For the past 29 years, Oct 31 has been commemorated as the “death anniversary” of India’s first female prime minister Indira Gandhi who was shot down by her own bodyguards in 1984. Newspapers usually fill with full-age articles about Indira Gandhi, her traits, her leadership skills etc. The day which also marks the birth anniversary of India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel is usually “less-talked about” or “ignored” by many.
However, this Oct 31 (2014) is completely different as Mr Narendra Modi-led BJP is at Office with full majority. Modi decided to celebrate Mr Patel’s birth anniversary grandly rather than Indira’s 30th death anniversary. Patel was pioneer and the man behind Indian union. Patel played instrumental role in merging 562 princely states (including Hyderabad) into India. Patel was good aid to Mahatma Gandhi and both Patel and Gandhi were from Gujarat and so current Prime Minister Modi.
Narendra Modi not just paid rich tributes to Mr Sardar Vallabhai Patel but he also declared the day as “Rashtriya Ekta Divas” or National Unity Day and celebrated Patel’s 139th birth anniversary with great fervour across the nation. In fact Modi publicly expressed his admiration by stating, “Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa would be incomplete without Swami Vivekananda. Similarly, even Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi) would be incomplete without Patel ji (Sardar Vallabhai Patel).”
With this grand celebrations of Mr Patel all over the place, naturally, the 30th death anniversary of Indira Gandhi took back seat. Except Congress leaders, others hardly commemorated Indira’s death anniversary. Interestingly, Mr Patel was also a Congress leader but Modi chose to bring him back to limelight as his contribution to India was enormous and Modi stated several times that he has been admirer of “Iron Man” (Vallabhai Patel) since his childhood. It seems, Iron Man has overshadowed Indira Gandhi. What any irony?!