Importance of personalities – living or dead - can be defined from the manner in which political parties milk their popularity. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a simpleton but a task master who was the first Home Minister of India, is one personality that cuts across all parties. He is termed as unfortunate not to have become the Prime Minister of India because Jawaharlal Nehru was personally chosen by Mahatma Gandhi. This perception later converted to injustice to Patel which was cultivated for political gains to pitch one community against the other.
To justify this injustice, various buildings and roads and airports were announced after Patel. Now the latest in today’s union budget is allocating Rs 1000 million to build a statue of Patel. This was originally planned to be built without state money with a flimsy plan to collect scrap iron and then melting it to build a statue that can match or be higher than statue of Liberty.
India is a country that still needs basic needs to bring millions out of poverty. No statues can help the government achieve this. There is a general feeling that for the next decade India must shun populism and help the country come out of this perpetual poverty index.
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