Further, even Modi steps down, unlike in 1947, others will still castigate him and will still not project him in good light as the author of this article expects.

from:  Bala
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 18:59 IST

Only money and muscle power will prevail in this country. No matter what.. congress knows how to rule. Modi or no Modi but congress plays its card well.
No surprise if congress again comes to power as we the people are responsible for weak democracy. Poverty and illiteracy will make congress win again. Though horrific if it comes again but can't help.

from:  Sanket K
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 18:20 IST

Most confusing article.One needs to study the situation at large and the
Modi's brilliance in particular. There is every possibility that even if
BJP goes alone under Modi, they may capture seats nearing 200 when all
other regional parties will bee line with BJP.
In any case the chance of Congress reaching triple digit seats is very
slim. Every day there is a crisis for UPA and more it prolongs worse it
will be for them.

from:  Bakumbai
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 18:10 IST

My respect for THE Gandhi and Kripalani goes down when I learn how they suppressed the democracy in Congress and foisted the "nomination culture" continuing till day. Nehru disregarded Patel and foolishly took the Kashmir issue to the UN and we are suffering till day. His Hindi-Cheeni bai bai was a dismal failure and China is still a big nail on our head. Do we want another Nehru to rule India ?

from:  seetharaman
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 18:08 IST

I think the article is biased against Nehru. He was considered as a
true successor of Gandhi and a very charismatic leader with a huge
support from the comman people. He had an international perspective
and also was liked in the international arena by most leaders and
countries of that time. The selection of the leader was not only
directed by PCC chiefs but had major influence of the Britishers who
undoubtedly preferred Nehru. It was important to keep the Britishers
on our side since it was expected that we might need their help and
support in the initial years. Patel was certainly a leader of great
stature and had a grip on things. He was a great balancing act that
was required in the top leadership of the Congress. But selecting
Nehru may not have been the worst of decisions.

from:  Rohan Agarwal
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 18:03 IST

There is no need for a second round of Tyag. For all the tyag made by
Patel in the first round and the dictatorship of Gandhi in having a
manipulated election of Nehru, the country has suffered heavily at the
hands of Nehru family. Gandhiji's wisdom on this front and his faith on
Nehru has been completely misplaced. More than anything else we have
payed a heavy price in terms of the Character of the nation and its
moral fabric. Let us not do this mistake again nomatter whether BJP has
a Gandhi equivalent or not.

from:  Purush
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 17:24 IST

There were many cases of Gandhi thrusting his ideas upon those of the
democratic majority and most of our historians have tried to prove how
his decisions helped the national cause. It might be possible that the
nation would have been served better had Gandhi's views been rejected
at such moments, even though he always claimed to be speaking for
national interest. It is no secret that our current problems with
China and Pakistan, besides others, can be attributed largely to
Nehru's policies.
The reason for which Patel abdicated for Nehru, national interest, was
not served and we are still bearing the brunt of a weak Prime minister
leading our nation for the first 14 years of its independence. I hope
the BJP does not make the same mistake. Mr Modi is the only credible,
honest and strong leader which India has. His serving as PM will serve
India's interest, not abdicating in favour of some other leader.

from:  shashank
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 17:21 IST

As the article also says, Nehru was aware that no PCC has recommended
his name for PMship, but he still 'accepted' the chair of PM. The sad
and strange thing is that even after all this many today treat NEHRU
as the democrat! Now think about Patel. How and why any leader can
presume that he has power to reject the proposal from ground level. Is
it not against the concept of Swaraj! If he did not protest against
Gandhi, that was Patel's mistake! Rather than agreeing to allow Nehru
to be PM, there should have been reelection by all PCC. Just
overruling people's choice because one person (Gandhi) wished that way
is against the morality as well as democracy.Now look at Gandhi.In all
his writings and speeches he never explained why he supported Nehru in
place of Patel and Kalam. Is it not strange that Gandhi a prolific
writer himself, never inked anything about the backroom politics of
those days? Surely there were more invisible players in picture.

from:  Swaraj
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 17:08 IST

There is a large section of people vociferously opposed to Modi.If their opposition results in Modi being consigned to electoral dust bin in 2014, the alternative will be a triumphant come back for the UPA with obvious consequences for the country. If the incessant onslaughts on Modi over the years by almost the entire non BJP dispensation could mellow Modi and if the NDA projects him as its PM candidate, he will be an effective challenge to UPA.Modi had already occupied the centre stage of 2014 elections. The neutral voters not belonging to UPA/NDA/Left may prefer Modi with the hope that he will give top priority to economic development and ensure scam free govt.

from:  G.Jagannathan
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 16:49 IST

There is a sizable section of people vociferously opposed to Modi. If they pursue it to its logical end and consign him to the electoral dust bin in 2014, the alternative will be a triumphant come back for the UPA with obvious consequences for the country.If the incessant onslaughts on Modi over the years by almost the entire non BJP dispensation, could mellow Modi and if the NDA projects him as its PM candidate, he will be an effective challenge to the UPA. Modi had already occupied the centre stage of 2014 elections. The uncommitted voters not belonging to UPA/NDA/left may prefer Modi with the hope that he will give priority to economic development and scam free government.

from:  G.Jagannathan
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 16:05 IST

A totally hypothetical column. What about the possibilities like BJP alone winning under Modi, BJP getting over 200 seats under Modi, etc? Talking about NDA and UPA has no meaning until the results of the elections are known. The Regional parties have proved to be disastrous. Between Patel and Nehru, Patel would be the choice of Indians as he carried strong national sentiments against the British. Gandhi and Nehru were liberals with higher acceptance from the British. It was the British Govt and Nehru's political moves that outwitted Gandhi and installed Nehru as the PM. But Nehru did well.

from:  VMN Sharma
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 16:05 IST

As far as the people of this country are concerned, their prevailing mood in is to see that the Congress and the UPA it leads bite the dust in the next election and thereby pay the price for the rampant governmental corruption they have been accused of. It is entirely up to the winning party or coalition to decide who will be the Prime Minister. The BJP and the NDA it leads know who will be the best person to lead their government. It may be Mr.Modi. The country, for sure, will applaud the choice.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 15:53 IST

this mistake by Gandhi is well known, but what author missed here is that times have neither we have gandhi, nor the united india.. every vote is divided on communal and caste lines ignoring the much important and bigger picture of development and able leadership..If the situation so arises, most would like the mistake not to be repeated. the nation has already been through a horrifying phase of collective failure from govt and the opportunity to utilize the much celebrated demographic dividend of young population will be lost froever. this mistake will be bigger than the last one.

from:  Srikar
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 15:51 IST

A pity that a statesman like Patel could not see through the ploy by the then colonial masters to sell India a deal that suits their interests. As a nation, we are paying the price.

from:  Krishna
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 15:47 IST

To expect Mr. Narendra Modi match the stature of Sardar Patel is to set a very tall order. Politically, neither is India nor the world today the same as the 1940's and we have to be pragmatic in consideration of a whole gamut of realities within our country and outside it. Mr. Modi may never rise to be a statesman of the calibre of the venerated "Sardar" Patel, but that hardly means he is not fit to be elected or elevated to the office of the Prime Minister of India. In the way things are, despite his flaws, Mr. Modi might yet turn out to be the best political leader of and for our time.

from:  Kay Nathan
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 15:39 IST

It is really amazing:
Almost all the comments say,
(i) Gandhiji was wrong,
(ii) Nehru was not a good PM, Gandhiji's "preference" was undemocratic; country is more important than party or even Gandhiji for that matter and (iv) almost all want Modi as next PM.

from:  Ilango
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 15:16 IST

What patel did was nothing to be proud of.He spat on what people wanted
just for the sake of one man. IF he had had the strength to understand
that no Mahatma is greater than the best interests of India, things
would have been different

from:  darpan
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 15:03 IST

Had Patel been made PM of India at the time of Independence, i believe that he would have settled the border disputes with China and Pakistan. And Even 1962 Indo-China war would have also not occured. A change in leadership has changed the history and destiny of a country.

from:  Srinivasan Selvaraj
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 14:39 IST

Why is the media, including this newspaper obsessed with Narendra Modi?
Is there an inherent fear that, after all, he might end up becoming the
next prime minister? A comparison of what happened 50 something years
back makes no sense. Then again, let us have the courage of examining
what Nehru's governance brought to this country. It brought linguistic
politics, personality cult, a sick public sector, and dynastic rule.

Can anyone honestly say that we can be proud of the India of today? Let
us nor forget that much of the ills can be traced to the wrong policies
of Nehru.

In contrast, Narendra Modi could not have become a 3 term chief
minister, if he did not have the skills to govern. There is not a shred
of evidence linking him to the 2002 riots. Mere suspicion, rumors and
lies spread don't matter - facts and evidence do! Can we ever rise above
personal dislike, prejudice and bias? If we can, electing Narendra Modi
as our next PM won't be a bad idea.

from:  Sam Johnston
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 14:23 IST

And by making this big 'tyag' which this author is talking about, Narendra Modi will be making the same mistake which Gandhiji made - deliberately not choosing to be the PM and then handing the country over to uncouth elements just to maintain party unity.

from:  Abhishek Chakrabarty
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 14:19 IST

Let us at the outset acknowledge that Mahatma Gandhi was no less than
a prophet & who knows he may be glorified as an incarnation of the
almighty in the coming future.
Our culture teaches us to take the bread from our near & dear ones &
offer it to our guests (outsiders). He made sure that no one blames
him for being partisan in offering the Prime Minister-ship to another
Gujarati that way he made sure that his reputation doesn't take a hit.
Without the efforts of the Mahatma, India wouldn't have gained it's
freedom so easily but let us not forget the sacrifices that were made
by his immediate family wife & kid's in particular.
Today's world is a little different, I am not sure that the BJP has
leaders who can persuade Mr. Modi to wait for his turn as age is on
his side & that Mr. Advani shall never get another chance.
Lets wait & watch .... There are more chances of Mr. Modi sinking the
NDA ship rather than guiding it to the shore.

from:  S T Zamindar
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 14:03 IST

Nice article by Hindu.
It is nice to see The Hindu does not say any thing wrong about NaMo.

from:  Arun
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 13:50 IST

Rather than keeping this option open to BJP chief to select/deselect
or to Mr. Modi to step down or not, let's we people awake and call if
Mr. Modi is PM candidate then we are going to vote BJP. With this
statement, all the allies of BJP must support Mr. Modi and internal
politics will be demolish. We Indian people forget about our Power.We
people are the most powerful persons in India. The time has come to
change our country and change our fate. And, one more thing everyone
must do voting. Today, Mr. Modi is our only hope and don't let other
foolish politicians ruin our country and fate. Time to awake my fellow

from:  Ankur
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 12:54 IST

Biggest issue is not Modi, BJP or congress. It is the defeatist attitude of our media and some communities of India. That they revel in poverty and try to downplay development and vision by visionary leaders like Modi. First Patel was much more able and did much better for nation than Nehru. Assigning Nehru for PM was biggest blunder in India and set a stage for Dynastic rule. Would you want us to commit same mistake again? I don't understand the logic behind it. Can we afford an one more rule of congress and Nehru dynasty or is it logical to be incorrigible.

from:  ram mohan
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 12:41 IST

Leaders like Patel, Shastri and Modi come only a few times in our life time. We lost Patel due to the blind faith of Bapu and arrogance and greed of Nehru who was not even nominated by a single person expect Gandhi. We lost Shastri due to ill health, we really shoudl not lose Modi. Congress Party under Nehru/ Mrs. Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi has created major cracks in the society and India has possibility of breaking up along the state lines. So let Nitish Kumar show Tyag And lets have a PM who may lead us out of the black hole.

from:  Amit
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 12:33 IST

it was not Gandhi though he was the face. It was a settlement to which
British showed their prefrence to accept who were withdrawing on their
terms and wished to leave India as they want it in future.
Patel and Nehru had different ways with different minds.Both had their
distinct character and different lickings. The decision to lead the
country was made then under so many pressures those were not
essentially indigenous.
on the other side the conflict of NDA is indigenous and it will take
care of itself. Be it Modi or Advani or Rajnath or Shivral or swaraj
or the name provided later it does not matter, the ideology is
embedded. you will reach the same destination whether travel by plane
or taxi or train.

from:  shivraj singh
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 12:22 IST

I don't support Modi even an iota. But this comparison is flawed simply because Patel's decision to step down on being asked by Gandhi was not the right decision. It might make him a "good" or even "principled" man, but history has shown us in hindsight that it was an unfortunate choice for the country. There is usually a reason why the majority supports one candidate and usually (not always, I agree) it bodes well to rely on the majority mandate. Did Patel stand down because he thought Nehru was a better choice? I think not. He did so because of his personal respect for Gandhi and as you said, to ensure a united front. I don't think Modi has that kind of relationship with anyone in BJP/ NDA.

from:  Shruti Singh
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 12:10 IST

The nation cannot make the same mistake again. I am sure those 15 PCC
chiefs were not fools. They voted for Sardar Patel for some reason. No
one voted for Nehru, again for some reason. Under these circumstances,
it would have been better if Sardar Patel had disobeyed Gandhi and
become Congress president and later the first PM of India. India is
still paying a heavy price for the respect that Sardar Patel showed for
Gandhi. I hope and I wish that India doesn't make such a mistake again.

from:  Amish R. Shah
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 11:34 IST

Because of one mistake and stubborness of Gandhi we are repenting and paying the
price since last 65 years.Hope that history doesn't repeat and india becomes a world

from:  vivek
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 11:32 IST

Either Congressmen followed what Gandhiji wanted,or Gandhiji non-cooperated for any other solution.Gandhiji's insistence for Nehru,though he was not nominated at all, has brought this country this pass.J.b.Kripalani did that dirty work at the behest of Gandhiji,i am surprised.I revise my opinion about him. If the circumstances warrant,Mr.Modi will certainly show that selflessness.You wait and see.

from:  K.R.Chandrasekharan
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 11:29 IST

First Let me Congradulate 'The Hindu' For accepting the reality and also for started seeing the what we call as 'Writing on the Wall' The language used in this Is Quite different from your earlier articles related to modi, which were nothing but Demonizing Modi. Now you have changed the tone and started reaching out to modi. Article indirectly says Only modi can stop modi and Also want him to allow some one else to be PM. I would see this as a victory of Modi Now even 'The Hindu' have to ask modi not to be a PM after failing to stop modi through various previous articles. But The Hindu is again wrong , Gandhiji and Inida did a great mistake by not making patel our Prime Minister and more damage by allowing Nehru to be the PM. The Hindu is again asking us or Modi to do the same mistake. And they are telling may be after one more term modi can aspire to be PM, not this time. And they suggest modis fame will be more by declining PM post. But all this at what cost? Cost is indias future.

from:  Prasad
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 11:19 IST

If the anology that is written about Gandhiji, Nehru, Sardar Patel and the then congress is correct, Narendra Modi should never repeat the mistake of Sardar Patel to step aside. Its not about a party or someones self interest. Its about a country and billion people living in it. And when Sardar Patel and mass majority of Congress(then) knew that Nehru was the wrong person for the role of PM, they should never have listened to Gandhiji. Modi should definitely not support any such stupidity of "TYAAG" and its also wrong on people's behalf to expect any such thing from Modi if development of country is all what we need.

from:  amith nayak
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 11:15 IST

Isn't the question, Why Gandhi opted for Nehru instead of Patel still
open. Does it not look like a historical error on Part of Gandhi to
overrule the majority's view. With option C already there would be a
heavy division in leadership.

from:  Balaji S
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 10:52 IST

Mr. TCA Srinivasa Raghavan's continuing adulation of Modi is in sharp contrast to the balanced views of Mr. Harish Khare. Though the circumstances may be similar comparing a Modi whose multi million dollar PR machinery makes him larger than life to Patel is a bit too much. The author must surely know that outside of Gujarat Modi has been a big failure wherever he campaigned.. In the 2009 parliamentary elections the BJP lost badly in all the States he campaigned outside Gujarat, and more recently the BJP lost Himachal where Modi campaigned. So option B seems to be the logical choice going by past record.

from:  C Balachander
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 10:48 IST

sir, we should not make the past mistake of electing Nehru in place of Patel.we have seen the folly and its results..India became weak due to his policies and day we need a strong man who can uplift our image and dignity which we
lost drastically these days.india became a laughing stock in the world view.this we have to rectify immediately,not late.efficient, honest and corrupt free leader is the need of the wavering opinions.

from:  kvl shanta
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 10:48 IST

Refreshing to see a thought provoking article in your daily after a
long time.In fact the writer enlightens us about the fact that the
"nomination culture" which has become the bane of the Congress party
now was foisted on the party by none other than Mahatma Gandhi.We
cannot forget that even the mighty Mr Subhash Chandra Bose was forced
to resign after he defeated Mr Pattabhi Seethramaih ( Mahatma Gandhi's
nominee) due to non cooperation by Mahatma Gandhi.Congress is still
following that inherited legacy in ditto.Only difference is instead
of Mahatma Gandhi another Gandhi is at the helm of affairs.The same dilemma confronts the BJP now. The most probable scenario for BJP is definitily option C .But it will be interesting to see whether Mr Modi
will be large hearted enough to emulate the real Sardar Patel or a
mere power monger.If so who will be the dark horse . Interesting time
in politics.

from:  Ramakrishnan P
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 10:42 IST

Had Gandhiji not recomended Nehru, India would have been a better and
more powerful country than what it is now. Also, when please analyze
this, that, What to expect of a democracy, whose first PM was not the
choice of the people. When Congress and nehru family can force The
Father of the Nation to look the other way, what to expect from the
current Congi Govt and the extended nehru family. India would have been
better if Patel would have been appointed

from:  venkat
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 10:37 IST

This is a comparison which should not be even thought once. Patel was a person who has done selfless service to the people of this country for several years. On other hand Modi has been perpetuator in dividing people along religious lines and treating them differently. Even when he addresses public meeting questions of developmental issues rarely come up. Only political rhetoric can be heard. Gujarat as a state is wanting in human development index in comparison with other states in this country. Even, if he startegically refuses to become prime minister it will not make him any more respectable giving his sectarian approach in seeing humanity. The author seems to have missed this point and brought in unforgivable comparison with Patel.

from:  viswanathan
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 10:31 IST

Needless article with no head and tail.

from:  Sumit
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 10:28 IST

It is good for the BJP to focus on overthrowing the present corruption Congress. Selecting a PM is needed only if there is a majority for BJP and its allies. No need to count the chick before it hatches. India deserves an able administration. Let us learn from past mistakes and in 2014 we dont want to make the same mistake Gandhiji made in 1946. If the wishes of party caders are ignored there is a price BJP will have to pay. Election is all about selecting locally MPs and the elected representatives will inturn elect their leader. It is not about selecting PM. If not let us follow the American way of Presidential rule. Let people select the PM direct.

from:  Ayyappa
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 10:14 IST

So you want 2014-India to commit the same mistake India committed in 1947? Ohh! Hard luck buddy! India is much smarter now..

from:  Aaroosh
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 10:09 IST

what kind of hypothesizing is the author doing? I think all these surely go into calculations. This is like an article which lists down the steps for adding salt to any dish (and discuss the pros and cons of each alternative). Please!

from:  krishna
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 10:00 IST

Well I am not a Modi fan, but even I can say that his time has come. If he let go this opportunity he may never have a chance.

from:  arindom
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 09:58 IST

there is no possibility of the option (C). Moreover, Sardar Patel
directed Operation Polo to unite India. Are we criticizing him for that
today? It is a extreme surprise when India has no honest and capable
leader, the media and press is not willing to accept Mr. Modi as a
impartial leader. One should remember that it is a rarity that a nation
gets an opportunity to support a good and strong leader. We have seen
this in past sixty years, it is our choice that how long we want to
suffer. In the last I want to say that we are concealing our fear of
making a strong choice behind the idea of secluarism.

from:  suraj
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 09:53 IST

I think Modi Should put country and countryman far ahead of party or

from:  sushil surana
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 09:52 IST

In the interest of the party, Sardar Patel stepped down, Nehru took
over, and look what happened to India. Why should Modi fall for that
trap again?

from:  Raj Sinha
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 09:42 IST

I think otherwise, what Patel did may have done good for the party, but
the Nation has suffered from last 66 years...Nation interest should be
paramount to any individual or Party or religion or state for that

from:  Nityanand
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 09:33 IST

Since the politics of BJP is not working for the past 10yrs, let the possibility A workout this time as politics is all about experimentation.

from:  Renu
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 09:30 IST

I'm 21st Century student. Although tyag-era fascinates me, I care about far more important things such as manufacturing jobs. I doubt if anyone has the courage to bring in reforms like Modi, I fear between (A) and (C) there would be significant differences in terms of Governance of NDA. Modi is no Midas, he is as good as it gets.

from:  Abhishek Devurkar
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 09:15 IST

Let us at the outset acknowledge that Mahatma Gandhi was no less than
a prophet & who knows he may be glorified as an incarnation of the
almighty in the coming future.
Our culture teaches us to take the bread from our near & dear ones &
offer it to our guests (outsiders). He made sure that no one blames
him for being partisan in offering the Prime Minister-ship to another
Gujarati that way he made sure that his reputation doesn't take a hit.
Without the efforts of the Mahatma, India wouldn't have gained it's
freedom so easily but let us not forget the sacrifices that were made
by his immediate family wife & kid's in particular.
Today's world is a little different, I am not sure that the BJP has
leaders who can persuade Mr. Modi to wait for his turn as age was on
his side & Mr. Advani shall never get another chance.
Lets wait & watch .... There are more chances of MR. Modi sinking the
NDA ship rather than guiding it to the shore.

from:  S T Zamindar
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 09:11 IST

What a grave exhibition of partisan attitude! The author is narrating
the incident of 1946 and while doing so he has so conspicuously
brought out the fact that Nehru was the "preferred" candidate and all
the elections and campaigning was just an eye-wash! Even if we
conveniently forget this biased approach to the election of India's
first prime minister, we can not turn blind to the atrocity faced by
Indians until now as a consequence of offering the hot seat to Nehru
and subsequently to his family members! I wonder what the author is
trying to convey here. And I request Hindu to just relax a while and
stop bashing Modi with all kinds of whips!

from:  Dr. Ramanathan
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 09:10 IST

Both Gandhiji and Patel were over 75 in 1946 and Patel's health was
not in a good state as well. Knowing that a stable rule is needed
after independence, Patel himself withdrew and proposed Nehru as the
PM. (Which turned out to be a good move, because Patel died 4 years
later, but Nehru was around for another 18). Patel was a person who
implemented things well whereas Nehru on the other hands was a
visionary. Their combination was excellent.

Atleast in Gujurat, Modi has been a visionary as well as a person who
has seen policies implemented effectively. I do not see any other
person who has a national stature and is as effective in policy
implementation (which, to me, seems the biggest problem in India right

from:  riitk
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 09:09 IST

Good Point by the auther, but do you see what happened to India when Patel sacrificed and Nehru became the PM? We have a family raj and Kashmir is still an issue...So this time around the Patel Moment would be that Modi should become the PM candidate.

from:  Suresh Pandya
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 09:08 IST

Gandhi asked patel to step down and out of reverence to an honest man he accepted and the country is suffering till date. We do not want another such mistake !!

from:  Vijay
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 08:55 IST

This is vicious piece of writing. Rather, ask why others in the BJP should not give up their ambitions for a true selfless patriot like Modi, who is most desired PM during this Mother India's hour of need.

from:  Kaushik
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 08:45 IST

Comparision between Modi and Patel is totally unjustified.Where
Respected Patel was epitome of sacrifice and understatement,Mr Modi is
epitome of exageration and hunger for PMship

from:  DInesh
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 08:35 IST

If we really map the 1946 Patel test with Modi's situation, even if he shows selflessness and do so called "Tyag" then the analogy continues and India's growth will again lag by another 5years(even more if NDA continues its 2nd.. 3rd..) which is lagging by 60years just because of Patel's Tyag.
Country comes first. Party, respecting party's chief(even though his ideas are not right), selflessness drama all are secondary. Today, India needs a strong leader no matter his party or team is not capable he should be strong enough think and put his innovative ideas as policies. Country's growth is not in sole hands of its leader. There 1.2B talents which will take care of it.

from:  Vishwanath
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 08:08 IST

It may be a co incidence that great Sardar Valabhai Patel and most
controversial Modi Patel, are from Gujrath.But it is unfair to compare
them.The former contributed for the unity of India and safety of all
Indians and the latter has failed miserably.Yes, if Modi can aspire to
be our PM, but let his conscience permit him.

from:  Yasin Ishaque Syed
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 08:06 IST

I think, this article is another indirect 'try' to prevent Modi to be nominated as PM candidate. By bringing out indeficiencies of Gandhi and Nehru, the author projects himself to be neutral and then wants Modi to step aside if that 'someone else' is projected. Who is that 'someone else'? Sushma Swaraj? Rajnath Singh? Arun Jaitley? Come on! More than 50 % of the public do not even know them!! And, Advani did not proove much when he was Home Minister and certainly do not evoke the confidence even with the party cadres, let alone public. Between Modi and Advani, I and many regular Hindu readers ( at least those who comment regularly) would prefer Modi by 100 yards.
As the Hindu ' s preference is very clear, the readers' preference is also very clear.

from:  Ilango
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 08:01 IST

If people of India is looking for a good leader to lead the country out of the abyss, they will find it in Modi with a record of good, able governance of transparency. If they want to think of all those region, religion and cast matters, then, they would find him not fitting the bill! After the pedestrian and at times dysfunctional governance of the country since independence, it is time for the nation to get out of such narrow thinking and find someone who can really lead the country to a prosperous and happy future. In that, it is the policies, character and the vision of the leader that count. Make it happen, if you will or vote for the corruption as ever!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 07:54 IST

Mr. Narender Modi is the incarnation of the great Sardar Valabhbhai Patel. He
will not only govern India with great care but will increase its prestige in the World. He is a great and sensitive leader. I wish him all the best to get elected to govern the great nation of Hindustan. I hope and pray that Indians do not commit the same mistake as was done in making Nehru, Prime Minister in
1946 at Gandhi's insistence.

from:  Sushil Asthana
Posted on: May 2, 2013 at 07:21 IST
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