5 Nov, 2015
India’s yawning political divide was on full display on Saturday as the country failed to put up a united front in paying tributes to two of its foremost leaders, Indira Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, on Saturday.
Various states ruled by different political parties marked the death and birth anniversaries of the former prime minister and the first Union home minister with varying degrees of vigour, depending on their own political leanings.
While Gandhi’s death anniversary is observed as the Rashtriya Sankalpa Diwas (National Integration Day), Patel’s birth anniversary is marked as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day).
In his address before flagging off the ‘run for unity’ organised to mark Patel’s anniversary in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did pay tributes to the former Prime Minister saying that this day could not be forgotten because of her “sacrifice”. However, the rest of his speech was devoted to Patel. The Congress later criticized him for not remembering Indira Gandhi.