Patel glorified, Indira ignored, why?

Published Oct 31, 2014, 11:48 am IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 5:45 pm IST
B.K. Chandrashekhar says BJP appropriating Cong leaders in absence of towering figures of their own

Bengaluru: Leaders of the ruling Congress in Karnataka have taken umbrage to the BJP led NDA government’s plan to observe the birth anniversary of the ‘Iron Man Of India’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 31 as Rashtriya Ekta Divas while ignoring the death anniversary of the late prime minister Indira Gandhi which falls on the same day.

Prominent among them, KPCC vice president and former minister Prof B.K. Chandrashekhar, told Deccan Chronicle that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders of RSS were trying to “appropriate” Congress leaders who fought for freedom as neither RSS nor BJP had any towering personalities who were in the forefront of the freedom movement.


“They made attempts to appropriate Gandhiji and Lal Bahadur Shastri. They have planned to build a memorial for Sardar Patel. By doing so, the RSS and Mr Modi want to erase contributions of the late prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi,” he added.

Prof Chandrashekhar wondered why former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee did not attempt such events. “Mr Modi has been projecting himself as ‘Modern Patel’. But, Mr Modi should understand that Mr Patel was preeminently a Congressman. Mr Patel was a secular leader. So, Mr Modi cannot compare himself with Patel,” he added.


When his attention was drawn to imposition of emergency by the government headed by Mrs. Indira Gandhi in 1975, Prof. Chandrashekhar said because of that single mistake, she lost the Lok Sabha election.

“There ends the matter. How long can you stretch that issue? If you are saying 2002 carnage in Gujarat is past and one should look towards the future, why should one insist on regurgitating the emergency again and again?” he asked.

The former Congress minister reminded leaders of RSS and BJP that it was the Congress government which conferred Bharat Ratna on Sardar Patel in 1991.


“We always revered Sardar Patel. So, by highlighting the contributions of Patel and ignoring the contributions of the late Mrs Gandhi will not give BJP or RSS any credence of what the Congress has,” he added.

Location: Karnataka