L K Advani has posted on his blog that Nehru called Patel a 'total communalist' (courtesy, former bureaucrat M K Nair's original book in Malayalam, 'The story of an era told without ill will', getting translated into English). Though Nehru called Patel communal when the latter preferred 'police action' against the Nizam of Hyderabad
immediately after independence, there were instances which pointed out Patel's communal bias against the Muslims. I don't understand one thing: Why Patel is being given so much importance? In fact, the 'iron man' doesn't deserve so much unctuous praise. Much as I appreciate his intrepid stand on the Hyderabad issue, Patel gave clear indications of him being a rabid Hindu, so much so as to tacitly approve of the nefarious (Hindu) forces behind Mr M K Gandhi's assassination. Justice G D Khosla observed that two individuals got the benefit of doubt because of their position and 'reputation'. They were V D Savarkar, a morbid Hindu, and Vallabhbhai Patel, a pathologically Hindu Gujarati. Many of Khosla's observations haven't yet been declassified by the Government of India. But British newspapers like 'The Guardian', 'The Daily Mirror' and Pakistan's 'The Dawn' mentioned Patel's dubious role in Gandhi's assassination and his open sympathy for Hindu Mahasabha. Lord Mountbatten revealed just before his assassination in 1979 that Patel requested him to send all the 'mischief mongers' (read Muslims) to the newly formed Pakistan.
The legendary American journalist and Gandhi's 'white son' (though I don't approve of this derogatory and condescending epithet) Louis Fisher squarely blamed Patel for Gandhi's assassination. In a conversation with Minoo Masani, Fisher openly said that Patel was angry with Gandhi because of the latter's sympathetic attitude towards the Muslims. Patel is said to have said that Gandhiji was crossing his limits!! Patel didn't like the fact that Abul Kalam Azad was being thought of as the first education minister despite having no formal degree in academics. Patel criticised Azad's poor English and called him a maulavi, who was set to revolutionise India's education policies! Now his 'ardent' follower Narendra Modi is grooming himself as the next PM and Patel is in the news. The problem with the average as well as 'educated' Indians is that they're 'politically polluted & paralysed' and have very little knowledge of the past and the 'heroes' of the yore.
Ours is a historically impoverished society. Why don't we read the unbiased books written by the writers like Moolgaonkar (former editor of The Indian Express), Ahmad Rashid, Raymond Fletcher, Frank Morris (father of poet-journalist Dom Moraes), Tushar Kanti Ghosh, among others? They categorically excoriated opportunists like Nehru and Patel? Patel was nakedly power-hungry and was full of implacable hatred for Jinnah and other Muslim stalwarts. Here I'm not exonerating Jinnah of his misdeeds and flagrant ambitions. My point is: Patel was an anti-Muslim Gujarati Hindu. Don't make a hero out of him, to the detriment of the nation's 'composite' image.