Friday, May 2, 2014


Sixty seven years ago a Gujarati - Sardar Jhaverbhai Vallabhbhai Patel was pitted against a Nehru of Allahabad for India's leadership. Today, once again a Gujarati - Narendra Damadardas Modi is pitted against a Nehru (Rahul Gandhi) from Allahabad for the Prime Ministership of India.

The difference is that Patel and Nehru belonged to the same party, the Indian National Congress, both led movements against Britain's ouster from India, both were British educated, both were Barristers, Patel from Middle Temple and Nehru from Inner Temple. They stood side by side and united against British occupation of India.

Patel was considered a natural leader and vastly expected to be the first Prime Minister of India, but Nehru a man of smart intellect and cunning, outsmarted and outfoxed Patel on the last bend of the last lap of home run and became the first Prime Minister of India.

Nehru's great grandson, Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi come from two separate political parties with vast intellectual differences. Rahul carries the Nehru legacy as a leader of Indian National Congress and Narendra Modi, a former member of RSS is the current leader of BJP, a right wing Hindu Party. Rahul was educated in India and abroad, his stay at Harvard was cut short due to his father's assassination, he subsequently obtained M. Phil degree from Cambridge. Modi being the son of a tea stall vendor comes from a poor background, he was educated in India, earning Bachelor's degree from Delhi University and Masters in Political Science from Gujarat University. He is entirely a self made man.

Another difference between the pre independence era and now is that Nehru & Patel led independence movements, they hardly spent any time in Government, whereas both Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi have spent several years in power or in controlling power.

Sixty seven years later, history repeats itself as another Gujarati is pitted against another Nehru from Allahabad. The question is, will a Nehru once again outsmart and outfox a Gujarati? Hardly likely as Modi is no pushover nor simple and naïve like Vallabbhai Patel and Rahul Gandhi is not smart enough or clever enough to be another Jawaharlal Nehru.

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