SOCIAL SCIENCE QUIZ CONDUCTED

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ACTIVITIES FOR THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2016-2017

MONTH AND

NAME OF THE

ACTIVITY

April    

1. Library Orientation Sessions

2.Preparation of Issue Registers

3.Registration of Students In E-Granthalaya

4.Introduction Of Activities

Class 6th To 8th Book Cover / Book Jacket

Class 9th To 10th Newsletter

5.Formation of Readers club and their members from

Class 6th to 12th

6.Constituition of Library Committee and Reader’s Club

7.Celebration of World Book Day

8.First Library Committee Meeting

 

May – June

1.Pasting of Due Date Slips On New Books

2.Updating of Member database

 

July  

1.Starting the Circulation of books

2.Activity Book Jacket 6-8

3.Activity Submission

4.Issue of Library books

 

August

1.Library Committee Meeting

2.Preparation of book suggestion list

3.Activity 6th to 8th Quiz /9th to 10th Quiz

 

September

1.Career Development Program

2.Selection of books by visiting the local shops

3.Activity 6th to 8th Quiz / 9th to 10th Quiz

 

October

1.Preparation and display of List Of defaulters

2.Activity 6-8-Quotations writing competition

3.Activity 9 to 10th -Debate

 

November

1.Celebration of Chacha Nehru Birthday from

14-11-16 to 20-11-16

2.Book Exhibition by Childrens Book Trust / Paridrishya

Publisher

 

December

1.Updating Student’s Database

2.No dues of 10th & 12th Students

 

January

1.User Awareness Program on exam oreinted resources in

the Library

2.Activity 6th – 8th Book Review Competition

3.Activity 9th to 10th Book Review Competition

 

February  

1.Stopping the circulation of books to Students.

2.Activity – 6th to 8th story writing Competition

3.Activity – 9th to 10th Article writing Competition

 

March

Stock Verification

Mufti Mohammad Sayed

Born 12 January 1936
Baba Mohalla, Bijbehara,Jammu and KashmirBritish India
Died 7 January 2016 (aged 79)
New Delhi, India
Nationality Indian
Political party Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (1999—present)
Other political
affiliations
Indian National Congress (1991—1999; before 1987)
Janata Dal (1987-1991)
Children 3 (including Mehbooba Mufti)
Alma mater Aligarh Muslim University

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (12 January 1936 – 7 January 2016) was a politician from the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. He served twice as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir; for three years from November 2002 till November 2005 and then again from March 2015 until his death in January 2016. He was also Home Minister of India from December 1989 to November 1990.] He founded the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party, in July 1999 to persuade the Government of India to initiate an unconditional dialogue with Kashmiris for resolution of the Kashmir problem. He died on 7 January 2016 at AIIMS, Delhi due to multiple organ failure.

Contents

Early life

Mufti Sayeed was born on 12 January 1936 in Bijbehara town of Anantnag district to a family of clerics. He had completed his basic studies in Srinagar and then got the law and post graduate degree in Arabic from Aligarh Muslim University before joining politics.

Politician Mehbooba Mufti is his daughter.

Political party affiliations

Mufti became a cabinet minister in 1972 and in 1975 leader of state congress legislative party.Mohammad Sayeed had been a member of the Indian National Congress party until 1987. He is said to have brought about the downfall of theJammu & Kashmir National Conference government, which was led by Farooq Abdullah, in 1984. He joined Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 as Minister of Tourism in 1986. In 1987, he quit the Congress party to join V. P. Singh‘s Jan Morcha, which led to his becoming the first Muslim Minister for Home Affairs in the Union Cabinet of India in 1989.

2th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir
In office
1 March 2015 – 7 January 2016
Governor Narinder Nath Vohra
Deputy Nirmal Kumar Singh
Preceded by Governor’s rule
Succeeded by Mehbooba Mufti
(Designate)
In office
2 November 2002 – 2 November 2005
Governor Girish Chandra Saxena
Srinivas Kumar Sinha
Preceded by Governor’s rule
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
2 December 1989 – 10 November 1990
Prime Minister V. P. Singh
Preceded by Sardar Buta Singh
Succeeded by Chandra Shekhar
Personal details
Born 12 January 1936
Baba Mohalla, Bijbehara,Jammu and KashmirBritish India
Died 7 January 2016 (aged 79)
New Delhi, India
Nationality Indian
Political party Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (1999—present)
Other political
affiliations
Indian National Congress(1991—1999; before 1987)
Janata Dal (1987—1991)
Children 3 (including Mehbooba Mufti)
Alma mater Aligarh Muslim University

Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (12 January 1936 – 7 January 2016) was a politician from the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. He served twice as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir for three years from November 2002 till November 2005 and then again from March 2015 until his death in January 2016. He was also Home Minister of India from December 1989 to November 1990. He founded the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party, in July 1999 to persuade the Government of India to initiate an unconditional dialogue with Kashmiris for resolution of the Kashmir problem. He died on 7 January 2016 at AIIMS, Delhi due to multiple organ failure.

Contents

 

Early life

Mufti Sayeed was born on 12 January 1936 in Bijbehara town of Anantnag district to a family of clerics. He had completed his basic studies in Srinagar and then got the law and post graduate degree in Arabic from Aligarh Muslim University before joining politics.

Politician Mehbooba Mufti is his daughter.

Political party affiliations.

Mufti became a cabinet minister in 1972 and in 1975 leader of state congress legislative party. Mohammad Sayeed had been a member of the Indian National Congress party until 1987. He is said to have brought about the downfall of the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference government, which was led by Farooq Abdullah, in 1984.He joined Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 as Minister of Tourism in 1986. In 1987, he quit the Congress party to join V. P. Singh‘sJan Morcha, which led to his becoming the first Muslim Minister for Home Affairs in the Union Cabinet of India in 1989.

 

Today’s Date In History

Today in Earthquake History

Earthquake History for December 7th

  • M6.8 – Armenia, 1988

One of the world’s deadliest earthquakes.
Two events about 3 seconds apart. At least 25,000 people killed, 19,000 injured and 500,000 homeless in the Leninakan-Spitak-Kirovakan area of northern Armenia, USSR. More than 20 towns and 342 villages were affected and 58 of them were completely destroyed. Damage totaled 16.2 billion U.S. dollars. Damage (X) at Spitak and (IX) at Leninakan, Kirovakan and Stepanavan. Surface faulting 10 km in length and with a maximum throw of 1.5 m occurred. Power transmission lines were severely damaged and landslides buried railroad tracks in the epicentral area. Damage occurred in the Kelbadzhar area, Azerbaijan, USSR. Felt (VII) at Tabatskuri and Borzhomi; (VI) at Bogdanovka, Tbilisi and Yerevan; (V) at Goris; (IV) at Makhachkala and Groznyy; (III) at Sheki and Shemakha, USSR. Four people killed and damage in the Tuzluca-Kagizman-Kars area, Turkey. Felt in the Tabriz-Orumiyeh area, Iran.

  • M5.5 – Bulgaria, 1986

At least 3 people killed, 60 injured and damage (VII) in the Veliko Turnovo-Turgovishte area. Felt throughout Bulgaria. Also felt at Bucharest, Romania; Istanbul, Turkey and in eastern Yugoslavia.
From Significant Earthquakes of the World, 1986.

  • M8.1 – Japan, 1944

998 deaths.
More than 73,000 houses were destroyed or heavily damaged by the earthquake and an additional 3,000 houses were washed away by the tsunami. The quake was felt from northern Honshu to Kyushu. A large tsunami struck the Pacific Coast of Japan from Choshi, Honshu to Tosashimizu, Shikoku. Maximum wave heights of up to 8 m (26 ft) were observed on the east coast of the Kii Peninsula, Honshu. A 0.5-m tsunami was recorded on Attu, Alaska and a small tsunami was recorded at San Diego and Terminal Island, California.

Biography of the week

Amartya Sen
amartya sen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Amartya Sen
                                                Sen in 2010
Native name অমর্ত্য সেন
Born 3 November 1933 (age 82)
ManikganjBritish India(present-day Bangladesh)
Nationality Indian
Institution List[show]
Field Welfare economics,development economics, ethics
School or tradition Capability Approach
Alma mater Presidency College of the University of Calcutta (BA),
Trinity College, Cambridge(BA, MA, PhD)
Contributions Human development theory
Awards Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1998)
Bharat Ratna (1999)
National Humanities Medal(2012)[3]
Spouse Nabaneeta Dev (1958–1976)
Eva Colorni (1978–1985)
Emma Rothschild (m. 1991)
Amartya Sen’s voice

MENU

0:00

from the BBC programme Start the Week, 7 January 2013

Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Amartya Kumar Sen (pronounced /’ɔmort:o ‘ʃen/, born 3 November 1933) is an Indian economist and philosopher, who since 1972 has taught and worked in the United Kingdom and the United States. Sen has made contributions to welfare economicssocial choice theoryeconomic and social justice, economic theories of famines, and indexes of the measure of well-being of citizens of developing countries. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 and Bharat Ratna in 1999 for his work in welfare economics. He was also awarded the inaugural Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize in recognition of his work on welfare economics in February 2015 during a reception at the Royal Academy in the UK.[4]

He is currently the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. He served as the chancellor of Nalanda University. He is also a senior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, a distinguished fellow ofAll Souls College, Oxford, an honorary fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he served as Master from 1998 to 2004.[5]

Content

  1. Early life and education
  2. Research
  3. Professional career
  4. Nalanda Project
  5. Membership and association
  6. Media and culture
  7. Controversies
  8. Personal life and beliefs
  9. Awards and honours

Early life and education

Sen was born in a Bengali family in Manikganj, Bangladesh, to Ashutosh Sen and Amita Sen. Rabindranath Tagore gave Amartya Sen his name (Bengali অমর্ত্য ômorto, lit. “immortal”). Sen’s family was from Wari and ManikganjDhaka, both in present-dayBangladesh. His father Ashutosh Sen was a professor of chemistry at Dhaka University who moved with his family to West Bengal in 1945 and worked at various government institutions, including the West Bengal Public Service Commission (of which he was the chairman), and the Union Public Service Commission. Sen’s mother Amita Sen was the daughter of Kshiti Mohan Sen, a well-known scholar of ancient and medieval India and close associate of Rabindranath Tagore. He served as the Vice Chancellor of Visva-Bharati University for some years.

Sen began his high-school education at St Gregory’s School in Dhaka in 1940. From fall 1941, Sen studied at Visva-Bharati University school. He later went to Presidency College, Kolkata, where he earned a B.A. in Economics with First Class, with a minor in Mathematics, as a graduating student of the University of Calcutta. In 1953, he moved to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he earned a second B.A. in Economics in 1955 with a First Class, topping the list as well. He was elected President of the Cambridge Majlis. While Sen was officially a Ph.D student at Cambridge (though he had finished his research in 1955-6), he was offered the position of Professor and Head of the Economics Department of the newly created Jadavpur University in Calcutta, and he became the youngest chairman to head the Department of Economics. He served in that position, starting the new Economics Department, during 1956 to 1958.

Meanwhile, Sen was elected to a Prize Fellowship at Trinity College, which gave him four years of freedom to do anything he liked; he made the radical decision to studyphilosophy. Sen explained: “The broadening of my studies into philosophy was important for me not just because some of my main areas of interest in economics relate quite closely to philosophical disciplines (for example, social choice theory makes intense use of mathematical logic and also draws on moral philosophy, and so does the study of inequality and deprivation), but also because I found philosophical studies very rewarding on their own”.[6] His interest in philosophy, however, dates back to his college days at Presidency, where he read books on philosophy and debated philosophical themes.

In Cambridge, there were major debates between supporters of Keynesian economics on the one hand, and the “neo-classical” economists skeptical of Keynes, on the other. However, because of a lack of enthusiasm for social choice theory in both Trinity and Cambridge, Sen had to choose a different subject for his Ph.D. thesis, which was on “The Choice of Techniques” in 1959, though the work had been completed much earlier (except for some valuable advice from his adjunct supervisor in India, Professor A.K. Dasgupta, given to Sen while teaching and revising his work at Jadavpur) under the supervision of the “brilliant but vigorously intolerant” post-KeynesianJoan Robinson.[7]Quentin Skinner notes that Sen was a member of the secret society Cambridge Apostles during his time at Cambridge.[8]

Research

Sen’s papers in the late 1960s and early 1970s helped develop the theory of social choice, which first came to prominence in the work by the American economist Kenneth Arrow, who, while working at the RAND Corporation, had most famously shown that all voting rules, be they majority rule or two thirds-majority or status quo, must inevitably conflict with some basic democratic norm. Sen’s contribution to the literature was to show under what conditions Arrow’s impossibility theorem[9] would indeed come to pass as well as to extend and enrich the theory of social choice, informed by his interests in history of economic thought and philosophy.

Official Portrait at the Nobel Prize

In 1981, Sen published Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation (1981), a book in which he argued that famine occurs not only from a lack of food, but from inequalities built into mechanisms for distributing food. Sen also argued that the Bengal famine was caused by an urban economic boom that raised food prices, thereby causing millions of rural workers to starve to death when their wages did not keep up.[10]

Sen’s interest in famine stemmed from personal experience. As a nine-year-old boy, he witnessed the Bengal famine of 1943, in which three million people perished. This staggering loss of life was unnecessary, Sen later concluded. He presents data that there was an adequate food supply in Bengal at the time, but particular groups of people including rural landless labourers and urban service providers like haircutters did not have the means to buy food as its price rose rapidly due to factors that include British military acquisition, panic buying, hoarding, andprice gouging, all connected to the war in the region. In Poverty and Famines, Sen revealed that in many cases of famine, food supplies were not significantly reduced. In Bengal, for example, food production, while down on the previous year, was higher than in previous non-famine years. Thus, Sen points to a number of social and economic factors, such as declining wages, unemployment, rising food prices, and poor food-distribution, which led to starvation. His capabilities approach focuses on positive freedom, a person’s actual ability to be or do something, rather than on negative freedom approaches, which are common in economics and simply focuses on non-interference. In the Bengal famine, rural laborers’ negative freedom to buy food was not affected. However, they still starved because they were not positively free to do anything, they did not have the functioning of nourishment, nor the capability to escape morbidity.

In addition to his important work on the causes of famines, Sen’s work in the field of development economics has had considerable influence in the formulation of the “Human Development Report“,[11] published by the United Nations Development Programme.[12] This annual publication that ranks countries on a variety of economic and social indicators owes much to the contributions by Sen among other social choice theorists in the area of economic measurement of poverty and inequality.

Sen’s revolutionary contribution to development economics and social indicators is the concept of “capability” developed in his article “Equality of What”.[13] He argues that governments should be measured against the concrete capabilities of their citizens. This is because top-down development will always trump human rights as long as the definition of terms remains in doubt (is a “right” something that must be provided or something that simply cannot be taken away?). For instance, in the United States citizens have a hypothetical “right” to vote. To Sen, this concept is fairly empty. In order for citizens to have a capacity to vote, they first must have “functionings”. These “functionings” can range from the very broad, such as the availability of education, to the very specific, such as transportation to the polls. Only when such barriers are removed can the citizen truly be said to act out of personal choice. It is up to the individual society to make the list of minimum capabilities guaranteed by that society. For an example of the “capabilities approach” in practice, see Martha Nussbaum‘s Women and Human Development.[14]

He wrote a controversial article in The New York Review of Books entitled “More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing” (see Missing women of Asia), analyzing the mortality impact of unequal rights between the genders in the developing world, particularly Asia. Other studies, including one by Emily Oster, had argued that this is an overestimation, though Oster has since then recanted her conclusions.[15]

Welfare economics seeks to evaluate economic policies in terms of their effects on the well-being of the community. Sen, who devoted his career to such issues, was called the “conscience of his profession”. His influential monograph Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970), which addressed problems related to individual rights (including formulation of the liberal paradox), justice and equity, majority rule, and the availability of information about individual conditions, inspired researchers to turn their attention to issues of basic welfare. Sen devised methods of measuring poverty that yielded useful information for improving economic conditions for the poor. For instance, his theoretical work on inequality provided an explanation for why there are fewer women than men in India[16] and China despite the fact that in the West and in poor but medically unbiased countries, women have lower mortality rates at all ages, live longer, and make a slight majority of the population. Sen claimed that this skewed ratio results from the better health treatment and childhood opportunities afforded boys in those countries, as well as sex-selective abortions.

Governments and international organizations handling food crises were influenced by Sen’s work. His views encouraged policy makers to pay attention not only to alleviating immediate suffering but also to finding ways to replace the lost income of the poor—for example through public works—and to maintain stable prices for food. A vigorous defender of political freedom, Sen believed that famines do not occur in functioning democracies because their leaders must be more responsive to the demands of the citizens. In order for economic growth to be achieved, he argued, social reforms—such as improvements in education and public health—must precede economic reform.

In 2009, Sen published a book called The Idea of Justice.[1] Based on his previous work in welfare economics and social choice theory, but also on his philosophical thoughts, he presented his own theory of justice that he meant to be an alternative to the influential modern theories of justice of John Rawls or John Harsanyi. In opposition to Rawls but also earlier justice theoreticians Immanuel KantJean-Jacques Rousseau or David Hume, and inspired by the philosophical works of Adam Smith and Mary Wollstonecraft, Sen developed a theory that is both comparative and realizations-oriented (instead of being transcendental and institutional). However, he still regards institutions and processes as being important. As an alternative to Rawls’s veil of ignorance, Sen chose the thought experiment of an impartial spectator as the basis of his theory of justice. He also stressed the importance of public discussion (understanding democracy in the sense of John Stuart Mill) and a focus on people’s capabilities (an approach that he had co-developed), including the notion of universal human rights, in evaluating various states with regard to justice.

Professional career

Sen began his career both as a teacher and a research scholar in the Department of Economics, Jadavpur University. Between 1960 and 1961, Sen was a visiting Professor atMassachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, where he got to know Paul SamuelsonRobert SolowFranco Modigliani, and Norbert Wiener.[17] He was also a visiting Professor at UC-Berkeley and Cornell. He taught as Professor of Economics between 1963 and 1971 at the Delhi School of Economics (where he completed his magnum opus Collective Choice and Social Welfare in 1969).[18] During this time he was also a frequent visitor to various other premiere Indian economic schools and centres of excellence like Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityIndian Statistical InstituteCentre for Development StudiesGokhale Institute of Politics and Economics and Centre for Studies in Social Sciences. Sen was a companion of distinguished economists like Manmohan Singh (Ex-Prime Minister of India and a veteran economist responsible for liberalizing the Indian economy), K. N. Raj (Advisor to various Prime Ministers and a veteran economist who was the founder of Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, which is one of India’s premier think tanks and schools) and Jagdish Bhagwati (who is known to be one of the greatest Indian economists in the field of International Trade and currently teaches at Columbia University). This is a period considered to be a Golden Period in the history of DSE. In 1972, he joined the London School of Economics as a Professor of Economics where he taught until 1977. From 1977 to 1986 he taught at the University of Oxford, where he was first a Professor of Economics and Fellow of Nuffield College, and then the Drummond Professor of Political Economy and a Fellow of All Souls College from 1980. In 1987, he joined Harvard as the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor of Economics. In 1998 he was appointed as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge,[5] becoming the first Asian head of an Oxbridge college.[19] In January 2004, Sen returned to Harvard. He also established the Eva Colorni Trust at the former London Guildhall University in the name of his deceased wife.

Nalanda Project

In May 2007, he was appointed as chairman[20] of Nalanda Mentor Group to examine the framework of international cooperation, and proposed structure of partnership, which would govern the establishment of Nalanda International University Project as an international centre of education seeking to revive the ancient center of higher learning which was present in India from the 5th century to 1197.

On 19 July 2012, Sen was named the first chancellor of the proposed Nalanda University (NU).[21] Teaching began in August 2014. On 20 February 2015, Amartya Sen withdrew his candidature for a second term.

Membership and associations

He has served as president of the Econometric Society (1984), the International Economic Association (1986–1989), the Indian Economic Association (1989) and the American Economic Association (1994). He has also served as President of the Development Studies Association and the Human Development and Capabilities Association. He serves as the Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Center for Human and Economic Development Studies at Peking University in China.[22]

Sen has been called “the Conscience of the profession” and “the Mother Teresa of Economics”[23][24] for his work on famine, human development theorywelfare economics, the underlying mechanisms of poverty, gender inequality, and political liberalism. However, he denies the comparison to Mother Teresa, saying that he has never tried to follow a lifestyle of dedicated self-sacrifice.[25] Amartya Sen also added his voice to the campaign against the anti-gay Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.[26]

Media and culture

A 57-minute documentary named Amartya Sen: A Life Re-examined directed by Suman Ghosh details his life and work.[27][28]

A 2001 portrait of Sen by Annabel Cullen is in Trinity College’s collection.[29] A 2003 portrait of Sen hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.[30]
In 2011, he was present at the Rabindra Utsab ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), Bangladesh. He unveiled the cover of Sruti Gitobitan, a Rabindrasangeet album comprising all the 2222 Tagore songs, brought out by Rezwana Chowdhury Bannya, principal of Shurer Dhara School of Music.[31]

Controversies

Amartya Sen was critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was announced as the prime ministerial candidate by the BJP. In April 2014, he said that Modi would not make a good Prime Minister.[32] But later in December 2014, he changed his views and said that Narendra Modi did give people a sense of faith that things can happen.[33] In February 2015, Sen opted out of seeking a second term for the chancellor post of Nalanda university stating that the Government of India was not keen on him continuing in the post.[34]

Personal life and beliefs

Sen has been married three times. His first wife was Nabaneeta Dev Sen, an Indian writer and scholar, by whom he had two daughters: Antara, a journalist and publisher, andNandana, a Bollywood actress. Their marriage broke up shortly after they moved to London in 1971.[23] In 1978 Sen married Eva Colorni, an Italian economist, and the couple had two children, a daughter Indrani, who is a journalist in New York, and a son Kabir, a hip hop artist, MC, and music teacher at Shady Hill School. Eva died of cancer in 1985.[23]In 1991, Sen married Emma Georgina Rothschild, who serves as the Jeremy and Jane Knowles Professor of History at Harvard University.

The Sens have a house in CambridgeMassachusetts, which is the base from which they teach during the academic year. They also have a home in Cambridge, England, where Sen is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Rothschild is a Fellow of Magdalene College. He usually spends his winter holidays at his home in Santiniketan in West Bengal, India, where he used to go on long bike rides until recently. Asked how he relaxes, he replies: “I read a lot and like arguing with people.”[23]

Sen is an atheist and holds that this can be associated with one of the atheist schools in Hinduism, the Lokayata.[35][36][37] In an interview for the magazine California, which is published by the University of California, Berkeley, he noted:[38]

In some ways people had got used to the idea that India was spiritual and religion-oriented. That gave a leg up to the religious interpretation of India, despite the fact that Sanskrit had a larger atheistic literature than what exists in any other classical languageMadhava Acharya, the remarkable 14th century philosopher, wrote this rather great book called Sarvadarshansamgraha, which discussed all the religious schools of thought within the Hindu structure. The first chapter is on the philosophy of Lokayata  – a very strong presentation of the argument in favor of atheism and materialism.

Awards and honours

Sen has received over 90 honorary degrees from universities around the world.[39]

NATIONAL LEADER OF THE WEEK SARDAR VALLABHAI PATEL

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
(October 31, 1875 – December 15, 1950)

SARDAR VALLAB BHAI PATEL

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is a historical figure who moves you to tears. Mostly these are tears of joy, for he achieved a thrilling Indian unity. Yet some are tears of pity, for the Sardar suffered and sacrificed much.

This man of steel learnt early to be tough, for he was born as a middle child in a family of impoverished peasant proprietors. As Vallabhbhai would himself recall, his parents’ hopes seemed centered on the eldest two sons, Soma and Narsi, and their affection on the youngest two, Kashi and the only daughter, Dahiba. The ones in the middle, Vallabh and Vithal, were remembered last when clothes or sweets were to be distributed, and at once when a chore had to be done. The rough schools he went to as a boy, and the courts where he defended alleged criminals, also contributed to Vallabhbhai’s mental muscle and stern appearance.

Yet this tough man smiled at the world and at gloomy moments helped others to laugh. Also, he did not hesitate to step aside for another –for his older brother Vithal when the latter wanted to use his passport and ticket to London, and, years later, for Jawaharlal Nehru, when Mahatma Gandhi desired that Nehru should sit in a chair to which Patel seemed entitled. And this strong man before whom rajas and maharajas trembled, and to whom rich men gave largeFUNDS for India’s national movement, did not allow a rupee to stick to his fingers, and he saw to it that his children, a son and a daughter, lived simple lives during and after their father’s lifetime.

His strength of character, the sharpness of his mind, his organizing skills, and all his energy were offered up for achieving the freedom of India under Gandhi’s leadership, and after independence for India’s consolidation. We admire a man who rises to a political orFINANCIAL peak, but are moved by one whose sole purpose in life is the strength and wellbeing of his compatriots. And we are moved even more when we discover that next to the steel in his soul is a tenderness for colleagues and a readiness to accept whatever results God ordains.

In successive phases of his life, Vallabhbhai Patel showed the defiance of the oppressed, a trial lawyer’s brilliance, the daring to give up a flourishing career, the discipline of a soldier in freedom’s battles, the strategies of a General, indifference as a prisoner of the Raj, the generosity of the strong, the firmness of a patriot, and the farsightedness of a statesman.

If times are depressing or daunting, Sardar Patel reminds us of India’s and Indians’ potential. When times are good, we can think of him with glad gratitude. Yet knowing about him is not enough. We ought to study him. We will be encouraged when we do.

Rajmohan Gandhi
(Author of Patel: A Life , Navajivan, Ahmedabad, and Visiting Professor in History for Fall 20