THE RAJKOT IMBROGLIO | Vithalbhai Patel, Sardar Patel



The Public have now before it the correspondence in the shortlived Rajkot revolution between the Thakore and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, between Mr. Patel and Sir P. Caddell, Gandhiji's statement thereon and the Government of India's communique dealing with Gandhiji's demand that the Government should interfere and call upon the Thakore to carry out his undertaking to Sardar Patel. It will be difficult for the impartial historian perusing these documents, say, fifty years hence, to conclude that the Sardar or Gandhiji comes out best in the controversy. it will be equally difficult for him to avoid concluding that Sir Patrick Cadell is the one party in the correspondence who has acted with perfect candour and loyalty to the Thakore Sahib who engaged him as Chief Minister. The Thakore Sahib avows that his object in taking on Sir Patrick was that he should put down the agitation of his subject. Sir Patrick Cadell when he came into office and looked into the grievances of the people, found that there were just causes for them and that the Thakore Sahib, his master, has been very neglectful in the discharge of his duties as ruler of the State. He told the Thakore Sahib this and exhorted him to devote more attention to the affairs of the State and be more accessible to his subjects. The Thakore did not like this plan speaking. He, in fact, resented it and dispensed with the Dewan's services on the plea that so long as he was in Rajkot the people will look up to him and not to himself, their ruler, as the fountain of power. The Resident had to intervene at this stage and to remind the Thakore that the Government of India had approved of the appointment of Sir Patrick on the distinct understanding that it will last for a term of not less than six months. The Thakore, thereupon, withdrew his order. At the same time he opened negotiations with Sardar Patel and he reached an agreement with him apparently without the knowledge and certainly without consent of his responsible Minister. This agreement enabled him to oust Sir Patrick from his office and to bring back the old Dewan. The Thakore rejected some of the Sardar's nominees to the Committee on constitutional reform and appointed others on the ground that minority rights were ignored by the Sardar. GAndhiji at this stage came out with his call on the Government of India to compel the Thakore to accept the Sardar's nominees. That Government , to be fair has shown itself willing to help him whenever it can as in the Orissa Governorship. But it has to maintain appearances at least in its dealings with States. The call made upon it to overrule the Thakore, argued Gandhiji, was not a call for intervention. We do not know what else it is. The Government has in a closely reasoned statement shown that it cannot possibly comply with Gandhiji's invitation, much as it would have been happy to do so could it have done so. We must record our emphatic protest against the venerable and venerated person of Mr. Kasturba Gandhi being dragged into this sordid agitation.

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