Sunday, November 05, 2017

Modi was product of Congress, was anti-RSS: Gujarat's top Padma Shree supporter "revealed" this in 1997 book

By Our Representative
In a revelation that is causing major embarrassment to a person who is now rated highly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a historian, journalist and writer, Vishu Pandya once referred to Modi as "a strong opponent of the Sangh Parivar and a member of the Congress Seva Dal during his college days."
In a book he authored in 1997, Pandya -- who joined then dissident BJP leader Shankarsinh Vaghela's newly-formed Rasthiya Janata Party in 1996 along with tens of rebel BJP MLAs -- revealed this quoting a leaflet, written by Mafatlal Patel, estranged husband of Modi protege and ex-Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel.
Screenshot from the leaflet
printed in the book
Significantly, Pandya quoted Patel's leaflet as a major example to point towards how the rebellion against the ruling BJP built up and a third political force in Gujarat was taking roots under Vaghela.
Referring to the leaflet (called "Gujarat Ki Sacchai Kya Hai" or What is the Truth of Gujarat), Pandya said in his book -- titled "Vartaman Gujarat: Triji Shakti no Suryoday" (Contemporary Gujarat: Rise of the Third Force) -- it was distributed at the BJP's national meet in Mumbai, and "created a major flutter", so much so that then party strongman Pramod Mahajan asked its immediate confiscation.
Said Pandya, praising the political significance of the leaflet, "Its contents were widely reported in national media. Reporters made every effort to get its copy. Disciplinary action was sought against the BJP MP who distributed the leaflet at the national meet -- Somabhai Patel."
The leaflet, quoted by Pandya, also said: "Around 1970, Jan Sangh (now BJP) general secretary Vasantrao Gajendragadkar came to the city (Ahmedabad) and came in contact with the party worker Narendra Modi and said the latter's thinking and views were not in consonance with the party's and that he should not continue in the party."
The book
Elsewhere, the leaflet pointed towards how Modi acted as "extra-constitutional authority" in Keshubhai Patel's government in 1995 -- he would "take part in the Cabinet meetings in complete violation of the Constitution."
While Pandya, two decades later, has sought to "trash" the contents of the leaflet, saying that the claims were "mentioned in a letter" (sic! it was a leaflet) that was used as a reference in his book, a senior journalist, Hari Desai, wonders in a blog why Pandya is so upset.
Now close to Modi, Pandya is known to have given major inputs to him on Gujarat's militant nationalist Shyamji Krishna Varma, a freedom fighter who spent his last days in Europe. Modi made a major spectacle out of Varma's "contributions", going so far as to Geneva to bring back his ashes, criticising the Congress for forgetting " revolutionaries" like him.
Desai, who has released the relevant portions of Pandya's about 300 page book in his blog, says, "Pandya has been an RSS man for years. He was conferred the Padmashri by Modi-led Centre this year and is currently serving as President of the Gujarat Sahitya Akademi . Pandya had written the book in 1997 as a tribute to Shankarsinh Vaghela."
Hari Desai
Insisting that there is little reason to doubt what Pandya has referred to when "Modi is revealed as a product of Congress Seva Dal and an anti-RSS during his college days by his close associate in a book published by him", Desai calls Pandya "a celebrated historian of Gujarat" and "none has denied so far since the book is very much available today."
Interstingly, Pandya, who once edited an RSS mouthpiece "Sadhana", was praised in 2014, among others, by a People's Union of Civil Liberties (Gujarat) book for his "fearless" journalism. More recently, the Gujarat Media Club felicitated him at its annual meet for his "contributions".

No comments: