The government has announced October 31 as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) to commemorate the memory of Sardar Patel. Earlier Indira Gandhi was included with Sardar Patel for celebrating the day because she was assassinated on October 31. Later the idea was abandoned. Now only Sardar Patel will be the symbol of national unity. Congress leaders were miffed by this decision. Several Congress ruled states celebrated a Rashtriya Sankalp Diwas (National Resolution Day) to commemorate the memory of Indira Gandhi. Congress leaders accuse BJP of appropriating the names of Congress icons. Mr. Shashi Tharoor has declared he will not allow the BJP to appropriate the names of Congress icons.
I have news for Congress and BJP. Both parties are welcome to the names of past icons. As far as this writer is concerned the legacy bequeathed by them can be buried. In fact the entire legacy of the Congress Party which the BJP is trying to appropriate can be discarded. India needs to respect the roles of past icons but for the rest bury their legacy fathoms deep.
India needs a revolution. It has to recognize the truth and see our past icons as they really were, warts and all. Their enormous errors must be recognized and their effect undone. Without doing that this nation will never achieve its deserved greatness.
For a start Indians generally living in a delusional world of make believe must confront the historical truth. For too long this nation has lived in the shadow of big lies. One cannot recount history in the course of this comment. But two facts of history may be recalled to show how utterly inappropriate it is to associate the name of Sardar Patel with national unity or of Indira Gandhi with national resolve.
With regard to Indira Gandhi’s resolve this writer through personal interaction can state with full confidence that Operation Bluestar was unnecessary because it had been authoritatively conveyed to Indira Gandhi that Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale had committed himself against the formation of Khalistan. Yet she could not muster the resolve to retract from her earlier decision. Was she then the symbol of resolution or irresolution?
Congress leaders claim they always opposed the two nation theory. Consider the implications of this assertion. It implies that undivided India was one nation. Yet they allowed its Partition. They justify this by blaming Jinnah’s obduracy. This is a blatant falsehood. On April 25, 1947 Jinnah accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan demanding the right for provinces ruled by the Muslim League to make their own laws. Presently all States of the Indian Union have this right. Yet Sardar Patel representing Gandhi, Nehru and the rest told Lord Mountbatten that this was unacceptable and therefore Congress preferred Partition and Pakistan. This is irrefutable recorded history. Should uniting Bharat after dividing Hindustan make Patel a symbol of unity? Should not October 31 be more appropriately celebrated as Rashtriya Anekta Diwas – National Disunity Day? Indians should recognize the truth about Partition.