Release of Shri RNP Singh’s Book, 'Sardar Patel, Unifier of Modern India', by Shri Ajit Doval, KC (National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India)
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Shri RNP Singh’s book “Sardar Patel, Unifier of Modern India” was launched by Shri Ajit Doval, KC, National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India, on the 4th of September, 2018 at the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF). The book chronicles the remarkable contributions of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to the post-Independence integration of states into the Indian Union. Although it describes only five years of the stalwart’s life, the book is an indispensable read for every Indian to comprehend how India came to be a unified nation.

In his opening remarks, Dr Arvind Gupta, Director VIF, expressed that Sardar Patel had a great understanding of the geopolitical environment conducive to nation building, and in this new era in which we adopt new strategies towards the same, Shri RNP Singh’s book was an important, appropriate and welcome read.

Shri RNP Singh then took to the dais to share his journey in penning the book. He spoke passionately, acknowledging the fact that writing a book on the life and achievement of such an outstanding personality, while always a challenge, was special to him. He narrated his experience on this stern intellectual tryst to analyse the events from different perspectives and try to arrive at balanced and unbiased conclusions. Speaking with great gusto about the subject of his work, he asserted that Sardar Patel was a gifted statesman with a rare quality of astuteness, who realised that the cause is always greater than the man. Shri RNP Singh brought to light the achievements of Sardar Patel in the integration of the nation by highlighting his personality against the background of the political situation that prevailed and their relevance today. He expressed that there was a conspiracy of silence, aimed at obliterating Sardar Patel’s memory that has led to a paucity of materials to understand his contributions to the unification. Amidst such challenges, as Shri RNP Singh stated, the objective of his book was to “present Sardar Patel’s personality that not only left his mark on the map of India, but also on the minds of the people.”

In his key note address, Shri Ajit Doval recognised and appreciated the authors’ efforts at writing a book about the persona of a man whose contribution can draw “no other parallels” in modern history. He lauded Shri RNP Singh to have brought out the contributions of Sardar Patel based on deep research and assessment of historical facts. Narrating the history of independent India’s march to unification, he said that sovereignty cannot be “diluted and ill-defined” and expressed that when the “British left they did not want to leave India as a strong sovereign state”. He recognised Sardar Patel as someone who comprehended the idea and importance of sovereignty and was instrumental in laying the foundations of a nation state. Elaborating further, Shri Doval voiced that “His contribution is not about the merger of states. It is merely a means to an end. The issue was to make a state in which the sovereignty of the people was established in the Constitution, and applicable to the whole of it.” He further added that the British planned to let the princely states decide for themselves, and that they hoped, would ensue in chaos. But in such circumstances, “Sardar Patel was able to lay the foundations of a nation state. And in a nation state there was one law, one Constitution. Sovereignty cannot be divided.” In conclusion, Shri Doval praised the author by recognising his work to be a “great tribute” to, as some would call, the Bismarck of India – Sardar Patel.

The event concluded with a vote of thanks from Smt. Renu Kaul, the publisher of the book.

Event Date 
September 4, 2018

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