SHESH NARAYAN SINGH
Many questions are raised about Jawaharlal Nehru becoming Prime Minister and the role of Sardar Patel. Mahatma Gandhi had told some people that he would like Jawaharlal to see the next Congress President. Because power is being taken from the British, then a person is needed who will talk to British like them. Jawaharlal studied in the well known public school Harrow, went to Cambridge and was a barrister.
However, it is also true that Sardar Patel had also completed his LLB from same England, and on behalf of twelve of the total fifteen state Congress committees in the country, nominations were received in favor of Sardar Patel. Mahatma Gandhi also knew that Jawaharlal would never go to second place in the cabinet. However, if he gets the number one position then Sardar Patel will join the government.
Even after Mahatma Gandhi’s full support, Nehru’s name was not formally proposed. Acharya Kripalani has written that while honoring the wishes of Mahatma Gandhi, he proposed Jawaharlal’s name in the Working Committee meeting and got members of the Working Committee to sign it.
It is believed that Sardar Patel also signed the proposal. When Jawaharlal’s name was proposed, Kripalani withdrew his name and Sardar also received name return paper by which Nehru could be elected uncontested.
Mahatma Ji pointed to Sardar Patel to sign the return paper. Sardar immediately signed and Jawaharlal got elected as Congress president in the unopposed election. This decision of Mahatma Gandhi at that time Dr. Rajendra Prasad later said with a lot of trouble. He said, “Gandhi once again sacrificed his trusted lieutenant for glamorous Nehru.” But Sardar Patel did not express any resentment.
The greatness of the Sardar is that even after being removed from such a senior position, he didn’t keep doubt in mind. It is a different matter that he was not very happy with Jawaharlal’s methods. When Jinnah called for a direct action, then bloodshed broke out in Muslim-dominated areas. When things went wrong, Sardar only handled Nehru. During Mahatma Gandhi’s lifetime, he used to complain about the mistakes made in Nehru’s excitement to Gandhi. But after Mahatma Gandhi’s demise, he always supported Nehru and was like the guardian.
Sardar writes about Jawaharlal Nehru, “it is very difficult for people to guess when we are away from each other for a few days and do not seek advice from each other to solve problems and difficulties, then how much we miss each other.
A class of such people has arisen in the country, who says that there was a great difference between the two leaders about the Prime Minister’s post. But this thing has been repeatedly wrong by his daughter Maniben Patel. She lived with Sardar Patel in those days.
Those who make the differences between Sardar Patel and Nehru do not have the right knowledge of history. There is no double opinion that their opinion was not always the same in many cases. But in the meetings of the party, the differences between them in cabinet meetings were changed into a mutual opinion. In most cases, Jawaharlal accepted the opinion of Sardar. Jawaharlal Nehru always knew that he was made Prime Minister with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi and the support of Sardar Patel.