Terming it as an attempt to defame the image of the country's first
Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel by "questioning his patrioric
spirit", Narendra Modi-led Gujarat Government on Wednesday banned
sale of the expelled Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jaswant Singh
book titled 'Jinnah-India, Partition, Independence' in the State.
"Jaswant Singh's book questions role
of Sardar Patel during the partition of India as well as his
patriotic spirit. This is an attempt to tarnish the image of Patel
who is considered the architect of modern united India," a statement
issued by the state government said.
The Gujarat government blamed
Jaswant’s book for denigrating the image of Sardar Vallabh Bhai
Patel, who was a Gujarati and held in high esteem by people across
Gujarat and rest of the India for his role during India’s freedom
struggle against the British rulers.
Singh observes in his book that Nehru
and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel together conceded Pakistan to Jinnah
with help from the British.
Patel occupies a pride of place in
BJP's historiography with the party eulogising his tough action for
the integration of rebellious Hyderabad and Junagarh with the Union,
and contrasting it with the Nehru''s "blunder" in taking the Kashmir
issue to the UN.
Jaswant flays the
Meanwhile, criticising the ban imposed
on his book by Gujarat government, Jaswant Singh today said it
amounted to "banning thinking" and likened the step to the one taken
against noted author Salman Rushdie for his controversial work
"I am greatly saddened by it," Singh
told reporters on the Gujarat government's decision to ban his book.
"The day we start banning books, we
are banning thinking," said Singh, who was expelled by BJP for the
book in which he has praised the Pakistan founder M A Jinnah.
Asked to comment on BJP's contention
that he had been expelled for his uncharitable comments in the book
against Sardar Patel and that his views on Jinnah were different
from those of L K Advani, he said, "Let me understand why (I was
expelled). Nobody has told me".
On his continuance as MP from
Darjeeling, he said he got a telephonic call from his constituency
that the people there wanted him to continue as their representative
in Lok Sabha.