Margaret Scott

O histórico sequestrador da Índia

NOVA DELI – À medida que os ânimos aquecem no panorama político da Índia, com cinco eleições da assembleia estatal este mês e uma eleição geral prevista para Abril, era de se esperar que os líderes indianos estivessem a travar um duelo em torno das visões do futuro. Em vez disso, participam numa rixa indecorosa sobre o passado.

O principal líder da oposição, Narendra Modi, do Partido Bharatiya Janata (PBJ), adoptou uma postura agressiva no sentido de reivindicar o legado de um dos fundadores mais respeitados da Índia, Vallabhbhai Sardar Patel. Tal como Modi, Patel era de Guzerate, onde agora Modi é ministro-chefe. Ele era um nacionalista determinado, um dos principais líderes da luta pela independência e tenente de Mahatma Gandhi.

Como primeiro vice-primeiro-ministro da Índia independente e ministro nacional, Patel foi responsável pela integração de cerca de 600 estados principescos, às vezes pela persuasão e às vezes pela força. Um administrador firme, duro e eficiente, Patel, que morreu em 1950 com 75 anos, é venerado como o “homem de ferro” da Índia.

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