Spain needs a leader like Sardar Patel to tackle Catalan crisis

Written By: Sudhir Chaudhary
Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India Published: Nov 03, 2017, 05:42 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Today many citizens either don’t understand the value of independence or are not inclined to value the national symbols. In these times of apathy, it is important to remember the struggle of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.
 
To understand his contribution to the nation we need to have a deep understanding of our own history. For the most part of the last millennia, India was subjected to foreign rule. The main reason attributed to this state of affairs was our lack of unity. The land was divided into many kingdoms and invaders were quick to exploit this political fragmentation.
 
Invasions left a trail of destruction and death. MA Khan in his book, Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism and Slavery, writes, “... in 1398 the Mongol warlord Tamerlane declared jihad against India. When he reached Delhi he had hundred thousand prisoners. Before attacking Delhi he killed all of them (page 281)”.

He wasn’t alone. In 1761, 60,000 to 70,000 Maratha soldiers died fighting the Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Abdali in the third battle of Panipat.

The reason we(India) were subjugated by the foreign powers was our lack of political unity that could provide a cohesive resistance to any foreign invasion.
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Similarly, in 1739 Iranian invader Nadir Shah resorted to the massacre in Delhi that left close to 30,000 dead.
 
Death, destitution and starvation due to misrule by the British colonial rulers is today well documented.
 
The reason we were subjugated by the foreign powers was our lack of political unity that could provide a cohesive resistance to any foreign invasion.
 
Small kings ruled their principalities without any consideration to the larger needs of the nation and the threats our motherland faced.
 
But today things have changed. A resident of Kerala joins the Indian army and readily lays down his life in Jammu & Kashmir to safeguard the interests of the country. Men and women from every corner of India lay down their lives in varied theatres of action to save the integrity and unity of our nation.
 
Patriotism and belief in the integrity and unity of a nation are the most important glue that holds the modern nation-state together and for this, we have only Sardar Patel to thank for.
 
In 1947 when India became independent Sardar Patel was given the charge of the home ministry. At that time India had 565 princely states. The British wanted that they should remain independent so that India remained weak and fragmented.
 
But Sardar Patel saw through their game and thwarted any attempts to rupture India’s unity. Among the princely states, he had two greatest challenges - Hyderabad and Jammu & Kashmir. He used his political genius to convince the Nizam of Hyderabad to join the Indian Union.

If you want to understand how grave the situation was at the time of Independence then you must watch what is happening in Spain’s Catalonia province today.
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Kashmir, however, was a different ball game. Even though he was the home minister he was kept away from dealing with Kashmir which was an issue close to the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
 
It is because of Sardar’s exclusion from the affairs of the state of Jammu and Kashmir that the issue is still posing a serious problem for the country.
 
If you want to understand how grave the situation was at the time of Independence then you must watch what is happening in Spain’s Catalonia province today.

The province has declared itself independent and the Spanish government is at its wit’s end figuring out how to tackle this crisis perpetuated by the secessionists.
 
It was the same situation in India but with 565 Catalonias demanding independence, ready to secede any moment. In such a dangerous atmosphere maintaining the unity of a new nation would really have been a great challenge for the “iron man”.

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