Thoughts on economics and liberty

Sardar Patel’s vigorous opposition to RSS and strong support for secular India

The following short extracts from WAS SARDER PATEL COMMUNAL?: AN EXERCISE IN HISTORICAL DEMYSTIFICATION by Bhupendra Yadav, Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, Vol. 63 (2002), pp. 778-790 are very important.

PATEL WANTED MINORITIES TO BECOME ANYTHING THEY WANTED IN INDIA

Patel declared “…. The future of a minority, any minority, is to trust the majority. It will be a misfortune to this country if the majority does not realize its own responsibility. If I were a member of a minority community, I would forget that I belong to a minority community, why should not a member of any community be the Prime Minister of this country?…”

HE DECLARED HE WAS A FRIEND OF THE MUSLIM

“We have just heard people shouting that Muslims should be removed from India. Those who do so have gone mad with anger. I maintain that I am a friend of Muslims.” [In the article it is mentioned that Patel retained a distinction between the Muslim Leaguer and the common Muslim till the very end.]

LOYAL MUSLIMS ARE BROTHERS

a loyal Muslim must be treated as your own brother. If you think you can go on constantly troubling loyal Muslims because they happen to be Muslims, then our freedom has not been worthwhile”

TOTALLY OPPOSED TO HINDU RAJ

In February 1949 he said, “Hindu Raj was a mad idea” and added that “it will kill the soul of India.”

DEAD AGAINST RSS

He said, “it is our determined resolve that we will not allow RSS or any other communal organisation to throw the country back on the path of slavery and disintegration.”

Patel wanted RSS to “know that Hinduism would not be saved by rowdyism.” Patel did not understand “the manner in which the organisation had been working,” how “the entire work of RSS was directed” or why the leadership was so selectively drawn. He said, “Anyone who wanted to start a movement should do so openly. But there was something secret about the RSS. It had no constitution of its own. Its provincial heads, the Sangh chalaks, were all Mahratta Brahmins.”

His strongest words were reserved for the para-military nature of RSS. He said, “The RSS had an army of its own. I can understand the existence of an army outside India, but the raising of an army, whatever name it might be given, within the boundaries of India, could not be permitted. Such an army was a potential danger to the State and, therefore, had to be put down.”

in a speech he advised RSS members to join the Indian National Congress, “if they had the good of the country uppermost in their hearts”,

Patel in this letter dated September 11, 1948 [to Golwalkar], said there was no objection to the service of Hindu society. The Sardar accepted that “young RSS workers protected, Hindu women and children and strove much for their sake.” But the objectionable part arose when they, burning with revenge, began attacking Mussalmans. Organising the Hindus and helping them is one thing but going in for revenge for its sufferings on innocent and helpless men, women and children is quite another thing.”

The distribution of sweets on Gandhiji’s death by RSS men was something Patel never forgot or forgave them for.

 

 

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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