On Sunday, the largest Telugu daily Eenadu carried a four-page special feature on Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the first Home Minister of India, on the occasion of his birth anniversary. This is in addition to the special article written by Union Home Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Patel.
Fine, there is nothing wrong in praising Sardar Patel, who earned the sobriquet of Iron Man of India for crushing the anti-national forces and brought unity in the country with his policy of merging all the princely states with India.
It is also true that the Congress party had not given so much importance to Sardar, as it had given to Nehru and his family. This is being cashed in on by the Bharatiya Janata Party, for Sardar is more of a right-wing leader than a Congressman.
As part of owning up all the national leaders before independence, the BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi is trying to highlight Gandhi, Sardar Patel and even Ambedkar. The Modi government is releasing huge advertisements on their birth anniversaries and celebrating them officially.
Now, it appears Eenadu group chairman Ch Ramoji Rao is silently following the path of Modi, obviously for his own interests.
Eenadu carries special reports on all national leaders on their birth anniversaries, but it is for the first time that the daily has dedicated more than four and a half pages for Sardar Patel. Needless to say, it is only to appease Modi, if not for the true affection for Patel.
Of late, Ramoji has become closer to the Sangh; he is now key member of the Modi’s Swachch Bharat Abhiyan and he was also rewarded with Padma Vibhushan. May be he is eyeing on a bigger position in the Centre!