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R.D. Bhardwaj

BJP’s former leader, Jaswant Singh’s latest book “Jinnah – India Partition & Independence”, has landed him in a big controversy, mainly because of his putting blame of partition of India on a great congress leader, late, Sardar Valabhbhai Patel, who is also known as Iron Man of India. Sardar Patel’s patriotic credentials are certainly beyond doubt, unlike those of the so called many of the leaders we have these days. Sardar Patel was primarily and singularly instrumental for annexation of many princely states into India after independence and unifying people of various regions, religions and languages. Crores of people even today firmly believe that had Sardar Patel been first PM, India’s socio-economic and political scenario would have been quite different / optimistic (and worthy of pride) today. He was firm in his resolve to solve even hugely knotty problems, rather than keeping them lingering on for ever and encashing them in future for political purposes. Kashmir problem would have been solved for ever within 2/3 years of independence, had he been given free hand to solve it, the way he wanted to do that.

But the big question that bothers people’s psyche today, is – BJP’s leaders M.A. Jinnah obsession. Around four years ago, LK Advani went to Pakistan and visited the grave of Jinnah (instead of visiting the grave of former Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Lahore and paying his tributes to him) and paid rich tributes to him by describing that Jinnah was indeed a great secular leader. Now, it is the turn of Jaswant Singh to write a book on him and blaming Sardar Patel rather than Jinnah for the partition of India. Thus, he has attempted to fabricate history. If BJP’s leaders think that by praising Jinnah and tarnishing the pristine pure image of Sardar Patel , they can win back Muslim voters (who mostly keep safe distance from them); I am afraid, they are terribly mistaken. As far as partition of India is concerned, people simply do not subscribe to Jaswant Singh’s views on Sardar Patel, rather they feel hurt. You can not befool or misguide people any more; particularly after demolishing of Babri Mosque in Dec., 1992, BJP Govt.’s dilly-dallying approach to deal with the hijacking of IC 814 Indian Airlines aeroplane in Dec., 1999 and releasing five hardcore terrorists from jails and taking them to Kandhar, and lastly, Godra riots in Gujarat in 2002. Moreover, most of the people feel that now-a-days, politicians are the people who shake your hands before elections and your confidence later on.

If Jaswant Singh wanted to prove his credentials as a writer, he should have better written a book on solving India’s current problems like – how to eradicate poverty of 38.5% people living below poverty line, how to generate employment for millions of unemployed youth, what steps our Govt. should take to bring India out of economic recession / slow-down, what type of concrete steps India should take to curtail population explosion which is the mother of hundreds of other problems afflicting India and is eating away all the gains achieved through industrial and agricultural growth (remember, our population is more than the populations of developed countries like America, England, France, Germany and Australia combined together), how to cure the cancer of corruption from Indian soils, how to clear huge 3.40 crore cases pending in Indian courts so that justice could be imparted to common people within a time frame of 2/3 years, how to bring back India’ black money amounting to US $ 1486 millions lying in Swiss Banks and utilise those huge funds for completing thousands of projects through-out the length and breadth of India, which are dying at various stages of completion for want of sufficient funds, how to improve the plight of our villages and villagers/small farmers, and above all, how Indian leaders (irrespective of the party to which they belong) should learn to work diligently and honestly for the welfare of the electorates rather than indulging in shameless demagoguery during elections and forgetting them ever after.

Has Jaswant Singh written such a book covering all these and many other such subjects concerning common people, I am sure, he would have certainly been appreciated even by his adversaries, rather than being expelled from the party by his own colleagues, with whom he has worked tirelessly, shoulder to shoulder, for the last more than 30 years.