Till 1983, October 31st was marked as the birth anniversary of India’s first home minister and one of the tallest leaders of National Independence movement, Sardar Vallabhai Patel. Known and feared for his shrewdness, presence of mind and clever deployment of tactics to force his enemies into submission in the political arena, Patel is also considered the best Prime Minister India never had. While his stormy relationship with India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru may had earned him some detractors within his own party, respect for invented traditions and the fierce loyalty of his supporters and followers ensured that Vallabhai was never reduced to a distant figure buried in the yellow and dusty pages of history.
Socialism in Chains: The arrest of opposition leaders and popular politicians like George…show more content… In 1984, at the height of the Punjab separatist movement, two Sikhs, who also happened to be the personal bodyguards of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, decided to pump their anger into the PM’s body via their automatic machine guns and thus burden the fateful date of the Julian calendar with another marking of History.
Rules of nature and science validate that Vallabhai’s birth anniversary still falls on 31st October. However, he now shares the extra tight compartment of that one day in the books of history with a lady, whose successors have ensured that their madam suffers no inconvenience by being reduced to the margins. Entombed under the eventful baggage of his Prime Minister’s daughter, Mr. Patel’s birth anniversary has today become a forgotten appendage to a greater event that transformed India.
Although joined by fate on the same page, a study of the style of functioning of the two leaders is a study in contrast. I would choose to speak of their attitudes and behaviours towards the issue of freedom of speech, because for me no other sphere of activity can shed more light to their glaring differences as this