Claim on Jawaharlal Nehru And Sardar Patel Fuels Foreign Minister Jaishankar vs Ramachandra Guha Twitter War

Claim on Nehru And Patel Fuels Foreign Minister vs Ram Guha Twitter War

New Delhi:

A war of words has erupted on Twitter over Foreign Minister Subramanian Jaishankar’s assertion, citing a book, that Jawaharlal Nehru did not want Sardar Patel in his first cabinet in 1947. On Wednesday, Mr Jaishankar said he learnt from the biography of renowned civil servant VP Menon that Nehru had omitted Vallabhbhai Patel in his initial list of ministers.

“Released an absorbing biography of VP Menon by @narayani_basu. Sharp contrast between Patel’s Menon and Nehru’s Menon. Much awaited justice done to a truly historical figure,” the minister tweeted.

“Learnt from the book that Nehru did not want Patel in the Cabinet in 1947 and omitted him from the initial Cabinet list. Clearly, a subject for much debate. Noted that the author stood her ground on this revelation,” the Union Minister said.

He also tweeted quoting VP Menon that when Sardar Patel died, a “deliberate campaign was begun to efface his memory”.

Among those who responded to the post was eminent historian Ramachandra Guha, who called it a “myth”.

“This is a myth that has been comprehensively demolished by Professor Srinath Raghavan in The Print. Besides, promoting fake news about, and false rivalries between, the builders of modern India is not the job of the Foreign Minister. He should leave this to the BJP’s IT Cell,” Ram Guha tweeted.

Soon, Mr Jaishankar retorted acerbically to Mr Guha’s jibe.

“Some Foreign Ministers do read books. May be a good habit for some Professors too. In that case, strongly recommend the one I released yesterday,” the Foreign Minister tweeted.

The back-and-forth continued with the historian replying with a letter that Jawaharlal Nehru wrote to Patel inviting him to join his cabinet.

“The letter of 1 August where Nehru invites Patel to join the first Cabinet of free India, calling him the “strongest pillar” of that Cabinet. Can someone show this to @DrSJaishankar,” Mr Guha tweeted.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also joined the debate and tweeted: “Jai, I have the highest regard for VP Menon, a hero of Indian Independence from my state, but human recollections can be wrong.” He also posted an article that he described as carefully documented refutation of the “Patel’s omission from Cabinet” story (for which VPM was the only source).

Whether Nehru and Sardar Patel, two icons of Indian independence, were in dispute or in fact close colleague has always been a subject of speculation, depending on which side of the political divide one is on.
It is often the contention of BJP leaders that Sardar Patel was undermined by the Congress and Nehru, and not given due credit.

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