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Views of Sardar Patel on Reservation policy

Sardar PatelSardar Patel, fondly remembered as the “Iron man of India”. He was one of the most important member of Constituent Assembly and first Home Minister of independent India. Sardar Patel along with Gandhiji, DR. Rajendra Prasad and Nehru captained and pulled the nation out of darkness and stormy times preceding and following the transfer of power.

Sardar Patel was a strict disciplinarian. He was The iron man of India with strong will power, sturdy commonsense, indomitable courage, incorruptible integrity, austere and simple living unlike today’s politicians. He led a life full of suffering and sacrifice. Devotion to duty was the hallmark of his character.i He was down to earth, a realist, a born Kisan and a traditionalist.

With his mature thinking and realism, he handled many complex state affairs like broken law and order machinery at the time of transfer of power, expeditious evacuation of millions of Hindus and Sikhs caught in the Communal holocaust in West Pakistan, or vexatious issue of the division of assets between India and Pakistan, or smooth integration of Indian States by pacifying the Princess of 500 and old princely States.

Immediately after Independence, he warned the nation, India is passing through the most critical and troubled days of her long and checkered history and strong, efficient, experienced broad minded administrators were badly required at that hour to save the nation from the impending crisis. On the eve of Independence the entire administration exhibited the signs of wear and tear.”ii

At Bombay in October 1947, he said, We have only a small number of Civil Servants left. Many people say that they are working in their old way. But those, who have experience of administration, know under what circumstances and how much they are working. Outsiders can not appreciate their work. Many of them, loyal workers and patriots are working with us night and day. All that we have been able to achieve, whether it be in the sphere of states or in Kashmir or another theatre, has been possible only because of their loyalty and whole hearted support.iii

Sardar Patel was opposed to the Parrot cry of socialism and lashed out against socialists for their agitation on an issue, which he considered, was hampering unity and strength of the country. He is reported to have remarked on 2nd January 1948 at Shillong before a mammoth gathering. By experience, I am convinced that what is necessary for us is to learn how to produce more wealth (created by ones own labour) and thereafter think what to do with it. What the country needs is not parrot like cry of socialism, but unity and strength Patel asked the people to think, why England took a long time to become socialistic and why America made no mention of it even now.

 i Krishna B, Times of India, Dated November 12, 1995, p 5.

ii Provincial Premiers Conference in Delhi. October 21, 1946.

iii Quoted in Sardar Patel by PD Saggi, p185.

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September 27, 2009 - Posted by | General, Reservation/Affirmative action program

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