Today, Oct 31st, is the 138th birth anniversary of the man who integrated the various princely states of British India into the India we have today, Shri Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel (1875 – 1950) also known as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He was the first “Minister of Home Affairs” and the Deputy Prime minister from 15 August 1947 until he passed away on Dec 15th 1950 at the age of 75.
He was a giant of a political leader and modern India owes him a lot. But as has unfortunately become the pattern, towering leaders of the Indian National Congress are rarely celebrated by the party; instead they elevate Nehru and his progeny — pygmies compared to the Sardar and others — to the high heavens and airbrush others out. Fortunately things are improving, thanks to the access that readers and writers have in this internet age. Now we can begin to glimpse a more accurate picture of how petty, vindictive and mean-spirited Nehru actually was; now we have something to counter-balance the hagiographic propaganda Indians have been fed for so long. Social media is a real treasure in this regard.