Sar­dar Pa­tel

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A NA­TION is not united by erect­ing huge stat­ues but through ex­em­plary, un­selfish deeds, and Sar­dar Val­lab­hb­hai Pa­tel was an em­bod­i­ment of this (“Pa­tel statue and pil­lage of his­tory”, De­cem­ber 21).

Cu­ri­ously, no leader from other par­ties or Chief Min­is­ters from other States were in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the “Statue of Unity”. Many would say that Sar­dar Pa­tel was the best Prime Min­is­ter we never had.

There is a need­less de­bate on which party can claim his legacy. Lead­ers of the cal­i­bre of Sar­dar Pa­tel, Subhas Chan­dra Bose, Bal Gan­gad­har Ti­lak, Saro­jini Naidu or C. Ra­jagopalachari ren­dered yeo­man ser­vice to the coun­try and are be­yond party la­bels. The con­sol­i­da­tion of In­dia will re­main Sar­dar Pa­tel’s great­est con­tri­bu­tion. M.A. Jinnah played the com­mu­nal card to gain per­sonal power. He re­alised his folly be­fore he died.

What­ever their faults, Jawa­har­lal Nehru and Sar­dar Pa­tel dragged In­dia back from that precipice. As true states­men, they rose above their per­sonal dif­fer­ences in the in­ter­ests of the na­tion. H.N. RAMAKRISHNA

BEN­GALURU WITH­OUT any doubt, it is im­por­tant to pay trib­utes to Sar­dar Pa­tel (“Sar­dar as pawn”, Novem­ber 23). But was it nec­es­sary to spend a whop­ping amount of money on a statue when there are so many burn­ing is­sues that need to be sorted out? In­dia’s pride does not re­side in a statue but in its “unity in di­ver­sity” and its cul­tural val­ues. Sadly, un­der the cur­rent gov­ern­ment, com­mu­nal ten­sions are on the rise. The Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment can­not fool peo­ple with a statue.

VIDHYA B. RAGUNATH THANJAVUR, TAMIL NADU

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