What Modi wants you to believe and what Sardar Patel really said about RSS | Priyanka Chaturvedi

What Modi wants you to believe and what Sardar Patel really said about RSS

Imaging: Vikram Nongmaithem

Imaging: Vikram Nongmaithem

In case you missed it (although it is highly unlikely that APCO and other propaganda machinery, paid for by the public money of hardworking Gujaratis, would have let you miss any news about the recently appointed campaign committee chief (CCC) of the Bharatiya Janata Party), a 182 metre tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is coming up in Bharuch, Gujarat. The project is estimated to cost Rs 2,500 crore, in a state that ran a fiscal deficit of Rs 17,831 crore in 2012-13.

Sardar Patel, as we all know, is one of the tallest national leaders from the Congress party. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, he joined the Congress party in 1917 and remained a member till his death as India’s Deputy Prime Minister in 1950. As a leader of the party fighting for India’s independence alongside Gandhi and Nehru, he spent several years in the prisons of British India. Of course, no comparable leader of the RSS participated in any of the major movements for India’s independence, be it the Non-Cooperation movement, the Civil Disobedience movement or the Quit India movement.

It is hard to miss the irony that the CCC of the BJP, who talks of creating a Congress-free India has to cling on to one of the tallest leaders of the Congress party for his personal gains. But what better can one expect from a person whose entire propaganda is built on such duplicity?


 The CCC of the BJP is a very proud member of the RSS and the events of the last few days have demonstrated that the RSS openly controls the functioning of the BJP. Here is what Sardar Patel thought of the RSS. In his letter of July 18, 1948 to Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee after Mahatma Gandhi’s murder, Sardar wrote:

“… as[a] result of the activities of these two bodies[the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha], particularly the former, an atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy became possible. There is no doubt in my mind the extreme section of the Hindu Mahasbha was involved in this conspiracy. The activities of the RSS constituted a clear threat to the existence of the Government and the State.“(Sardar Patel’s correspondence; Vol. VI, p. 323, Navjivan-1973)

In his letter of 11 September 1948 to Sarsangh Chalak of the RSS, Sardar Patel wrote:

The speeches of the Sangh leaders are poisonous. It is as a result of this venom that Mahatma Gandhi has been assassinated. The followers of the Sangh have celebrated Gandhiji’s assassination by distributing sweets.” (“R.S.S. Kaal, Aaj, Udyaa”, p. 71, RSS-1983)

Going even further, in his response in the Lok Sabha on 2 August 1950 to the Hindu Mahasabha members, after introducing the Defence of India Rules, 1950, Sardar Patel said:

You must remember that when the Father of the Nation was murdered, it was by a group of people who belonged to that organisation [Hindu Mahasabha]. I am ready to prove to anybody that there was a group of people there who were determined to take his life. They were not satisfied even after taking his life. He tells me that the Magistrate did not know who was the Minister to be murdered. He wants to know it. Well, I shall meet this challenge. The Minister meant was the Prime Minister of India.” (The Penguin Book of Modern Speeches, p. 664, Penguin Books-2007)


Leave alone what Sardar Patel thought of the RSS. Certain groups have been trying to create a myth that Sardar Patel was a partisan and communal Hinduist, who acted against the Muslims during and after the partition. While Sardar was strongly opposed to the divisive and hatred-ridden politics of Jinnah (as were almost all leaders of the Congress including Nehru and Maulana Azad) and was a practicing Hindu in personal life, he was not anti-Muslim by any means.

During the days of the partition, as the Home Minister of the country, Sardar Patel visited the Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah area in Delhi, where thousands of Delhi Muslims feared attacks. He prayed at the shrine, visited the people (where a couple of bullets were fired at him from a nearby building) and reinforced the presence of police in Muslim-populated areas. That the Sardar publicly warned police and government officials against partiality and neglect during that tumultuous period is on record. His iconic speech to Sikhs and Hindus at Amritsar during the same period asking them to “Pledge the safety of Muslim refugees crossing the city” is recorded in the annals of history.

Should we even compare this to what happened in the state of Gujarat in 2002 under the watch of the CCC of the BJP? Or with the speeches made by him in the aftermath of one of the worst anti-Muslim riots in independent India’s history?


We cannot also forget that Sardar Patel headed the panel on minorities in the Constituent Assembly. He pioneered Clause 18 (now Arts. 29 and 30 of the Constitution) on safeguarding the cultural and educational rights for the minorities and personally introduced it on 1 May 1947 in the Constituent Assembly. The BJP’s stance on safeguarding the cultural and educational rights of the minorities is well-known. Gujarat government has been shunning a national scholarship scheme for minorities(which has been held constitutional by the Gujarat High Court and denied a stay by the Supreme Court), allowing the central funds to lapse. So much for respect for Sardar Patel and the ideals he stood for and espoused in his life.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is a national figure who cannot be allowed to be denigrated by the proponents of the same ideology he fought during his life. Sardar was never a member of the RSS or the Hindu Mahasabha. He was not a communal leader. As is evident from various debates in the Constituent Assembly, he believed in a secular India. It is due to his effort that we have constitutionally safeguarded the cultural and educational rights of the minorities. Those opposed to the Sardar in ideology, thoughts, deeds and action have no right to misappropriate him for petty political gains.

(The views expressed in this column are the writer’s own)

Please Note: Tehelka doesn't have regulatory control over messages appearing on social media including Facebook and Twitter. Tehelka also doesn't subscribe to any views or comments by the readers.

  • Arun

    It seems you are not allowing any commenter to post a comment… there is no comment yet I could see. then what is the point in showing a brave face?

  • rohan

    But what is the issue if Modi builds statue for Patel? He just wants a memorial for a person who united India, and someone who has been forgotten by history books.

  • Ravi

    What a piece of crap. All Modi is doing is giving due respect to Sardar Patel, who hails from Gujarat, irrespective of whether he is from congress. The project is being partly funded by govt. You are talking about fiscal deficit of Gujarat!! Go and do a comparative study of congress ruled states and the utter fiscal indiscipline.

    Congress person talking about riots reflects their brazen shamelessness. Is there even a day congress debated about the scores of people who died in the train incident which was the root-cause of riots? What about Hashimpura massacre that happened under Congress PM and CM rule? What about Bhagalpur riots of 1989? Which party ruled Gujarat when the state saw far worse riots in 1969 and 1985.Larger scale riots in 1980, 1982, 1990-1991- 1992. What about the riots in Hyderabad which was instigated by ex-CM of congress. Which party does the bharat ratna PM belong to under whose watch the 84 genocide happened?

    If Patel was alive today he would be ashamed that he was part of congress that has today ruined the nation with its blatant corruption, utter-disrespect for constitution and a party that cannot find its leader from a billion population.

  • Irshad

    An article to read.
    Throwing light on some unknown facts which may not be liked and digested by many people.

  • Syed Najeeb Ashraf

    Its debatable that How much secular Sardar Patel really was , but no doubt that never liked RSS and was against the RSS and Hindu-Mahasabha!!

  • common-sense

    Besides 2002 what else do u have to conclusively prove modi is anti-muslim?

  • Neeraj Singh

    Author may be from Congress but what has been brought on the table are facts & food for thought..

  • Nikhil Tiwari

    Priyanka this bull shit analysis done by you. If you you really want to know come to Gujarat .Get free of . Congress mentality and see you will find past present and future.

  • Sandeep Begwani

    there are truths and then there are twisted truths…political parties are master of this art.But just for the sack of argument lets agree with Priyanka’s points.what baffles me is sheer arrogance of Congress when they put these points forward.I have some confusion which i would put forward

    1.Wastage of public money for self promotion or propaganda.i mean are you kidding?come birth/death anniversary of one of gandhi/nehru and we have more than half of national and regional media filled with obituaries/respect by different ministries.whose money they are spending?what is this propaganda of Bharat Nirman run by UPA?How to save this money?Simple common sense…they can come out with one collective obituary and save huge some of money…but again whole idea is not to pay respect but score in sycophancy.

    2.She claims Sardar Patel was a very tall leader of Congress and BJP/RSS cant claim any authority on him.agreed no doubt he was die hard congressman till his very end and he must have been critical of RSS?Hindumahasabha.but has congress ever paid any attention/respect to him before this?all congress could remember is contribution(?) of one family..

    3.Riots and carnage of 2012 were deplorable and there is no two ways about it.but coming this from a party which was directly involved in1984 carnage and yet not able to provide justice to the victims despite being in power for longest time is bit too much to digest.and to rub salt on open wounds what it does?it gives “Bharat Ratna” the highest civilian award to a person who openly supported those barbaric acts.i m sure people still remember that statement “jab bada ped girta hai to dharti hilti hai”…..
    last but not least I m no BJP supporter and oppose Modi as much as it need to be.i can see the type of irreparable harm he is bringing to this country.but i would hold congress responsible for this too.they have been given longest mandate to govern this country and what it does?I would request young and intelligent people like priyanka to retrospect and introspect.For god sake dont be typical opposition bashing politicos…we common man dont think highly of either parties…its like “idhar kuan udhar khaai”…..this country is certain for doom…if it has not already..

  • Citizen

    I would really like some one to evaluate the debate from a neutral point
    of view. While Gujrat 2002 is reflected in the article, I wonder why
    2012 Assam is completely neglected. Congress, BJP, Sang all are
    political parties working towards dividing India for their personal
    gains. I will vote for a leader who has 21st century outlook and ideas
    towards development and has risen above caste and religion politics.

  • Mel

    Thanks for the informative article. RSS and the sangh have no credibility left. Modi in particular seems all lies and exaggeration.

  • Truth is bitter

    http://www.topix.com/forum/in/amethi/T58PAM4OLU7TL7TQ5 should we believe these too.This link says Sonia was involved in Rajiv’s murder. Just print something & using it as proof is absolutely wrong

  • Mehul

    It took 65 years to congress to recognise the value of Sardar Patel, he was almost forgeted during all these years

  • asad mahmood

    #BJP has always liked non Gandhi leaders of Congress be it sardar patel or shastri Ji or narsimharao. And I don’t have any doubt that 20 years down the road they will be singing songs for manmohan singh and Alkali dal their ally might even order to make a statue of manmohan Singh whom they are asking for resignation every other day. The fact is that they ate only against Gandhi family and calling congress a dynastic party but they always tend to forget that all 3 prime ministers of the family were prime ministers not because they belonged to a family but because they were the most popular leaders of their times.

    • Food for thought

      Could you tell me why the three leaders were popular? I think it is because of their surname. It is a fact that Rahul Gandhi’s constituency is amongst the backward constituency in India.But he still wins Amethi. Why is that? Food for thought!!

  • Dinesh Pal

    Priyanka a nice article and I totally agree with you Sardar Patel would have felt about RSS and Hindu Organisation they way he has put in his words simply because he had great respect for Mahatama Gandhi and his death can be directly relatable to RSS. In fact I have read somewhere that Sardar Patel was elected as president of congress and Nehru did not want to play second fiddle to Sardar. So ultimately Nehru came in fore front and then his entire clan ruling till today. But the big question is that why did Congress never do anything substantial to commemorate Sardar?. 1 possible reason i could think of is again Nehru Clan. In this game of politics somebody is surely going to take mileage and Modi is doing the same. I feel it is good atleast Sardar”s name would their standing in form of a statue for the future of people of India and not buried or forgotten under various schemes named in the name of Gandhi Parivar.

  • Param

    In Politics all want to cook their broth in the fire! Madamji if is so equivocal at these excerpts seldom proved in the court of law then, Please explain us the estranged relationship between Nehruji and Patel! Nehruji was the cause of the mental death of Gandhiiji as he drived the Congress to suit his lust of power even when majority was in favour of Patel! Those in the Congress have no explanation for this and so they should stop talking about digging their dirty nose in internal matters of BJP’s divide between Advaniji and Modi! Congress has sold the nation with the plenty of scams and still talks about feeding the poor at the fag end of their term! They want to get the credit and let other Govt.’s bear the burden of financial implications! BHARAT NIRMAN, HAQ HAI MERA! What a joke! Instead it should be BHARAT NIRMAN, SHAQ HAI MERA!

    If the author of this article can answer the no of frauds done by the UPA Govt and the no of MInisters that were sacked or had to resign! Can it state one flawless scheme that’s working well in India! The Bharat Nirman campaign has end to be Congress Nirman!

  • twarit

    well this is our bad luck tht we had Mr. Nehru as PM rather than Sardar Patel. One mistake of bapu is costing us dear. We could have so many less problems. but still looks like sardar is giving trouble to nehru-gandhi family till date bcoz many in our country find him close to our heart compared to Mr. Nehru.

    The only point where i could agree with the writer is that Gujarat should have avoided the spending on this thing. It would have been appropriate if the same money would have been used for the well fare of com-man. but then do we expect our political leaders to behave like that. and the last person who should condemn this act shud belong to congress. They have wasted so much money on nehru-gandhi family ads that we can’t even keep a count on that.

    So just stop criticizing others for the acts which your party is keep on doing since india’s independence.

    • shripad

      I completely agree and feel sorry the way things are looked upon in this country.

  • Karthik

    Looks like the author has not read Nathuram Godse’s last words before he was executed http://kolikalla.blogspot.in/2008/02/nathuram-godse-his-last-speech.html?m=1 … By the way I don’t see any other leader in India who is capable of thinking big and out of the box and at the same time accomplishing it. Today our country needs development, knowledge through right education and inspiration especially for the youth. I cannot see any other leader propagating these other than Modi. All the critics who question his secularity, seems to me as they are opposed therefore all the things he has done to improve the nation. In the eyes of the haters, all traits of a man is evil. So be it..

  • shripad

    It is no wonder that Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader, but that does not prove him a great politician which is equally important. The ones who assassinated him were his strongest followers at one point in time, people dont just sway away and end up killing people.
    Who gave Mahatma the upadhi of – Father of the nation? There are no known records for these and just publicised by Congress. Also talking about the greatness of Congress and Mahatma Gandhi, the unanimous leader chosen to be the Prime Minister was Sardar Patel, any idea how and who changed it? It is very easy in our country to manipulate the masses (who anyway dont have much value) by providing limited data.
    It is again the short sightedness to look at the actions of Modi in this direction, I am still happy that the media didn’t make this event as Pro Hindu event like the Pro Congress one. I wonder if Congress has a patent on all the great leaders of the past who unfortunately or coincidentally belonged to Congress.

  • Nagraj Prabhu

    Every party has been alleged to be communal and spread hatred or done harm to certain section of the society. What is needed right now instead of comparing who is the worst party between Congress, BJP and the 3rd front, focus more on local body elections and elect the right person (not the party). This I feel is the right thing to do show common man’s intent for real progress.

  • Jayram Deshpande

    The soul of congress that was pertinent in the form of Sardar Patels, Netajis, Tilaks and Gandhis of that era has already left for oblivion. Present day congress is an evolved malformed alien humanoid that’s bereft of national interests and represents the cancerous growth on a body part which was in-fact a functioning one just few decades ago.

    The family tree complexities of Nahru and current Gandhi (Sonia et al ) is well known: I suggest referring to Dr. Swami’s well researched articles and presentations where he regularly bashes these idiots.

    BJP in its original form represented by the Vajpayees has gotten bad as well. The days where an Opposition leader was asked by the ruling Prime Minister to represent India on world stage sound like something out of utopian land. (It actually happened when P.V. Narasimha rao asked Vajpayee to do that).

    Though i strongly think that any national party must have all-inclusive agenda, I strongly condemn how Congress has maligned the nationalistic agendae by forcefully and wrongly stamping them as being anti-secular and anti-muslim.

    Still there is hope. In the form of Great leaders such as Sushmaji Swaraj, Narendra Modi , Aam Admi Party leaders and IITians like Kejriwal. Still there is hope, for better future for our Great Nation.