Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s greatest contribution was in ensuring indivisible sovereignty for India, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said here on Tuesday. A number of States existed in the Indian landmass at the time of Independence and Partition in 1947 but Sardar Patel unified all the States into one and established its sovereignty over the Indian territory.
“One of his great contributions has been that he laid the foundation of a nation state in which there was one constitution, one law, and indivisible sovereignty. Sovereignty can never be divided. The moment, it is divided, it becomes nothing,” said Mr. Doval in a speech delivered at the launch of a book on Sardar Patel written by author R.N.P. Singh.
Mr. Doval said the colonial era rulers of India had inherited a collection of States but had created one system that they probably were unwilling to leave behind for the new emergent India. He said it was Sardar Patel who had realised that diluted sovereignty would have hurt India’s future prospects.
“Certain States at that time had their own armies and their own laws. If they were all independent with some sovereignty then there would have been a situation where the British would be entering into a contractual agreement with the principal state [out of the several existing ones],” said Mr. Doval.
The launch of the book titled “Unifier of Modern India” coincides with the ongoing drive to commemorate Sardar Patel and his legacy.