Sardar Patel on China

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Rahul92, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Rahul92

    Rahul92 Senior Member Senior Member

    Sep 4, 2010
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    *** Excerpts from Sardar Patel’s Letter to Nehru on China dt. 07 Nov, 1950 ***

    My Dear Jawaharlal,

    Ever since my return from Ahmedabad and after the Cabinet meeting the same day which I had to attend at practically 15 minutes notice and for which I regret I was not able to read all the papers,I thought I should share with you what is passing through my mind.

    I have carefully gone through (all) the correspondence…but I regret to say that neither of them (our Ambassador and the Chinese government) comes out well as a result of this study…The Chinese Government has tried to delude us by professins of peaceful intentions. My own feeling is that at a cruicial period they managed to instil into our Ambassador a false sense of confidence in their so called desire to settle the Tibetan problem by peaceful means.

    There can be no doubt that during the period covered by this correspondence,the Chinese must have been concentrating for an onslaught on Tibet. The final action of the Chinese, in my judgement, is little short of perfidy. The tragedy of it is that the Tibetans put faith in us; they chose to be guided by us; and we have been unable to get them out of the meshes of Chinese diplomacy or Chinese malevolence. From the latest position, it appears that we shall not be able to rescue the Dalai Lama.

    Our Ambassador has been at great pains to find an explanation or justification for Chinese policy and actions. As the External Affairs Ministry remarked in one of their telegrams, there was a lack of firmness and unnecessary apology in one or two representations that he made to the Chinese Government on our behalf.


    …During the last several months, outside the Russian camp, we have been practically alone in championing the cause of Chinese entry into the UNO and in securing from the Americans assurances on the question of Formosa…In spite of this,China is not convinced about our disinterestedness; it continues to regard us with suspicion and the whole psychology is one, at least outwardly, of scepticism,perhaps mixed with a little hostility.

    I doubt if we can go any further than we have done already …Their last telegram to us is an act of gross discourtesy not only in the summary way it disposes of our protest against the entry of Chinese forces into Tibet but also in the wild insinuation that our attitude is determined by foreign influences.It looks as though it is not a friend speaking in that language but a potential enemy.

    With this background, we have to consider what new situation we are now faced with as a result of the disappearance of Tibet…Throughout history, we have been seldom worried about our North-East frontier. The Himalayas have been regarded as an impregnable barrier against any threat from the North.

    …We can therefore, safely assume that very soon they (Chinese government) will disown all the stipulations which Tibet has entered into in the past. That throws all frontier and commercial settlements with Tibet, in accordance with which we had been functioning and acting during the last half a century, into the melting pot.

    …Chinese ambitions in this respect not only cover the Himalayan slopes on our side but also include important parts of Assam. They have their ambitions in Burma also.

    …While our Western and North-Western threat to security is still as prominent as before, a new threat has developed from the North and North-East.

    Thus for the first time after centuries, India’s defence has to concentrate on two fronts simultaneously. Our defence measures have so far been based on calculations of superiority over Pakistan. We shall now have to reckon with communist China in the North and North-East, a communist China which has definite ambitions and aims and which does not in any way seem friendly towards us.

    Let us also consider the political conditions on this potentially troublesome frontier. Our Northern or Northeastern approaches consist of Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling and tribal areas in Assam. They are weak from the point of view of communications.Continuous defensive lines do not exist. There is an almost unlimited scope for infiltration. Police protection is limited to a very small number of passes. There, too, our outposts do not seem to be fully manned. Our contact with these areas is by no means close and intimate.

    …I am sure the Chinese…would not miss any oppurtunity of exploiting these weak spots, partly in support of their ideology and partly their ambition. In my judgement, therefore,the situation is one in which we cannot afford to be either complacent or vacillating. We must ahve a clear idea of what we wish to acheive and the methods by which we should acheive it. Any lack of decisiveness in formulating our objectives or pursuing our policy to attain them is bound to weaken us and increase the threats.

    Along with these external dangers, we shall now have to face serious internal problems as well. Hitherto,the Communist Party of India has found some difficulty in contacting communists abroad, or in getting supplies of arms, literature etc.from them. They had to contend with the difficult Burmese and Pakistan frontiers in the East or with the long seaboard. They shall now have a comparitively easy means of access to Chinese communists, and through them to other foreign communists. Infiltration of spies, fifth columnists and communists would now be easier.

    …It is, of course, impossible for me to exhaustively set out all the problems. I have, however, given below some of the problems which,in my opinion, require early solutions, around which we have to build our administrative or military policy measures.

    A military and intelligence appreciation of the Chinese threat to India, both on the frontier and internal security.
    An examination of our military position and such re-disposition of forces as might be necessary,particularly with the idea of guarding important routes or areas which are likely to be the subject of di(s)pute.
    An appraisement of the strength of our forces and, if necessary, reconsideration of our retrenchment plans for the Army in the light of these new threats.
    A long term consideration of our defence needs.
    The political and administrative steps which we should take to strengthen our Northern and Northeastern frontiers.
    Measures of internal security in the border areas,such as U.P, Bihar , Bengal and Assam .
    Improvements of our communications,road,rail,air and wireless in these areas and with the frontier outposts.
    Policing and intelligence of frontier outposts.
    The future of our mission at Lhasa and the trade posts at Gyangtse and Yatung and the forces we have in operation in Tibet to guard the trade routes.
    The policy in regard to the McMohan Line.

    *** End of Excerpts ***

    * This letter of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel is excerpted from the book:”Makers of India’s Foreign Policy : From Raja Rammohun Roy to Yashwant Sinha” – by J.N. Dixit, published by India Today.
    Tolaha, LETHALFORCE and maomao like this.
  3. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

    Aug 20, 2010
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    Gangtok, Sikkim, India
    He's so correct! See, this is what; we were THIS close to getting a super PM. But NOOOO... It had to be that treacherous vermin called Nehru and his band of anti-national scums.
  4. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

    Aug 27, 2011
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    The Sardar

    Yesterday, October 31, was the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.

    The man, who would have been the first Prime Minister of India, chose to accept Gandhi’s advice and remain happy to be Home Minister in Nehru’s cabinet. As history tells us, the Congress held a presidential election in the knowledge that its chosen leader would become India's head of government. Eleven Congress state units nominated Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, while only the Working Committee suggested Nehru. Sensing that Nehru would not accept second place to Patel, Gandhi supported Nehru and asked Patel to withdraw, which he immediately did.

    A man of highest personal integrity and a transparent public life, Sardar not only gave us an India without ulcers, but also had Lakshadwep integrated in time, which was eyed by Pakistan immediately after August 15,1947. He had the prudence to send Naval ships to the island, barely informed of the independence, and thwarted a Pakistani Navy attempt to seize the strategically located and almost an ‘out of sight’ island. Our naval ships had seen Pakistani Navy nearing Lakshadweep and had them returned.

    Sardar integrated 562 princely states with swiftness and alacrity of a Bismarck.

    Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was given the task to have J&K merged. He not only turned it into a permanent pain in the neck but during his reign, we lost 1.25 lakh sq km of Indian land to China and Pakistan. The Survey of India’s map showing the J&K area is incomplete in the sense that we still have to take back the Aksai Chin and Gilgit region from China and Pakistan, which were annexed in 1947-48 by them. And the unpreparedness of India in 1962 is too well known.

    A few years ago I had bought a book titled "Inside Story of Sardar Patel: The Diary of Maniben Patel" (Vision books) , which gives vivid details of Sardar’s thoughts and his clarity on various national issues. It’s a dairy written meticulously by his daughter Maniben.

    Rathin Das from Ahmedabad reported this year on July 12, 2011 that the entry in Maniben’s diary on September 20, 1950 says that Sardar told Nehru that the Babri Masjid’s renovation was different from reconstruction of the Somnath Temple for which a trust was set up that raised nearly 30 lakh for the purpose. Government money was not spent on reconstruction of the Somnath Temple, Sardar told Nehru following which the Prime Minister kept quiet, Maniben’s diary notes on September 20, 1950.

    As Sardar Patel’s wife, Zaverba, died very early, Maniben had taken up the multiple roles as daughter, secretary, washerwoman and nurse to the ‘Iron Man’ till his death on December 12, 1950. Since 1936, Maniben had started maintaining a diary in which she recorded her illustrious father’s daily events and comments.

    Another entry, on September 13, 1950, quotes Ghanshyamdas Birla as saying “Nehru’s whole family would have embraced Islam if they had not come in contact with Gandhiji.”

    Particulary significant are Sardar’s views on Communists, Muslims and the conversion of Hindus as chronicled by Maniben. It says, Nehru tried to go soft on the Hyderabad action, apparently to appease Muslims. But the Sardar told C Rajgopalachari in no uncertain terms that nothing would stop him from pursuing strong action to remove 'an ulcer', and that Nehru should remain within his limits. The diary says: ‘‘Sardar Patel bluntly told Rajaji that he would not want the future generations to blame and curse him for allowing an ulcer in the heart of India. On one side is western Pakistan and on the other side eastern Pakistan (with their idea of (a) pan-Islamic bloc...(they want to) come to Delhi and establish the Mughal empire again. Once we enter Hyderabad, it is no longer an international affair. It is the State Ministry’s function. How long are you and Panditji going to bypass the Ministry of the States and carry on?’’ (September 13, 1947.

    Patel's hold over the Congress party organization was certainly greater. Nehru considered Sardar a rival who could dethrone him. Maniben's diary, however, reveals that Patel had no such ambition, particularly after he had given his word to Gandhi. Upon the Patel-Nehru differences played many others, notably Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, the socialists, and even Maulana Azad. The diary reveals their manoeuvrings to oust Sardar from the Cabinet. Significantly, Nehru consistently ignored the many allegations of corruption against Kidwai, a fact that puzzled many Congress leaders.

    The Sardar was happy to see Guruji Golwalkar, the then RSS chief, released from jail and wanted to welcome RSS workers in the Congress. On August 3, 1949, says the diary: ‘‘Glad at release of Golwalkar—ready to welcome in Congress. Bapu’s (Sardar’s) task to make their entry easy.’’ Today, the Congress laments that Osama was not given a fair burial, but won’t say a word on the atrocities on Hindus in Bangladesh. The Sardar reacted differently under similar circumstances. Maniben records: ‘‘Sardar Patel was not happy with the Nehru-Liaquat Ali Pact as it did not stop the exodus of Hindus from East Pakistan which went on increasing and a large number of Hindus continued to migrate to India. Sardar Patel observed that he was not so much worried about the killings, after all 30 lakh people had died in the Bengal famine, but he could not stand assaults on women and their forcible conversion to Islam... (April 5, 1950).

    The Sardar further said: ‘‘Hindus had been totally finished in Sind, Punjab, Baluchistan and Frontier Provinces. It was being repeated in East Pakistan and people like Hafizur Rehman, who had stayed on in India, would be clamouring for (a) homeland in India. What would be our position then? Our posterity would call us traitors.’’ (April 24, 1950)

    Sardar Patel did not trust the Communists either. He told M O Mathai, Nehru’s Special Assistant, ‘‘if we have to build up the nation, Communists would have no place there.’’ (September 13, 1947.’’

    He didn’t know that though his photo would be used on the Congress manifesto, and that the same people would join hands with the Communists whom he had despised most.

    Interestingly, Maniben mentions in her diary that Sardar had one common goal with Savarkar. They differed on several issues but both of them wanted the ‘‘four crore Muslims in India to be loyal to the country; otherwise there was no place for them (August 16, 1949).’’

    The diary says, ‘‘Sardar Patel was very unhappy that Nehru had taken the Kashmir issue to the UN which tied India’s hands. His idea was that India should extricate itself from the UN patiently and then solve the Kashmir problem forever. He was also unhappy when reports came that the fertile land left behind in Jammu by Muslim zamindars who had migrated to Pakistan was not being given to Hindu refugees. Instead, the Sheikh was insisting on settling only Muslim refugees on such land (May 1, 1949)... (there were reports) that the majority of government employees were pro-Pakistani.’’

    Nehru was a close friend of Sheikh Abdullah, while the Sardar didn’t trust him at all. The diary reveals that even Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, former prime minister of Kashmir, felt that the Sardar could have solved Kashmir if Nehru had not intervened. ‘‘Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, on the other hand, was insisting that the Sardar should settle the Kashmir issue as he had done Hyderabad. But Nehru would not allow it. Iyengar reported that the Sheikh wanted to have an independent Kashmir. Upon hearing this, the Sardar said he would ask the Maharaja to return to Jammu as he did not place any trust in Sheikh Abdullah (May 12, 1949).’’

    Maniben also refers to a discussion about the possibility of the partition of Kashmir, which involved India retaining Jammu and handing over the rest of the state to Pakistan. Patel retorted: ‘‘We want the entire territory... and battle for the whole of Kashmir” (July 23, 1949).

    Indus Calling : Tarun Vijay's blog-The Times Of India
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
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    Old letter that I posted yesreday as well in another thread context to china. Why so many threads are don't opened up?

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