Six months or so before Independence, on the 27th of January, 1947, the world – famous international Magazine ‘Time’ had a photograph of Sardar Patel on the cover page of that edition. In their lead story, they had depicted a map of India; it was nowhere close to what the map looks like now.
It was the map of an India that was divided into myriad fragments. There existed over 550 princely states. The English had lost interest in India; they wanted to leave India fragmented into pieces.
Time Magazine had opined that hovering over India then were the dangers of problems like partition, violence, food scarcity, price rise and power-politics.
The magazine further observed that amidst that plethora of problems, if there was anyone who possessed the capability to unite the country and heal wounds, it was SardarVallabhbhai Patel.
I was reading an old interview with the celebrated Army officer samManekshaw. In that interview, field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was reminiscing on times when he was a Colonel. Around this time, military operations commenced in Kashmir.
Field Marshal Manekshaw has mentioned how in a meeting,SardarVallabhbhai Patel was irked on the delay in sending troops to Kashmir During the proceedings, Sardar Patel gave him a characteristic glance and reiterated that there should be no delay in our Army operation and that a solution should be sought swiftly. And immediately after that, our troops flew to Kashmir… we’ve seen how our Army was successful.
It is a good chance for the sport lovers to witness closely contested matches. Go to Bhubaneshwar and cheer up the Indian team and also encourage each team there.
Odisha has a dignified historical background and has a very rich cultural tradition. People of the state are full of warmth. This is a chance for the sports lovers to see Odisha.
They can visit the world famous holy places like the Sun Temple of Konark, Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri and Chilka Lake along with enjoying the games there. I convey my best wishes to our Men’s Hockey Team for this tournament and assure them that 125 crore Indians are supporting them. I also convey my wishes to all the teams from around the world coming to participate in the tournament.
My dear countrymen, in “Mann Ki Baat”, we talk about those persons and institutions who make extra-ordinary contribution for the society. These works may seem small but have a very deep impact in changing our thinking and in giving a new direction to the society.
A few days ago, I was reading about a farmer brother Gurbachan Singh from Punjab. The son of this hard working farmer Gurbachan Singh ji was to be married. Gurbachan Singh ji had told the bride’s parents that the marriage would be performed in a solemn manner. There is absolutely no need to spend much on wedding reception or any other item. We have to keep it a very very simple event. But then he suddenly said that he had one condition.
And, when a condition is put these days, generally it is thought that the other side is going to make a big demand which will be really difficult for the bride’s family to fulfill. But, you will be surprised to know that Bhai Gurbachan Singh was a simple farmer and what he told the bride’s father and the condition he placed reflects the true strength of our society. Gurbachan Singh ji asked him to promise that they will not burn parali or stubble in their fields. You can well imagine the social strength this statement had.
This point made by Gurbachan Singh ji appears quite ordinary but this reveals how tall and strong his personality is and we have seen that there are many families in our society who connect their individual matters with the benefit of the society as a whole. ShrimanGurbachan Singh ji’s family has presented one such example before us.