Historical Figures

48. The echo of Bal Gangadhar Tilak was heard in the speech of Sardar Patel.

Sardar Patel had just retired from the work of public awareness in Maharashtra that he was invited by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari to preside over the Tamil Nadu political conference to be held at Vedaranya. Patel expressed his reluctance as usual. On this Rajaji contacted Gandhiji. Gandhiji repeated his order this time also and Vallabhbhai had to go to Tamil Nadu.

In those days the enmity between Brahmins and non-Brahmins was at its peak in Tamil Nadu. Rajaji urged Patel to do something in this direction. Patel also told the people in this conference that nothing happens by merely raising slogans and passing a resolution, Do concrete constructive work and take the path of struggle against injustice.

After the conference, Patel undertook an extensive tour of villages in Tamil Nadu and spoke to people from Brahmins and non-Brahmin communities. Patel explained to people from non-Brahmin communities whether Brahmins have made you that bad, as much as the British have done? They are ruling over you, coming from five thousand miles away.

They are alien, Yet people from both Brahmin and non-Brahmin communities worship him! How high are Brahmins ? The highest is the one who produces food and gives food to others. Then why do you consider brahmins high and yourself low ?

Patel also explained to the Brahmins that they should treat all people equally. That's right. If the society is not united then we will not be able to end the rule of foreign rulers. The magic of Sardar's words was such that his words had a deep impact on the people of both the Brahmin and non-Brahmin communities and the estrangement between them decreased.

While Sardar was still in Tamil Nadu, Gangadharrao Deshpande invited him to visit Karnataka for two days. The Sardar accepted that invitation. Gangadhar Rao wanted to form an organization of farmers in Karnataka. Sardar Patel addressed ten huge public meetings in two days and inspired the farmers to be fearless and get organized.

He explained to the farmers that there is no need to be intimidated by anyone, Not bureaucratic, Not from the police, Not from Jail, Not by attachment, Not by torture. All these problems can be faced by being organized and fearless. He also called upon the farmers to boycott foreign goods.

When Sardar was addressing the farmers, Gangadhar Rao felt as if Bal Gangadhar Tilak was speaking. The same ooze in his voice, The same anger was visible in his eyes. Mahadev Bhai has also written about Sardar that the echo of Bal Gangadhar is heard in his voice. There is also a similarity in the gesture of both. As tough as both seem on the outside, She is as soft on the inside.