Kashmir ‘question’ persists because Patel’s views were ‘ignored’: Former Defence Minister

India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had predicted India’s wars with China and Pakistan, fought over a decade later, in 1950, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has said.

The former Defence Minister, who was speaking during a joint observance of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas and Rashtriya Sankalp Diwas in Panaji, also said that  Kashmir ‘question’ had persisted through the decades only because the views of Patel, then Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, were ignored.
“I got an opportunity to read about Sardar Patel when I became Defence Minister two years back. I read one of his letters written to Jawaharlal Nehru. In the letter, the subject was about our enemy or adversary along the northern border.
“In 1950, Sardar Patel had predicted what would happen in 1965, the war that happened with China, even the Doklam issue which has cropped up now. All these issues are mentioned in the three-page letter. It was an utter shock for me. I had not read the letter until then,” Parrikar said.

“He was so accurate, perfect. He had raised the perfect question on the Kashmir issue. The question about Kashmir has persisted today because Patel’s views were not considered.”

“He managed to create a feeling among the rulers of the princely states, that they were sacrificing for the sake of the country and he brought together all the princely states and created the India that is,” he said, adding that there was a need for re-awakening the “spirit of nation-worship.”

India and Pakistan fought wars in 1965 and 1971. The India-China war was in 1962. Earlier this year, Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a prolonged face-off in Dokalam near Sikkim.

(Featured image: Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel)

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