New Delhi [India], November 1 (ANI): Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's contribution to Indian history was much greater than just his role in the accession of Jammu & Kashmir, Hyderabad, and Junagadh, said External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Saturday.
Talking about Patel's role in integrating the princely states during partition, Jaishankar said, "In the popular mind, Sardar Patel is seen as responsible for the accession of Jammu and Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagadh. In reality, his contribution was even greater. In fact, these examples - challenging as they were - took place on a firm foundation that he had laid through a set of high-stakes and fast-paced negotiations with many other princely states."
Jaishankar made these remarks while delivering the Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture. He said Patel also contributed to refashioning the civil services for independent India. "He could do so because his administrative acumen commanded deep respect in both the state machinery that we inherited and the one that was then grafted on it," he said.
"His ability to harness the energies of the masses to the important issues of the day was legendary. His economic thinking has perhaps got less attention in history than it deserves," the minister added.
Further lauding Patel's contribution, EAM said "He clearly recognized the importance of rapidly building national capabilities by promoting greater entrepreneurship. When it comes to national security, of course, he was undoubtedly the most hard-headed and practical. Distracted neither by political romanticism nor theoretical constructs, he saw the world for what it was, and strategised accordingly." (ANI)