MAHATMA WAS PERHAPS NOT RIGHT, SAYS RAJMOHAN My second compilation of blogs released in December, 2013, under title â€œMY TAKEâ€ has quite a few blogs about Sardar Patel, the remarkable integration of princely states that he accomplished, and the manner in which he made the Nizam of Hyderabad who had decided not to sign the Instrument of Accession to the Indian Union to eat the humble pie. Not many are aware that Prime Minister Pandit Nehru was not at all in favour of taking army action against the Nizam and as in the case of Jammu and KashmirState, wanted the Hyderabad issue also to be referred to the U.N. Security Council ! Anyone who analyses the history of those early years would readily feel that if Gandhiji had chosen Sardar Patel instead of Pandit Nehru to become free Indiaâ€™s first Prime Minister, it is quite likely the history of those early years may have been quite different. Going through Rajmohan Gandhiâ€™s excellent biography of Sardar Patel afresh these days, I feel that what Rajmohan has said in his preface is significant. The Preface opens with Rashtrapati Rajendra Prasadâ€™s observations that, generally speaking the Government of India has not been fair to the Sardar. Rajmohan writes : The establishment of independent India derived legitimacy and power, broadly speaking, from the exertions of three men, Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. But while its acknowledgements are fulsome in the case of Nehru, and dutiful in the case of Gandhi, they are niggardly in the case of Patel. â€œThat there is today an India to think and talk about,â€ President Rajendra Prasad wrote in his diary on May 13, 1959, â€œis very largely due to Sardar Patelâ€™s statesmanship and firm administration.â€ â€œYet,â€ added Prasad, â€œwe are apt to ignore him.â€ Falling in 1989, the centenary of Jawaharlalâ€™s birth found expression on a thousand billboards, in commemorative TV serials, in festivals and on numerous other platforms. Occurring on October 31, 1975 â€“ four months after Emergency had been declared, the Patel centenary was, by contrast, wholly neglected by official India and by the rest of the Establishment, and since then the curtain drawn on the life of one of modern Indiaâ€™s most remarkable sons has been only occasionally and partially lifted. To fling it wide and let todayâ€™s generation see Vallabhbhai Patelâ€™s life is my privilege. It is not a perfect manâ€™s life and I have neither wanted nor tried to hide Patelâ€™s imperfections. But some at least may feel after knowing his life that Patel is a man to remember gratefully in good times and as a benchmark of Indiaâ€™s potential when the times seem depressing or daunting. Whether or not Gandhi was unjust to Patel when the moment arrived to select free Indiaâ€™s first Premier is a question that frequently crops up. The answer disclosed by my inquiry will be found in these pages. But the opinion of some that the Mahatma had been less than fair to Vallabhbhai was a factor in my decision to attempt to write the latterâ€™s life. If a wrong had been perpetrated, some reparation from one of the Mahatmaâ€™s grandsons would be in order. In addition I seek to discharge the obligation of a citizen to a founder of his nation. I may be allowed also to refer to a personal contact, though of the slenderest kind and occurring when I was 14. Some time in 1949, during a visit that my parents, siblings and I made to 1 Aurangzeb Road â€“ the Sardarâ€™s home in New Delhi -, I somehow found myself alone with him on his lawn. We sat in chairs facing each other and about six feet apart. He was smiling at me with his lips and his eyes â€“ mocking and inspecting me, I thought. I felt uncomfortable and wanted to take my eyes off him but did not â€“ I guess my pride came in the way. Then I chanced to look more closely into his eyes and noticed affection in them. From that moment I knew that the Iron Man had a warm heart. For Rajmohan, Gandhijiâ€™s grandson, virtually to say openly that Gandhiji had perhaps not been right in the decision he took about Prime Ministership, and, so merited some â€˜reparationâ€™ from one of his grandsons not only revealed his own greatness and magnanimity but also endorsed the general view that Sardar would have been a more appropriate choice. TAILPIECE This book by Rajmohan Gandhi has also effectively nailed the Congress Partyâ€™s slanderous campaign against the RSS in respect of Mahatmajiâ€™s assassination. At page 472, the author has quoted the letter dated 27.02.1948 written by Sardar Patel to Jawahar Lal Nehru, which is being quoted below: â€œI have kept myself almost in daily touch with the progress of the investigation regarding Bapuâ€™s assassination case. I devote a large part of my evening to discussing with Sanjeevi (head of intelligence and I.G. of Police, Delhi) the dayâ€™s progress and giving instructions to him on any points that arise. All the accused have given long and detailed statementsâ€¦ It emerges clearly from these statements that the RSS was not involved in it at all.â€ L.K. ADVANI New Delhi March 12, 2014 Blog : Shri L.K. Advani on "Mahatma was perhaps not right, says Rajmohan"