How Nehru treated Sardar Patel’s daughter

These anecdotes are from Verghese Kurien’s memoirs I Too Had A Dream

Maniben Patel,Sardar Patel’s daughter, was a woman of tremendous honesty and loyalty.She told me that when Sardar Patel passed way, she picked up a book and a bag that belonged to him and went to meet Jawaharlal Nehru in Delhi.She handed them to Nehru, telling him that her father had instructed her that when she died she should give these items to Nehru and no one else.The bag contained Rs 35 Lakh that belonged to the Congress Party and the book was the party’s book of accounts.Nehru took them and thanked her.Maniben waited expectantly, hoping he would say something more,but he did not, so she got up and left.

I asked her what she had expected Nehru to say to her. ‘I thought he might ask me how I would manage now, or atleast ask if there was anything he could do to help me.But he never asked.’ she explained.She was extremely disheartened and in a way the incident revealed the strain in the Nehru-Sardar Patel relationship.It was quite distressing to see that neither Nehru nor any of the other national leaders of the Congress ever bothered to find out what happened to Maniben after her father died.”

“After all the sacrifices that Sardar Patel made for the nation, it was very sad that the nation did nothing for his daughter.In her later years,when her eyesight weakened,she would walk unaided down the streets of Ahmedabad,often stumble and fall until some passerby helped her up.When she was dying, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Chimanbhai Patel,came to her bedside with a photographer.He stood behind her bed and instructed him to take a picture.The photograph was published in  all the newspapers the next day.With a little effort,they could so easily have made her last years  comfortable”

 

What an amazing contrast in fortunes of Nehru’s family and Sardar Patel’s family !!!

24 Replies to “How Nehru treated Sardar Patel’s daughter”

  1. #Disgusting.. One of the KANKAALS hiding in Congress Cupboard, exposed.. (to those who are not aware of).. Thanks,
    EXPOSE MORE & MORE.. #CongressMuktBharat

  2. well you see that contrast because Nehru was PM & Sardar was not…..Nehru also happened to belong from one of the filthy riches family…even before he became PM …& his family was smart enough to take over his position after he died…They even turned his government house into “Nehru memorial” it was country’s property..not his family’s..but they did…& Sardar n his family was naive to not became this smart n opportunist :/

  3. and now these bloody rascals are claiming the legacy of the great SARDAR .the present congress is full of thugs ,looters and all sorts of criminals. it is no way connected to the original congress except that it was founded by a foreigner then and now being lead by another foreigner!

  4. This anecdote should be given wide publicity and the truth of indifference of Congress to the legacy of Sardar Patel should be exposed ,and why should they mind if BJP accepts Patel as Icon.

  5. We grew up learning JLN as ‘Chacha Nehru’. With the advent of internet and social media the real truth generally buried or not published by media is coming out. I now have firm belief that Nehru’s rule followed by Indira, Rajiv and this UPA circus is solely responsible for state of this country even 6 decades after independence. Nehru was selfish and cunning, Indira had both these qualities and was authoritarian as well. We already know about Rajiv Bofors Gandhi and now the legacy being carried forward with multiplied force by Sonia ‘Scam’ Gandhi

  6. The wirte up is interesting and never heard of. But you miss out on many points. Nehru never wanted his daughter to join politics. But she was not the obedient kind to just follow what her father, After Nehru’s death she was desperate for power and so engineered a split with the help of her cronies in the party. the party at that consisted of two sets- on the old timers who were from the 1940s era and believed in its earlier values, the other the new ones who had no idea of the ideals and were power hungry. they split the party and made sure the Gandhi name became a common household name. So there’s no point blaming Nehru for that. You can blame Indira. Even Rajiv Gnadhi wasn’t interested in politics but was brought back after the death of his brother. The same coterie in Congress instead of electing a leader told him he was a Gandhi and had to be the PM. Many of his early decisions were made by this very coterie. It was just like the young prince was advised till he became capable of making his own decisions. But the most ruthless of them was Sanjay Gandhi. He was a tyrant and the country should be happy that he never got a chance to be the PM. The only thing that perplexes me is that social media seems to be full of write ups and reports about every Gandhi but none about Sanjay Gandhi. I was wondering bout this for a long period of time. the answer is simple. The social media at present is filled with people who owe their allegiance to the BJP. Hence they dont want to say anything against him for the simple reason that his wife and daughter are in the BJP. So for all the people who read things online do a little research on your own before believing things on face value.

  7. It is high time the dynastic rule of the Nehru/Gandhi comes to an end. Who ever the Leader, rather which ever Party wins the Election, the individual should have no connection with the Nehru/Gandhi Family. We need a big change.

  8. Just by advertising that he gave his family property “Ananda Bhavan” to the country and that he had martyred, Shri Nehru took over the country and the party and his people looted the nation. The Nehrus or even the Gandhis had no care for the nation. They were more haughty and arrogant and had no foresight as their counterparts from south india, like Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Chakravarthy Rajagopalachari, (Rajaji), Shri Kamaraj, Potti Sriramulu, eetc., had. One such example of their misdemanour is the creation of Kashmir Problem which has now grown into a daily nightmare. History will not pardon these congress traitors.

  9. There are many other things buried in the deep earth. Pl dig out. Why Mukherjee commission report on Netaji is not yet tabled in the parliament.
    Which truth is lying underground. It is unfortunate that six decade after independence we are clinging on to “rajanya pratha”.

  10. How we wish Sardar Patel had become the PM. Our story would have been so different. We would not have had sycophants as at present. We urgently need a tough administrator NOW and stop the rot that has set in. We miss a Sardar Patel and deserve much better politicians.

  11. It is really sad that Sardar Patel’s daughter was so shabbily treated by Nehru. This story should be given wide publicity, so that people understand why Narendra Modi is determined to build the tallest statue of Sardar Patel in Gujarat. Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi(fake) family are a liability on India. Now, a Congress-free India is what we need!

  12. Nehru’s handling of Kashmir affair has created a cancer for the country with endless strife with our trechrous neighbour.For waging a war against China in 1962 against the advice of the Army, Defence Minister Mennon and Prime Minister Nehru should have been tried for treason and shot.Indira Gandhi too should have been debarred for life for imposing Emergency in the country.Her death by her guards was sequel to her destroying the Sikh sacred Shrine.Rajiv a dumb and naive PM foolishly created IPKF and got killed in an ignominous death.The combined Nehru/Gandhi Family ruined the nation by encouraging corruption and creating Vote Bank politecs and political horse trading and Machiavellian manner of achieving t heir wealth and power
    Thank God their era is finished and Sonia’s nincumpoop son has proved to be a duffer, We hope this is the end of Congress raj and ache din anewale hein

  13. Fantastic story….her father, Sardar Patel died in 1950….she was elected as a member of INC led by Mr Nehru in the 1st Lok Sabah 1951-1957, 2nd LS 1957-62. Miss Ben also Secy (1953-56) and Vice President of Gujrat State Congress. If Shri Nehru treated her badly, she never turn back to Nehru or Congress

  14. Quite obvious behavior of Nehru towards people who were of no use to him or were of different streams of thinking

  15. Really disgusting. This Nehru family is the sole reason why today also the Kashmir issue is burning.

  16. Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
    Sunday, September 16, 2001
    Front Page | National | Southern States | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Science & Tech | Entertainment | Miscellaneous | Features | Classifieds | Employment | Index | Home
    Features | Next
    Not history

    Without proper annotation or background information on the contexts, The Diary often gives a distorted picture of Sardar Patel and the complex processes in which he was involved, says RAJMOHAN GANDHI.

    IF they had been annotated, translated well and placed in context, these entries from the Gujarati diaries of Maniben Patel, the Sardar’s daughter, would have been of interest to scholars for some time to come. They might also have helped in filling gaps in historical knowledge, for Maniben, who was present at many of her father’s interviews, often jotted down salient points made by or to him.

    Sadly, however, this book is worse than a disappointment. The title is misleading, for on their own the diary entries do not and cannot tell the “inside story of Sardar Patel”. Worse, the translation is pathetically poor, the editing poorer, the proof- reading appalling and the annotation non-existent. All this, minus even an index, for merely a 1,000 rupees. (Well, five rupees less than a 1,000.) That the volume is a translation is not stated on the cover or the title-page. The fact of translation and the translator’s name lie concealed in a dense paragraph in the chief editor’s introduction.

    What a way to do justice to an extraordinary man whom the Indian establishment neglected for several years! This is a book that gives us “Kamaraja”, “Ambedekar”, “Handerson” (American ambassador Loy Henderson), “Jamshed” (for the Jamsaheb), “Misraji” (D.P. Mishra, father of Brajesh), “Linlithgon” (Linlithgow), “Sri Prakash” (Sri Prakasa) and a few hundred other misspellings.

    Gandhi is turned into a padre on p. 432, with the Gujarati Pujya Bapuji becoming “Rev Bapuji”. Someone had “collided (colluded) with the League” and someone else had made “an object apology” (p. 425). Some men, believe it or not, are “behaved to be Jayanarayan aides” (p. 430), but who Jayanarayan is, is not explained. In fact no name, incident, episode or issue is explained on any page. I feel sad writing all this, for I know the toll that editing or translating takes, yet standards ought to match the material worked upon.

    The blurb’s opening sentence speaks of “the hitherto unknown diary of Sardar Patel’s daughter”. Unpublished as a collection maybe, but “unknown”? Researchers have known and used the diaries for years. When, in 1987, Babubhai Patel, the chairman of the Sardar Patel Memorial Society, asked me if I would attempt a Vallabhbhai biography, he particularly mentioned the existence of the diaries. They of course proved to be of considerable value for my research, and the biography that resulted, first published by Navajivan in 1990, quotes numerous entries from them.

    Noting in my biography that Maniben’s entries show the Sardar speaking of Nehru as an “autocrat” with an “ego” and of “a great estrangement” between them, I added that such “hard words describe only a facet of the Patel-Nehru relationship” and that “taken in isolation they distort the truth”.

    The Patel who had used sharp language for Nehru was also the one who had written to Jawaharlal in August 1947: “My services will be at your disposal, I hope, for the rest of your life and you will have unquestioned loyalty… from me… Our combination is unbreakable and therein lies our strength.”

    On February 4, 1948, after the Mahatma’s assassination, Vallabhbhai, the Deputy Prime Minister who was 14 years older than Nehru, called Jawaharlal “my leader” in a speech before Congress MPs and added: “I am one with the Prime Minister on all national issues. For over a quarter of a century both of us sat at the feet of our master and struggled together for the freedom of India. It is unthinkable today, when the Mahatma is no more, that we should quarrel.”

    That such an agreement and unity existed, and that it survived until Patel’s death in December 1950, will not of course be believed by any who only read Patel’s stark comments about Nehru in the diaries as presented in the volume under review. No doubt Maniben only recorded what she heard, but in this volume the remarks are presented without reference to their contexts. (Moreover, the editing is such that in many cases it is impossible to make out whether a barbed remark is Patel’s or that of his visitor, or where the remark was made).

    The Patel-Nehru conflicts are well known. At the end of 1949, when the first President for the Republic had to be found, Nehru wanted Rajaji but after an initial ambivalence Patel supported Rajendra Prasad, who was chosen. In August 1950, the Sardar was again on the winning side, and Nehru on the losing, when Purshottam Das Tandon won a contest for the Congress presidentship, defeating Acharya Kripalani, whom Nehru had backed. Bitter words marked both contests but the relationship did not break.

    If unaware of other facts, the reader of these diary entries will believe that over Kashmir, Hyderabad and the Indo-Pak Pact of 1950, the Nehru-Patel differences were unbridgeable. But were they? While disliking the reference of Kashmir to the U.N., Patel went along with the removal of Hari Singh, the empowerment of Sheikh Abdullah and the provision of Article 370.

    As for the Nehru-Liaqat Pact of April 1950, over which Syamaparsad Mookerjee resigned from the Union cabinet, Patel pledged his “whole strength and energy to making a success of the Agreement and vindicating the stand of the Prime Minister,” and he also pointed out that “ugly and deplorable incidents from our side” had “weakened our position”.

    On his part, though unsure of the timing of Patel’s Hyderabad operation, Nehru went along with it. Historically, which is more remarkable – the Patel-Nehru differences, which were undoubtedly important, or the fact that the two stayed together? Those riveted only by the differences have to face some ambiguities. Thus in the Diary, Patel says conflicting things about Kashmir. While on July 23, 1949 he seems to want to do “battle for the whole of Kashmir” (p.291), on September 27, 1950 referring to Kashmir, the Sardar tells R. K. Patil, “Now how long can India bear this burden?” (p. 425).

    Questions about what Patel “really” thought on an issue cannot be resolved by referring to the Diary. Other contemporary documents, and especially Patel’s own letters and statements, may throw equal or greater light. As far as Kashmir is concerned, Jayaprakash Narayan was probably right when shortly after Patel’s death he commented on the difficulty of knowing how the Sardar would have tackled it.

    If well-edited, a diary of this sort would obviously help the researcher. Still, a diary is not history. A diary by a leader’s loyal, observant and candid companion – a son, daughter or aide – would doubtless reveal the leader’s private face, his or her slang, biases and style. (Sadly, the bluntness and colour of the Sardar’s Patidar Gujarati are wholly missing in this translation.) It might interestingly sum up individuals and situations. Such a diary could also reveal any contradictions between the leader’s private and public views.

    Yet the question remains, which would contain more truth, the remarks noted down at the time by a devoted and enthusiastic daughter, or the father’s public utterances made at the same time, and the letters he wrote? Was his real feeling in the former, and were the latter the result of political constraints? Or did the former represent his first reactions and the latter his considered ones? Is the Patel we hear in these diaries the “final” or “real” Patel (if there is such a thing), or is he in a reflecting or bargaining process? To get good terms for a deal that a leader intends to make, he (or she) encourages supporters to fight, and this is done by using blunt words and showing a stern front, not by leaking a willingness to compromise.

    The candid Patel that Maniben recorded and the Nehru he found so difficult represented different Indian realities. Where various views, interests and communities exist, a dictatorial leadership can privilege a single standpoint or interest. But a democratic movement or nation needs to reconcile several viewpoints and interests. In India, from 1919 to 1947, the reconciliation was largely achieved by Gandhi’s personality and leadership, and in the opening three years of independence it was mainly the result of the Nehru-Patel duumvirate.

    Complementing each other in abilities, influence and perspectives, and speaking honestly to each other about their views, Patel and Nehru ran a successful duumvirate for more than three years. The exercise was not pleasant or easy for either but it was part of their commitment. The two provided an impressive example of accommodation despite disagreements, and despite ardent “seconds” and media partisans who pushed for a break.

    Documents that clarify the intricacies in the oft-stormy Patel- Nehru relationship would mean much, and a properly annotated version of the Maniben diaries could of course do that. The volume under review does not, not by a long shot.

    Inside Story of Sardar Patel: The Diary of Maniben Patel, 1936- 50, chief editor: P. N. Chopra, editor: Prabha Chopra, Vision Books, New Delhi, Rs. 995.

    Send this article to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *