The Iron Man seems to be the bee in the politicians’ bonnet these days with almost everybody clamouring to have him in their political legacy. In midst of the verbal salvoes, misinterpretation of historical facts at inaugural function of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Museum on Tuesday, stirred up a fresh controversy.
Hailing Sardar Patel as a champion of women’s reservation, chief minister Narendra Modi claimed that Patel got a resolution for women’s reservation passed in Ahmedabad Municipality in 1919. “When Sardar Patel was AMC councillor in 1919, he proposed for women reservation in local self-governance and got the resolution passed with consensus,” Modi said during his speech at the function on Tuesday.
However, Modi, who repeated the year 1919 for four times in his speech, found himself in an embarrassing spot on the stage when chairman of the Sardar Patel Memorial Trust, Dinsha Patel, pointed out a factual mistake after Modi’s speech was over. Pointing out that the fact that Sardar had mooted the concept of women’s reservation long before others, Patel explained that error was in the date, which was actually 1926, and not 1919 as Modi had kept on repeating.
But interestingly, even after the function was over, the controversy did not end. The BJP sent a clarification that Modi was correct in presenting the historical facts and Patel was wrong.
According to historical documents accessed by dna, Sardar Patel pitched for removing “sexual disqualification” in the municipal act and not for “women reservation”. As per the document, women were barred from contesting election as per section 15(1)(C) of the District Municipal Act.
Sardar Patel proposed to remove sex disqualification contained in 15(1)(C) of the Bombay District Municipal Act. (SIC) (See pic)
The resolution, passed by the Ahmedabad Municipality at its board meeting on February 13, 1919, did not contain a word on women’s reservation. It is interesting to note that it came into effect only after 1926 following amendment in the municipal act.