New Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi today raked up the anti-Sikh violence that followed the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi this day 30 years ago and said it was a dagger in the centuries-old fabric of India’s unity as he dedicated the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as National Unity Day.
Got up as an event to accord Sardar Patel, the ‘Iron Man of India’, his place in history, the Government said it was not an attempt to belittle the contribution of any other leader. Flagging off run for unity on the 139th birth anniversary of the first Home Minister of the country celebrated as Rashtriya Ekta Divas, Modi noted that the day was being commemorated as death anniversary of Indira Gandhi but made a veiled reference to the anti-Sikh riots that followed her assassination.
Modi said Patel devoted his life for the unity of the Nation and it was unfortunate that our very own people were killed on his birth anniversary 30 years ago. …In the same country, 30 years ago, on the birth anniversary of the same leader something happened which cast a blow to the unity of the nation.
Our own people were killed on that day. That incident was not a wound in the heart of any community. It was a dagger in the centuries-old fabric of India’s unity, he said. Patel never deviated from his vision of national unity despite facing obstacles in his political life. It is a misfortune of this country that 30 years ago on the birth anniversary of such a leader an incident which shook the unity of nation took place, Modi said.
Paying tributes to Patel’s contribution to the integration and unity of the country, the Prime Minister said, Let us not forget that a nation that disregards its history can never create one…Don’t divide history, legacy in narrow confines of ideology.
The Modi government recently decided that it would be involved in commemoration of birth and death anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel while leaving it to trusts and societies to mark the memory of other leaders. Government had also decided that no memorials will be built in memory of other leaders- Modi said.
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