This refers “Sardar stands tallest” (October 31). Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is being remembered because of the unveiling of his giant statue, an engineering feat. I am not sure whether he would have liked such a costly way to perpetuate his memory. I remember him for his sternness, coupled with softness and simplicity. I had the occasion to watch him once.
It was early in 1948, a few days after Mahatma Gandhi's assassination. I was living in Alwar, the then capital of a princely state. The Maharaja was claiming that he was a sovereign monarch and not under the authority of the government in Delhi. An impression was created that he had a hand in the ghastly act of the murder of Gandhi. He was summoned to Delhi and placed under virtual house arrest while the administration of the state was taken over by a Central government officer. The feudal elements in the state protested and brandished their swords. Hearing all that, Patel paid a visi
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