Millennium Post

Nehru had called Patel a total communalist: Advani

In his latest blog posting, Advani has referred to extracts of a book – The Story of an Era Told without Ill Will by MKK Nair, an IAS officer of 1947 batch who served in the Union of India and was believed to be close to Sardar Patel.

The book refers to ‘sharp exchanges’ between Nehru and Patel in a Cabinet meeting before ‘police action’ against Hyderabad. Written in Malayalam, the book is in the process of being translated into English.

The Nizam, who wanted to accede to Pakistan, had sent an emissary to the neighbouring country and transferred a huge sum of money to the government there. The Nizam’s officials were reportedly heaping atrocities on locals.

‘At a cabinet meeting, Patel had described these things and demanded that army be sent to end the terror-regime in Hyderabad. Nehru who usually spoke calmly, peacefully and with international etiquette, spoke losing his composure, ‘You are a total communalist.I will never accept your recommendation... Patel remained unperturbed but left the room with his papers,’ Advani says, quoting from Nair’s book.

BJP has of late been trying to appropriate Sardar Patel as a leader close to the Hindutva ideology.
On Patel’s 138th anniversary on 31 October, Advani had heaped praise on India’s first home minister at the inauguration of a project to build a 182 metre tall statue- the tallest in the world- of the leader.

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who is behind this endeavour, said India needs Patel’s secularism which united people and not the ‘votebank secularism’ that is being practiced nowadays.
Both Advani and Modi have sought to fashion themselves as inheritors of Patel’s legacy.

BJP has also alleged that Sardar Patel's contribution was never hailed by the Congress and that it only eulogised the Nehru-Gandhi family.

According to Nair’s book, Nehru wanted to take the Hyderabad issue to the UN, just as he did with the Kashmir issue, Advani said in his blog.
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