Rare images of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel from the lens of Kulwant Royhttps://indianexpress.com/article/research/sardar-vallabhbhai-patel-around-independence-rare-images-of-from-lens-of-kulwant-roy-4910371/

Rare images of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel from the lens of Kulwant Roy

A selection of historical images of Sardar Patel from Kulwant Roy's work, as documented by Aditya Arya in the valuable visual archive History in the Making.

Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) was among the handful of Indian photojournalists who lived and worked through the exciting times before and after India’s Independence. His valuable archive of unpublished prints and negatives lay forgotten in boxes for more than 20 years after his death in ’84 until they were discovered by Aditya Arya, the close family friend to whom Roy had left his work.

While Roy’s vibrant photographs generously allow us into old cities and towns when they were less crowded, to ride in outmoded means of transport like a car with a short license plate (DLB 300), to listen to a giant radio set or discuss old sartorial trends in India’s diverse society, it is politics which Arya describes as the spinal cord of his story. Roy’s photographs recorded and captured events preceding and following India’s independence, in the true spirit of the medium, without reconstruction, manipulation or staging. “Kulwant’s Roy’s photographs never make us feel that history is headed in the wrong direction,” writes historian Indivar Kamtekar, “On the contrary, they declare that the world was progressing. In doing so, they embody the optimism of the first decades of independent India”.

Here is a selection of  historical images of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel from Roy’s work, as documented by Arya in the valuable visual archive History in the Making.

sardar patel, vallabhbhai patel
The Interim Government Cabinet, undated. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
Seated From R to L: Lord Mountbatten, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Acharya Kriplani. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
sardar patel, phulkian union, kulwant roy, sardar patel rare images
The Inauguration of Phulkian Union: The Maharaja of Patiala, the Rajpramukh of the Phulkian Union is seen here addressing the gathering on the occasion. Seated on the dias are Sardar Patel and Maharaja of Kapurthala, the Uprajpramukh, 1948. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
sardar patel, vallabhbhai patel, majaraja of kapurthala, princely states
Sardar Patel with Maharaja of Kapurthala at the reception in Motibagh, Patiala. 1948. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
sardar patel, maharaja of jaipur, princely states, kulwant roy
Sardar Patel with the Maharaja of Jaipur, on the formation of the Matsya Union of the Rajasthan princely states, 1948. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
sardar patel, maharaja of jaipur, princely states, kulwant roy
The Maharaja of Jaipur taking the oath of allegiance, 1948. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
Sardar Patel, Pattabhi Sitaramayya, jaipur congress session
Sardar Patel and Pattabhi Sitaramayya at the Jaipur Congress Session, 1948. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
Committee Meeting at Jaipur Congress Session (1948). Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
sardar patel, jawaharlal nehru, acharya kriplani
Acharya Kriplani with Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Rajendra Prasad. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
sardar patel, vallabhbhai patel
An ailing Sardar Patel receiving the rulers of Central Indian at his home, 1948. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
sardar patel, edwina mountbatten
Edwina Mountbatten greets Sardar Patel, 1948. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
sardar patel, mahatma gandhi death anniversary
Sardar Patel addressing a gathering at the first death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi, 1949. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.

Kulwant Roy gifted his work to Aditya Arya, who has since archived them under the aegis of the India Photo Archive Foundation. Arya can be reached at adityaarya@adityaarya.com