On the morning of Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary, I was confronted with 1/2 page ads in newspapers and this question on Quora “Why does young generation of Gujarat respect Sardar Patel more than Mahatma Gandhi?”

I decided to answer straight away.

I am not sure that the premise of the question is correct. I would say that the Sardar Patel supporters are more vocal and hence it seems thus.

In any case it is silly. There is no reason to compare the two of them. They were both great and both made a contribution to the independence of India and building of the nation, in their own way – through thoughts and action.

This comparison, to me, is odious. There is of course a very systematic campaign against Mahatma Gandhi by the right-of-centre political forces. It may be useful to remember that one of those believing in the right-of-centre ideology assassinated the Mahatma. Used a gun to kill a frail, old man when he could not counter his thoughts.

This political force has very effectively used social media to do so. They needed a counter idol, and they chose Patel conveniently forgetting that the great man himself hated everything that they stand for. But what could they do? In their pantheon there is hardly anyone who actually fought against the British in the freedom struggle. They thus have to make-do with someone who cannot put them right. And some of the youth are mindlessly following like sheep; afraid to think for themselves and vicious towards those who do.

Mahatma Gandhi has supporters. They either are terrified of being trolled and abused by the idiots who claim to support Patel at the expense of Gandhi or Nehru or they know that Gandhiji needs no support. See below

Assassins – either those using guns or words.

To cut the long story short – the comparison is odious; both were great and there is no need to drag them through the cesspit of modern politics. Better to focus on the present and future.