About the BookVallabhbhai Patel is rightly said to be the architect of India’s political integration, and is often compared to Otto von Bismarck of Germany, who did the same for his country. The integration of nearly six hundred princely states is attributed to him. In case of problematic states like Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagarh he had to use a combination of frank diplomacy and force.
Patel devoted his time and energy in doing practical work. He went on despite having health problems at times. He was imprisoned and spent many years in jail which weakened him physically, but not mentally. He went on opposing the oppressive policies of the British government and galvanizing the people of India for India’s struggle for independence. He wrote a number of letters keeping a watch on the events happening across the country, guiding other leaders, including men of position.
Sardar Patel had greater vision than other leaders including Nehru. He was against taking the Kashmir issue to the UN Security Council, which the then Prime Minister Nehru did, and the issue which was of local nature, became international and has remained unresolved till today. Patel also foresaw the dangers hidden in China’s policy of dominating and bullying its neighbours, and its incursions in Tibet. He asked Nehru to strengthen Indian army. Nehru Ignored his call and India suffered heavily when China attacked it in 1962.
Patel was in favour of private participation in the economy but Nehru followed a socialistic pattern with little allowance for private participation. No worthwhile development took place in the Nehruvian period and three decades thereafter as a result of faulty economic policies. If we had followed Patel’s policies from the beginning, India would have been a much developed country by now. That’s why there is a growing opinion that Patel would have made a better Prime Minister than Nehru.
It is heartening to note that Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has given a call to observe Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary as ‘National Unity Day’ to add to his earlier initiation of setting up Patel’s tall statue at Sadhu bet, Near Sardar Sarovar Dam, Gujarat. These gestures herald the start of the quest which seeks to rediscover the icon and reinstate him in our national consciousness.
The book is a tribute to Sardar Patel. While recounting his life, works and achievements, it traverses all the major events of India’s struggle for independence and multitudes of problems that arose in social, political and economic spheres and how Patel stood up to meet the challenges of his time.
More than one hundred letters out of his 10,000 during the years 1945–1950 have been included in the book. They mirror his personality, statesmanship and spirit of patriotism. These letters, mostly unknown to the present generation, have great relevance these days as we often talk about “good governance” today.About the Author/sK.R. Gupta, M.A., Ph.D., had been teaching postgraduate classes and guiding research in the University of Jammu and Kurukshetra University. He has deeply studied the social, political and economic problems of India for the last several decades and written many books, including India’s International Relations; Concise Encyclopaedia of India (Ed., 5 Vols.); India-Pakistan Relations, with Special Reference to Kashmir (4 Vols.); Reform of the United Nations (Ed., 2 Vols.); Studies in World Affairs (Ed., 2 Vols.); Global Financial Crisis (3 vols.); Economic Growth Models; Interest Rates and Inflation in India: Issues and Concerns; and Advanced Economics of Development (2 Vols.). He has contributed more than hundred papers in reputed journals, being published in India and abroad. Dr. Gupta has also worked as an Economist in private as well as in public sector. His last assignment was as Economic Advisor to the Modi Enterprises.