Sardar Patel, Nehru and the RSS
– Ayush Nadimpalli
The latest prime-time controversy is the one between Narendra Modi and Dr.Manmohan Singh regarding the legacy of Sardar Patel.
Narendra Modi said that if Sardar would have become the Prime Minister of the country, the country’s future would have been different. He then went on to explain the vision of the great Sardar.
Dr.Manmohan Singh responded by reading out a speech ( which disproves the point that he was reacting to Modi ) that Sardar Patel was a Congressman and he fought for the principles of secularism throughout his life.
As part of the orchestra, Manish Tewari and others jumped into the fray on Main stream media and social network that Sardar Patel’s legacy cannot be appropriated and that he was a Congressman and other parties dont have any history etc etc..
Now let us have the facts :
1. This is not the first time that someone has said that Patel would have been a better Prime Minister than Nehru. C.Rajagpolachary, who was the Governor General of India said If Nehru was Foreign Minister and Patel the Prime minister, it would be undoubtedly better.
2. The legacy of the great national leaders is not the property of a single political party. The Indian National Congress ,pre-independence was a vehicle in which people of many political hues participated in their quest for freedom. The legacy of those leaders belong to the entire nation and not to one political party. It is for this reason that Mahatma Gandhi resolved to disband the Congress after Independence.
Mahatma Gandhi wrote ” Though split into two, India having attained political independence through means provided by the Indian National Congress, the Congress in its present shape and form, i.e., as a propaganda vehicle and parliamentary machine, has outlived its use. India has still to attain social, moral and economic independence in terms of its seven hundred thousand villages as distinguished from its cities and towns. The struggle for the ascendancy of civil over military power is bound to take place in India’s progress towards its democratic goal. It must be kept out of unhealthy competition with political parties and communal bodies. For these and other similar reasons, the A. I. C .C. resolves to disband the existing Congress organization and flower into a Lok Sevak Sangh under the following rules, with power to alter them as occasion may demand.(*Gandhiji’s idea of a transformed Congress was published in Harijan under the title “His Last Will and Testament”. Also published in ‘The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi – Volume 90’, published by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s publication division in 1984.
Can the Congress leaders explain why Mahatma Gandhi who as per them is the sole architect of freedom was completly ignored in this essential point ? Does it not show the power-hungry nature of Nehru and his ilk ?
3. Let us now come to Dr.Manmohan Singh’s certificate of Sardar Patel that he is indeed a secularist. The only certificate of “Secularism” in India must come from the Congress because they own the meaning of this word. ” Secularism” in Bharat i.e., India means the opposite of what it is worldwide.
In his book ” With No Ill-Feeling to Anybody“, Sri MKK Nair, an IAS officer of the 1947 batch who was close both to Sardar and VP Menon,writes
“Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India, was insulted, humiliated and disgraced by the then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, during a Cabinet meeting. “You are a complete communalist and I’ll never be a party to your suggestions and proposals,” Nehru shouted at Patel during a crucial Cabinet meeting to discuss the liberation of Hyderabad by the Army from the tyranny of the Razakkars, the then Nizam’s private army.
A shocked Sardar Patel collected his papers from the table and slowly walked out of the Cabinet room. That was the last time Patel attended a Cabinet meeting. He also stopped speaking to Nehru since then.”
So RSS is not the only one that Nehru called communal. He had those kind words for the then own Dy.Prime Minister, Sardar Patel.
4. Manish Tewari, Congress MP, ( Information & Broadcasting Minister ) ,in an interview to a news channel, quotes a letter by Sardar Patel to Guru Golwalkar of the RSS dated 11th Sept 1948. “On 9/11/1948, Sardar Patel wrote a letter to Golwalkarji. And, in that letter, he said that the communal poison which had been spread by the RSS was responsible for the sacrifice of Gandhiji. As a student of political history, it has always intrigued me that the RSS, BJP has been attempting unsuccessfully to appropriate the legacy of Sardar Patel. I wanted to ask the BJP or their newly-anointed pretender that do they endorse, or agree with the views of Sardar Patel with regard to the RSS. If not, as the chief minister of Gujarat and possibly as the ‘Swayamsevak’ within history bears testimony to the fact that those who do not have a history of their own, try to appropriate the history of others,” he added. Tewari said the Indian freedom struggle was conceived, conceptualized and led by the Indian National Congress. “The unification of India was also the result of the efforts of the Indian National Congress. So, therefore, it would be advisable before you try and appropriate legacy to at least study it carefully,” he added.
In the same letter that Tewari cites , the Sardar wrote ,
“There can be no doubt that the RSS did service to the Hindu society. In the areas where there was the need for help and organization, the young men of the RSS protected women and children and strove much for their sake. No person of understanding could have a word of objection regarding that” and he writes further “ I am thoroughly convinced that the RSS men carry on their patriotic endeavour only by joining the Congress and not by keeping separate or by opposing. ” Source: Justice on Trial
It is clear that he wanted the Sangh to join Congress for whatever reasons he deemed fit.
Therefore, it would be nice if a student of political history as Tewari claims himself to be, he goes through the entire documentation.
What is further interesting is the following correspondence:
After removal of the ban on the RSS on 12 July 1949, Sardar Patel wrote a letter to Shri Guruji on this occasion and made a telling remark: ‘Only the people near me know as to how happy I was when the ban on Sangh was lifted. I wish you all the best.’
Any person who is genuine and wants to present the truth, would have mentioned the whole correspondence between Sardar Patel and Guruji Golwalkar and not quote as it suits him. It clearly exposes the lies that Manish Tewari and his ilk are indulging in.
5 . How the Efforts by the Congress to malign RSS Continue
Inspite of all the direct evidence, the Congress did not end at this, In 1966, Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi appointed another commission under Justice JL Kapur, a retd judge of Supreme Court. It examined over 100 witnesses and submited a report in 1969. The Kapur Commission report said ”
…RSS as such were not responsible for the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, meaning thereby that one could not name the organisation as such as being responsible for that most diabolical crime, the murder of the apostle of peace. It has not been proved that they (the accused) were members of the RSS..”
In his speeches, after the ban was lifted, Shri Guruji endeared himself to many people outside the Sangh ranks with his magnanimity and moderation. ‘Let us close this chapter of the ban on the Sangh,’ he told swayamsevaks and RSS sympathisers. ‘Do not let your minds be overcome with bitterness for those who, you feel, have done injustice to you. If the teeth were to bite the tongue do we pull out the teeth? Even those who have done injustice to us are our own people. So we must forget and forgive.”
Compare this with Nehru’s mean and jealous attitude of sidelining everyone who opposed in his way, so much so, that he arm-twisted even Mahatma Gandhi to name him as the Prime Minister when 12 out of 15 Congress committees named the Sardar over him as their Prime Ministerial choice.
Both Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi tried falsely implicate the RSS in the Gandhi murder. Nehru’s great-grandson, Rahul Gandhi continues to harp on the “people who killled Gandhi”. Having failed in their efforts, the Congress leaders & the communists continue to raise the bogey of Hindu communalism every now and then in a lowly attempt to garner votes and keep the country in a state of uncertainty. .
The only difference is that the nation is seeing through their game !
Annexure A – More Information on the Ban on the RSS
More Information on the Ban on RSS
The subject of the ban on RSS in connection with Gandhiji’s murder needs some more attention. It is clear that Sardar Patel was of the opinion that the RSS was not involved in Gandhiji’s murder. This fact is evident from the correspondence between Patel and Nehru. Replying to the Prime Minister’s letter urging him to ascertain the RSS connection in the case, Patel sent a categorical reply on 27 February 1948, less than a month after Gandhiji’s assassination: ‘I have kept myself almost in daily touch with the progress of the investigations regarding Bapu’s assassination case. All the main accused have given long and detailed statements of their activities. It also clearly emerges from the statements that the RSS was not involved in it at all.’
Therefore, it is clear that it was on Nehru’s insistence and some later fictitious reports from some of the state leaders that forced Patel to impose the ban on the RSS.
Shri Guruji was arrested again on the night of 13 November 1948 under the notorious Bengal State Prisoner’s Act. It was the very Act which Nehru had condemned before Independence as a ‘black law’. Soon after his arrest, Shri Guruji wrote a letter to all the swayamsevaks: ‘This state of affairs is humiliating. To continue to submit meekly to this atrocious tyranny is an insult to the honour of citizens of free Bharat and a blow to the prestige of our civilised free State. I therefore request you to stand up for our great cause.’ He gave a call for nationwide satyagraha on 9 December 1948. The main slogan of the satyagrahis was a blatant challenge to the Nehru government: ‘Prove the charges against the RSS or lift the ban.’The satyagraha was a huge success all over the country. The government soon realised that public opinion was going against Shri Guruji’s illegal arrest. So in order to break the stalemate, Patel communicated a request to Shri Guruji to prepare a written constitution for the RSS and to send it to the Government of India for its perusal. Until then, the RSS had been functioning without a constitution. Shri Guruji readily agreed to this suggestion and the text of the Sangh’s constitution was sent to the government in June 1949. This paved the way for removal of the ban on the RSS on 12 July 1949, followed by Shri Guruji’s release the following day.
Shri Guruji’s grand reception at New Delhi Station – 21st Aug 1949
On a side note, it is interesting to note that after the ban was lifted, Shri Guruji embarked on an all-India tour in August 1949, touring the country extensively for six months. Wherever he went, he received a tumultuous welcome. The massive ovation he got in Delhi on 23 August 1949 attracted international attention. BBC radio reported: ‘Golwalkar is a shining star that has arisen on the Indian firmament. The only other Indian who can draw such huge crowds is Prime Minister Nehru.’
This explains why Nehru was so insistent on banning the RSS. It was probably because he saw a potential political threat in the RSS to him.
Final Constitutional proof that lifting the ban on RSS was unconditional.
Coming to the propaganda that RSS made compromises, here is the final proof.
Proceedings of Bombay legislative assembly of the 14th October 1949 after lifting the ban :
Mr. Lallubhai Makanji Patel
Will the Hon Minister for Home and Revenue be pleased to state: –
a. Whether it is a fact that the ban on RSS has been lifted
b. If so, what are the reasons for lifting the ban
c. Whether the lifting of the ban is conditional or unconditional
d. If conditional, what are the conditions
e. Whether the leader of the RSS has given any undertaking
Answered by Mr. Dinkarrao Desai for Morarji R Desai
b. As it was no longer considered necessary to continue it
d. Does not arise
It is therefore clear that the lifting of ban on the RSS in 1948 was unconditional and the organisation and its swayamsevaks were falsely implicated.