Patel’s Legacy; Cruel Intentions

Patel’s Legacy; Cruel Intentions

The current relationship between politicians and bureaucrats needs changing.

Patel’s legacy

* This refers to ‘Everyone’s icon’ (IE,October 31). No political party or politician can lay claim to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s legacy. Narendra Modi is trying to project himself as another iron man. But Sardar Patel unified India as a nation. If Modi is really interested in modelling himself on the Sardar ,he should not be so divisive. He must win the confidence of Muslims and atone for the 2002 riots. The unity of India is Patel’s most enduring legacy. He would not have approved of the way in which hundreds of Punjabi farmers,who settled in Kutch at the invitation of then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri,are being deprived of their moral and legal rights to their land on flimsy grounds. Ultimately,Modi must understand that being strong,firm and decisive is altogether different from being ruthless.

— H.L. Sharma


Cruel intentions

* This refers to ‘Call of duty’ by K.M. Chandrasekhar (IE,October 30). The writer has done well to caution us against an atmosphere of suspicion,which demoralises civil servants. He is right to have advocated deeper systemic reforms. Certainly,bureaucrats are liable to make mistakes. Often,these mistakes are uncovered with the benefit of hindsight. Penal action is only called for in cases where the mistake was mala fide.

— D.N. Bhargava


Judging Nehru

* This refers to ‘With Singh listening,Modi says,if only Patel had been our first PM…’ (IE,October 30). Jawaharlal Nehru is one of India’s most misunderstood leaders. People blame for for a variety of things,from being too idealistic to being indecisive and weak. Whatever decisions he took were the best that could have been taken at the time. There is no foresight like hindsight and so,even if some of Nehru’s judgements are seen as questionable today,they must be evaluated by the standards of his time and the information that was available to him then. It was only due to his able leadership in those turbulent times that our democracy,civil liberties and,above all,our Constitution survive today.

— Arsh Panwar


Gathering dust

* The current relationship between politicians and bureaucrats needs changing. Rather than crying about judicial overreach,the political executive must accept the Supreme Court’s decision on the tenure of bureaucrats. It’s their opposition to reforms and transparency that has led to judicial interventions in the first place. Unfortunately,landmark legislations,policies and judgments often go unimplemented and sit gathering dust. This could be another in that list.

— Vaibhav Jain