London Tribute to Iron Man of India (Post No.5609)


Compiled  by London Swaminathan

Date: 31 October 2018

GMT Time uploaded in London – 21-16

Post No. 5609

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog

Evening Standard of London has published a beautiful short write up on Sardar Vallabbhai Patel on the day Prime minister Narendra Modi opened the tallest statue in the world. Here is what Lord Gadhia wrote in today’s paper
Today, the world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity, is unveiled in India by prime minister Narendra Modi, standing more than twice as high as the Statue of Liberty, the man honoured with this likeness is Vallabhbhai Patel — one of India s founding fathers and the first deputy prime minister of India.

His most visible legacy was integrating 552 princely states which had the option to join either India or Pakistan or remain independent. This required a blend of determination, skilful diplomacy and steely resolve, earning him the sobriquet the Iron Man of India.

The last viceroy Louis Mountbatten, refereed to this achievement in glowing terms. He said “had you failed, the results would have been disastrous “.

However, Patel was a man of many talents. He became India’s first deputy prime minister and home minister, served as the supreme commander of the armed force s ,and established the Indian Civil Service. But he started out as a freedom fighter.

Patel’s participation in the freedom movement came at considerable personal cost. He was imprisoned by the British many times, and his wife succumbed to cancer when he was 33. He gave up a place to study law in London to his elder brother. Although the latter fulfilled this ambition, coming top of his class in Middle Temple , and he even fortified the opportunity to become prime minister at Gandhi s request.

A 300 million pound statue might be viewed as a vanity project but some of the cost is being offset by collecting scrap Iron from farmers across India. And the monument is expected to become a major tourist attraction.

India is vast, and its 29 states could easily be separate countries, yet it has remained unified and a democracy— despite the many forces pulling in different directions.

This is India s real miracle, avoiding fragmentation. Although Patel s Statue metres, his reputation as the unifier of an independent India stands far taller.

Writer Baron Gadhia, an investment banker, was made a life peer in 2016

Evening Standard dated 31 October 2018

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1 Comment

  1. This big statue to Sardar Patel is a belated visual recognition for the man who made modern India.
    But it is in a wrong place. It is in a corner of Gujarat, Patel’s own state, and the state of the present PM. Does not Sardar Patel belong to the whole country? Should not his statue be in the Capital? Locating the statue in Gujarat is just adding to the trend of rising parochialism in the country. This is the latest in the series of silly decisions taken by Narendra Modi.

    “and he even fortified the opportunity to become prime minister at Gandhi s request.”
    In this sentence, ( in the above article) it should be “FORFEITED” and not fortified.

    Actually, this is not accurate. Patel was preferred to Nehru for the post of prime minister by 15 of the 19 Pradesh Congress Committees. But Gandhi ignored it and imposed Nehru. This is the second time he did this type of injustice to Patel. But Patel bore it silently, for the love of Gandhi. Gandhi had done similar injustice to Netaji Subhas Bose too.
    Patel was subject to great humiliation by Nehru, who even accused him of being “communalist’. The communication between the two was so bad, that Rajaji was required to mediate. But after the Sardar’s death, Rajaji too was discarded by Nehru, and thrown away ‘like a used match stick’ , in the words of Rajaji himself.
    The greatest injustice done by Nehru to Sardar Patel was in respect of Kashmir when Patel was the home minister. Nehru sent N.Gopalaswamy Ayyangar to draft a constitutional amendment, in consultation with Sheikh Abdullah, without the knowledge of Home Minister Patel. This became the notorious ARTICLE 370. India is still reeling and bleeding from its effects. This is treachery and betrayal of the country by Nehru, not mere injustice to Patel.

    Gandhi and Nehru both lacked true democratic spirit. Congress party *and India too, were treated like their personal property.
    Sardar Patel was not just an iron man- he had a golden heart, sharp mind, strong will.He is the real father of Modern India, like Sri Aurobindo is the father of real Indian Nationalism. Poor Sardar!- even his strong heart gave way in the end.
    Rajmohan Gandhi’s biography of Sardar Patel [ Navajivan Publishshing House, Ahmedabad] is a beautiful book, describing his life in great detail.
    India would have been completely different had Patel been our PM.

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