Modi’s Proposed Statue of Unity!

Concluding his first public rally in Rewari after being anointed Prime Ministerial candidate of the BJP, Mr. Narendra Modi appealed to his audience to donate pieces of iron from each village in the state to be used for constructing his proposed Statue of Unity on the sea coast of Gujarat.  Mr. Modi wants similar donations of iron pieces from each village in each state across the nation in honour of Sardar Vallabhai Patel who will symbolize unity in the proposed statue. Mr. Modi has declared his intention of constructing the tallest statue in the world, taller than America’s Statue of Liberty, in honour of Sardar Patel.

This writer has serious objection to the proposal. Sardar Patel was undoubtedly a very great man, as were Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Patel performed great service to the nation by unifying the princely states of India after Independence. But though these great leaders did great things for the nation they also committed unforgivable errors the consequence of which continue to haunt our nation.

These leaders, mainly Sardar Patel, united Bharat but they divided India. They divided India without the slightest justification. They divided India because they allowed themselves to be influenced and manipulated by the British.

With just over 1000 people killed in Punjab through communal riots engineered by the British administration immediately after Lord Mountbatten became India’s Viceroy, and about 12000 killed in Bihar and Bengal over a period of two years, these leaders violated their solemn pledge to the people of India by accepting Partition. Gandhi on the fateful day, June 3, 1947 when the Congress formally accepted Partition, conveniently observed his ‘day of silence’.

Nehru and Patel were the hawks in the Congress Working Committee in favour of accepting Partition. JB Kripalani, Jayaprakash Narain and Ram Manohar Lohia who opposed Partition were overruled by the rest. On June 2, on eve of the decision, Gandhi assured Mountbatten who visited him that he would not create any hurdles against the decision.

In what manner then might Sardar Patel symbolize unity? After two lawyers from Gujarat, Gandhi and Jinnah, and two aristocrats from Uttar Pradesh, Nehru and Liaquat Ali, butchered and cut asunder Punjab and Bengal displaying their ignorance about the ground realities in these states, people today should display some sensitivity towards the sentiments of provinces where over a million people were slaughtered and over ten million rendered homeless due to the follies of these leaders.

In case critics challenge this view about the unforgivable decision about the Partition, let them note that both Gandhi and Nehru acknowledged their error. Gandhi wanted to settle down in Pakistan to undo the Partition just before he was assassinated thanks to ignored security measures during Sardar Patel’s tenure as Home Minister. Nehru sent Sheikh Abdullah to Pakistan to plead with President Ayub Khan to reunite India and Pakistan through a proposed confederation during which effort he died.

Therefore this writer would like to remind Mr. Narendra Modi and many others from different parts of India that they may have their history and may choose to honour whom they wish. The peoples of Punjab and Bengal have their own history and their own memories to recall. Congress leaders today may be the best in the land. They are welcome to govern India. But the Congress Party as Imperial Britain’s instrument to partition India deserves to be buried. Let Congress leaders reinvent themselves into a new organization. After all, this demand merely echoes the last wish of the most revered Congress icon, Mahatma Gandhi, on the day before he died.

Mr. Modi is welcome to construct his Statue of Unity. The people of Punjab and Bengal might seek their own way of responding to history.

Human folly can delay but not derail history. Ultimately, cultural nationalism will triumph.


More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

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Views: 3378      Comments: 7

Comment I welcome the world's tallest statue if it represents an idea rather than a man. It will promote tourism, bring fame and money to that location. Statue of Liberty stands for liberty and not for any individual. All the great statues so far are for god like persons like Buddha, Jesus etc or they represent ideas. I wish to see Statue of Unity as a monument that is more symbolic rather than image of a man. No doubt Sardar Patel was a great man and worked for unification of India in the capacity of home minister. But World's tallest statue for him? May be a symbolic monument and a museum in the name of Patel would be more appropriate.

23-Oct-2013 14:57 PM

Comment We Indian can never praise anything about ourself...That's why India is not a great Nation Today. Look at America...they create heroes that coming generation can follow them...but only good things about them is projected...

But we do not have virtue....we will praise peacock...but in the same breath criticize peacock feet.
Who is great in your eyes Mr. Puri…
I have been following your articles for long time….but you are becoming laughing stock now with your silly predictions… as Sam Pitroda being the next President etc.. and finding fault in everything happening in India.

19-Sep-2013 00:32 AM

Comment I read this article over again second day...

The proposed statue of Unity is for unity of India and not about unity of undivided India that was ruled by british.

trying to figure out what's the objection here !!

- Is the objection simply because Modi wants build Sardar Patel's statue ?

- Is the objection against Sardar Patel's statue's proposed name "Statue of Unity" ?

- Or, is the objection against Sardar Patel being termed as a leader who United India by amalgamating ~ 600 princely states that the british left without merging them into Indian state purposely ?

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
18-Sep-2013 15:35 PM

Comment Reading in the media, this NRI finds so humiliating, India's position in the world as No.1 in Corruption, No.1 in Poverty, and No.1 in Inefficiency.
Someone finally has the daring to erect "the statue of unity", making India No.1 in something positive. Please Mr. Puri, don't put hurdles in the path of Narendra Modi who is trying to pull India out of its systemic procrastination and antipathy.

Paul Sayal
17-Sep-2013 20:03 PM

Comment I will like to say here that the partition did happened neither because of Nehru nor Vallbhai but Jinnah. Mountbatten tried to persue Jinnah for united India but Jinnah was admant for the surgical partition or else would see India burn in flames.

abhigyan chatterjee
17-Sep-2013 07:50 AM

Comment Mr. Puri:
Let us know the difference between Statue of Liberty and Statute of Unity.
First one was built in parts in France, parts were shipped to USA
The other is still to be built by collecting iron from various parts of India in
opposing Sardar Sarover. When it is built, every HINDI JAN would want to
visit it, I will certainly like. STATUE OF UNITY will make us proud sons and
daughters of India.

pranlal sheth
16-Sep-2013 22:13 PM

Comment Mr. Puri:
There is nothing wrong in building 'STATUE OF UNITY'
It may be built in any part of India
It may be built by any organization
STATUE OF UNITY should not be compared with STATUE OF LIBERTY.
I have not found either Punjab or Bengal opposing the idea of STATUE OF
Mr. Puri
It is premature thinking of yours about>>Gujarat CM - STATUE OF UNITY
Every Indian will be proud to see STATUE OF UNITY on matru bhoomi.
It will remind us of Sardar Patel whose work created united INDIA.
What is objection? Please let me know. You can convey thru RK.
Punjab and Bengal want akhand-undivided (united) India as do the rest of
the states. Nehru's plead had gone invain to reunite India--that is sad part of
our history. STATUE OF UNITY (Symbolic) is what Sardar Patel would have wanted. Be assured I am NOT MAKING A MISTAKE.

pranlal sheth
16-Sep-2013 21:52 PM

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