Friday, 31 October 2014

Sardar Patel (I) : Interesting Extracts, Part-I

Sardar Patel (I) : Interesting Extracts, Part-I
Sardar Patel (II) : Interesting Extracts, Part-II
Sardar Patel (III) : Interesting Extracts, Part-III

On the occasion of 
Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day)
31 October 2014
the Birth Anniversary of Sardar Patel

Sardar Patel :
Interesting Extracts

Here are some select interesting extracts on Sardar Patel put together
from the various chapters of the book, 
Foundations of Misery : Blunders of the Nehruvian Era” 
by Rajnikant Puranik 

What They Said
If only Sardar had been the PM...

“While I usually came back from meeting Gandhiji elated and inspired but always a bit sceptical, and from talks with Jawaharlal fired with emotional zeal but often confused and unconvinced, meetings with Vallabhbhai were a joy from which I returned with renewed confidence in the future of our country. I have often thought that if fate had decreed that he, instead of Jawaharlal, would be younger of the two, India would have followed a very different path and would be in better economic shape than it is today.”

– JRD Tata

~ ~ ~

“Gandhi’s death reunited Nehru and Patel. Their reconciliation not only saved Congress and India’s central government from collapse, but it kept Nehru in power. Without the Sardar’s strength and support Nehru might have broken down or been forced out of high office. Vallabhbhai ran India’s administration for the next two years [before his death] while Nehru indulged mostly in foreign affairs and high Himalayan adventures.”

“The Sardar, as Congress’s strongman was called, was determined to stay and solve whatever problems remained, rather than running away from them. He had long viewed Nehru as a weak sister and often wondered why Gandhi thought so highly of him.”

– Stanley Wolpert, Nehru: A Tryst with Destiny

~ ~ ~

“The Sardar [Patel] always reminded me of the pictures of Roman emperors in history books. There was something rock-like in his appearance and demeanour...The Sardar’s reading of the pulse of India was almost uncanny in its accuracy.”
– Roy Bucher, the Army Chief

~ ~ ~

“Returning from London on the night of May 30, Mountbatten, in his own words, ‘sent V.P.Menon to see Patel to obtain his agreement to six months joint control [with Pakistan] of Calcutta’, which is what Jinnah had been pressing for. The Viceroy recorded Patel’s reply: ‘Not even for six hours!’ Earlier...Jinnah had demanded an 800-mile ‘corridor’ to link  West and East Pakistan. Patel called the claim ‘such fantastic nonsense as not to be taken seriously’. It died a quick and unremembered death.”

– Rajmohan Gandhi, Patel–A Life

(Unlike Nehru, Sardar Patel was very firm in his dealings.)

~ ~ ~

“[Humayun] Kabir [translator and editor of Maulana Azad's autobiography] believed that Azad had come to realize after seeing Nehru’s functioning that Patel should have been India’s prime minister and Nehru the president of India. Coming as it did from an inveterate opponent of Patel, it was a revelation...A year earlier, Rajgopalachari had said the same thing...”

– Kuldip Nayar, Beyond the Lines

~ ~ ~

“...[then] it seemed to me that Jawaharlal should be the new President [of Congress in 1946—and hence PM] ...I acted according to my best judgement but the way things have shaped since then has made me to realise that this was perhaps the greatest blunder of my political life...My second mistake was that when I decided not to stand myself, I did not support Sardar Patel.”

– Maulana Azad in his autobiography, India Wins Freedom

~ ~ ~

“Undoubtedly it would have been better if Nehru had been asked to be the Foreign Minister and Patel made the Prime Minister. I too fell into the error of believing that Jawaharlal was the more enlightened person of the two.”

– C Rajagopalachari ( Rajaji)
(who had then been pro-Nehru and anti-Patel)
saying two decades after the death of Patel.

~ ~ ~

Kripalani had once commented: “When we are faced with thorny problems, and Gandhi’s advice is not available, we consider Sardar Patel as our leader.”

~ ~ ~

“You know, I never go to Nehru to seek advice or guidance. I take a decision and just present it to him as a fait accompli. Nehru’s mind is too complex to wrestle with the intricacies of a problem. Those who go to him for advice rarely get a lead—and that only serves to delay matters...Nehru does not understand economics, and is lead by the nose by ‘professors’ and ‘experts’ who pander to his whims and fancies...We should have absorbed Kashmir for good and all...I do not know where we are going. The country needs a man like Patel.”

– Rafi Ahmed Kidwai
a close friend and a confidant of Nehru,
quoted in Durga Das’s India from Curzon to Nehru & After

Nehru's Undemocratic Anointment
Sardar Ignored

Nehru is hailed as a person responsible for democracy in India, brazenly ignoring the fact that our democracy is thanks to our Constitution, which, in turn, is thanks to the Constituent Assembly (which comprised 299 worthies), its President, Dr Rajendra Prasad, and the Chairman of the (Constitution) Drafting Committee, Dr BR Ambedkar. 

Nehru’s own election as the president of Congress in 1946, that led to his becoming India's first prime minister upon independence, was undemocratic. 

In 1946, Azad’s successor as the Congress President was to be chosen. The choice was critical then because whoever became the Congress President would also have become the head of the Interim Government and the first prime minister of independent India. This was the reason Azad had also desired his own re-election. 

Sardar Patel, Acharya Kripalani and Nehru were in the race. 12 of the 19 PCCs (Pradesh Congress Committees) had sent in the name of Sardar Patel for the post, and the remaining nominated Kripalani, and additionally Rajendra Prasad. However, none recommended Nehru for the post! As such, Nehru should have been totally out of the race, and Sardar Patel should have been the clear, unambiguous choice.

Reportedly, Gandhi did tell Nehru that no one had nominated him, expecting him to go by the majority; but, Nehru let it be understood that he would not play second fiddle to anybody. 

A disappointed Gandhi apparently gave into Nehru's obduracy and prevailed upon Sardar Patel and Kripalani to step down in favour of Nehru. This is how Nehru became the Congress President, and thereafter the head of the Interim Government, and later the first PM. 

If Nehru were genuinely a democrat, he should have refused the position and prevailed upon Gandhi to go by the wishes of the overwhelming majority.

Somebody asked Gandhi why he did so. Reportedly, Gandhi’s reason was that while Nehru would not work under Sardar Patel, he knew that in the national interest he could persuade Sardar Patel to work under Nehru. What Gandhi said amounts to this: that Sardar Patel, even though senior and more experienced, and backed by majority, was patriotic enough to work under Nehru in the national interest, if so prodded by Gandhi; however, Nehru, junior, less experienced, and not backed by a single PCC, wanted only to become PM, and was not patriotic enough to work under Patel, in the national interest, even if persuaded by Gandhi!

Dr Rajendra Prasad had stated: “Gandhi has once again sacrificed his trusted lieutenant for the sake of the glamorous Nehru.” 

1946 was not the first time Gandhi had ridden rough shod over Sardar to promote Nehru. It was a case of déjà vu—there was a similar case in the thirties. On account of differences between Nehru and Patel on the issue of socialism, the selection of the Congress president for the next annual session had assumed critical importance. Incidentally, Patel, Rajagopalachari and Rajendra Prasad were opposed to socialism. If only they had led India after Independence, rather than Nehru, India would have been a prosperous first-world country long ago. That time too Patel had a majority backing, but Gandhi intervened to accord another term to Nehru, and persuaded Patel to withdraw in his favour. That was yet another example of the great democrat Nehru getting undemocratically elected—knowing very well what the wish of the majority was.

Integration of the Princely States

“...Whatever may be said about Mountbatten’s tactics or the machinations of Patel, their achievement remains remarkable. Between them, and in less than a year, it may be argued that these two men achieved a larger India, more closely integrated, than had 90 years of British raj, 180 years of the Mughal Empire, or 130 years of Asoka and the Maurya rulers.

“...He [Sardar Patel] was impervious to Mountbatten’s famous charm, describing the new Viceroy as ‘a toy for Jawaharlalji to play with—while we arrange the revolution’...

“...For Patel’s part, he realised immediately that Mountbatten, with his own semi-royal status and personal friendship with many of the princes, was uniquely suited to help India achieve its aim of leaving no state behind.”

– Alex Von Tunzelmann, Indian Summer

~ ~ ~

222 or about 40% of the 562 states, covering an area of about 22,000 square miles, were in just one region in Saurashtra in Gujarat state—Kathiawar. Sardar Patel’s role in consolidating these 222 states was described by Nehru as “a great step of the most notable in contemporary Indian history...a far-sighted act of statesmanship...”

~ ~ ~

...Thus, with the withdrawal of paramountcy, the Princely States were to become independent... 562 independent States! That would have meant ominous prospects of civil wars, military takeovers, and total chaos—more terrible than what happened during the partition! ...That may well have been the objective of the British. Else, why could they not have so arranged that the Princely States too had to either go to India or to Pakistan depending upon their contiguity and other factors. 

The Paramountcy could have been inherited by the succeeding dominions. But, British wanted it to lapse, and create difficulties for India. They wanted India to remain divided into as many parts as possible. In fact, Sir Conrad Corfield, the pro-princes and anti-India head of the powerful Political Department of British-India, had lobbied in London and had left no stones unturned to ensure that the “lapse of paramountcy” was incorporated in The Indian Independence Act 1947, so that the Princely States had the third option—that of independence.

However, they had not factored in what Sardar Patel was capable of. Says Leonard Mosley in The Last Days of the British Raj: “Sir Conrad Corfield and other defenders of the Princes were, however, being a little too optimistic. At the very moment that they breathed the heady air of victory something came out of the blue and floored them. The blow came from the clasped hands of those two able political operators, Sardar Patel and VP Menon. When the Congress Party had decided to form a States Ministry they picked Patel as the obvious man to head it. Their mood was belligerent. They despised the Princes and they resented the British for lapsing paramountcy. They hoped and expected that the strong man of the Party would roll up his dhoti and wade in with sound, fury, and effect. Patel was far too wily a negotiator to do such a thing, particularly since he had the measure of Sir Conrad Corfield and admired him as a skilled and dangerous adversary. This was, he decided, no time for flailing fists and loud cries of screaming rage and fury. The blow must be subtle, unexpected, and must leave no unnecessary bruises...”

~ ~ ~

Expansion of India’s geography by about 40% and consolidation of its post-independence stability through the integration of the Princely States demanded great foresight, sharp mind, deep wisdom, high-level diplomacy, sagacity, boldness, guts, readiness to act and timely action—thankfully for India, Sardar Patel answered to that rare combination of qualities and requirements. Nehru just did not have it in him to accomplish all that; he would have flinched from even attempting it; and had he taken the plunge, he would have made a royal mess of it. Like Durga Das writes in India from Curzon to Nehru & After: “VP Menon gave me details of these prolonged talks. Mountbatten was just flattering the old man[Gandhi], he said. He is doing business with Sardar and has Nehru in his pocket. Sardar is playing a deep game. He, in turn, is flattering Mountbatten and using him to net the Princes...”

~ ~ ~

Apart from, "I thought he [Nehru] wanted to make the Maharaja [Hari Singh of J&K] lick his boots..."; Mountbatten had made another observation: "I am glad to say that Nehru has not been put in charge of the new [Princely] States Department, which would have wrecked everything. Patel, who is essentially a realist and very sensible, is going to take it over...Even better news is that VP Menon is to be the Secretary."

~ ~ ~

Durga Das writes: “All were agreed on one thing: While Gandhi was the architect of India’s freedom, Sardar [Patel] was the architect of India’s unity.” 


Writes C Dasgupta in ‘War and Diplomacy in Kashmir 1947-48’: “In an effort to head him [Sardar Patel] off from this course of action [military action in Junagadh], Mountbatten suggested lodging a complaint to the United Nations against Junagadh’s act of aggression...Patel observed that possession was nine-tenths of the law and he would in no circumstances lower India’s position by going to any court as a plaintiff. The Governor-General asked him whether he was prepared to take the risk of an armed clash in Kathiawar leading to war with Pakistan. The Deputy Prime Minister [Sardar Patel] was unmoved. He said he was ready to take the risk...”

~ ~ ~

Writes V Shankar, private secretary of Sardar Patel, in his book, My Reminiscences of Sardar Patel Vol.1: “...But he [Sardar Patel] had to contend with two important factors, one of them being Lord Mountbatten...Sardar had to be particularly patient because very often Lord Mountbatten succeeded in enlisting Pandit Nehru’s sympathies for his point of view...He was convinced that, in this matter of national importance, police action could not be ruled out in the case of Hyderabad and that the threat of its accession to Pakistan must be removed at all costs. As regards Junagadh he was not prepared for any compromise and finally succeeded in evolving and executing his own plans despite Lord Mountbatten’s counsels against precipitating matters or his suggestion of a plebiscite [under UN auspices] ...He [Sardar] remarked with a twinkle in his eye, ‘Don’t you see we have two U.N. experts—one the Prime Minister [Nehru] and the other Lord Mountbatten—and I have to steer my way between them. However, I have my own idea of plebiscite. You wait and see...’”

~ ~ ~

Sardar planned and executed the Junagadh operation so well that the Nawab fled to Pakistan on 26 October 1947 leaving the state to Shahnawaz Bhutto, who, facing collapse of the administration, invited India on 7 November 1947 to intervene and left for Pakistan on 8 November 1947. The Indian army moved in on 9 November 1947, and Sardar Patel arrived to a grand reception on the Diwali day of 13 November 1947.

A plebiscite was held in Junagadh by India. It was conducted not by the UN, but by an ICS officer, CB Nagarkar, on 20 February 1948, in which 99%—all but 91 persons—voted to join India. Sardar was not gullible like Nehru to allow himself to be made a fool of by letting Mountbatten have his way, refer the matter to the UN—which Mountbatten had suggested for Junagadh and Hyderabad too—and allow domestic matters to be internationalised, like that of J&K, and be exploited by Pakistan and the UK.


V Shankar writes in My Reminiscences of Sardar Patel Vol.1: “Hyderabad occupied a special position in the British scheme of things and therefore touched a special chord in Lord Mountbatten...The ‘faithful ally’ concept still ruled the attitude of every British of importance...all the other rulers were watching whether the Indian Government would concede to it a position different from the other states...Lastly, on Hyderabad, Pandit Nehru and some others in Delhi were prepared to take a special line; in this Mrs Sarojini Naidu and Miss Padmaja Naidu, both of whom occupied a special position in Pandit Nehru’s esteem, were not without influence...Apart from Lord Mountbatten’s understandable sympathy for the Muslim position in Hyderabad, shared by Pandit Nehru, in anything that concerned Pakistan even indirectly, he was for compromise and conciliation to the maximum extent possible...Sardar [Patel] was aware of the influence which Lord Mountbatten exercised over both Pandit Nehru and Gandhiji; often that influence was decisive...Sardar had made up his mind that Hyderabad must fit into his policy regarding the Indian states...I know how deeply anguished he used to feel at his helplessness in settling the problem with his accustomed swiftness...”

~ ~ ~

Very tactfully, Sardar Patel waited for Mountbatten to first go from India for ever, which he did on 21 June 1948—lest he should interfere in the matter. Patel’s most formidable obstacle lay in Mountbatten and Nehru, who had been converted by Mountbatten to his point of view—not to let Indian Army move into Hyderabad. Had Gandhi been alive, perhaps Nehru-Gandhi combine would not have allowed the action that Sardar took—Gandhi being a pacifist.

Sardar Patel had fixed the zero hour for the Army to move into Hyderabad twice, and twice he had to postpone it under intense political pressure from Nehru and Rajaji. They instead directed VP Menon and HM Patel to draft suitable reply to Nizam on his appeal. While the reply to Nizam was being readied, Sardar Patel summarily announced that the Army had already moved in, and nothing could be done to halt it. This he did after taking the Defence Minister, Baldev Singh, into confidence! Had Sardar Patel not showed such determination and guts, and had he not ignored the tame alternative suggested by Nehru and Rajaji, Hyderabad would have been another Kashmir or Pakistan!

~ ~ ~

In ‘My Reminiscences of Sardar Patel’ writes V Shankar: “...the decision about the Police Action in Hyderabad in which case Sardar [Patel] described the dissent of Rajaji and Pandit Nehru as “the wailing of two widows as to how their departed husband [meaning Gandhiji] would have reacted to the decision involving such a departure from non-violence.”

~ ~ ~

Meanwhile, a fanatical Muslim organisation, Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen, headed by one Kasim Razvi had been fomenting trouble. They came to be known as the Razakars. At the instance of Kasim Razvi, Nizam appointed Mir Laik Ali, a Hyderabadi businessman, who had also been a representative of Pakistan at the UN, president of his Executive Council. With this the Hyderabad Government came virtually under Razvi. Razvi later met Sardar and Menon in Delhi to tell that Hyderabad would never surrender its independence, and that Hindus were happy under Nizam; but if India insisted on a plebiscite, it is the sword which would decide the final result. Razvi further told Sardar Patel, “We shall fight and die to the last men,” to which Patel responded, “How can I stop you from committing suicide?

~ ~ ~

On the use of force by India to settle the Hyderabad issue, V Shankar writes in My Reminiscences of Sardar Patel, Vol-1: “The entire staff for the purpose had been alerted and the timing depended on how long it would take for Sardar to overcome the resistance to this course by C Rajagopalachari, who succeeded Lord Mountbatten as Governor General, and by Pandit Nehru, who found in C Rajagopalachari an intellectual support for his non-violent policy towards Hyderabad..” 

Shankar quotes Sardar's response to a query, "Many have asked me the question what is going to happen to Hyderabad. They forget that when I spoke at Junagadh, I said openly that if Hyderabad did not behave properly, it would have to go the way Junagadh did. The words still stand and I stand by these words.” 

Shankar further states in Vol-2: “The situation in Hyderabad was progressing towards a climax. Under Sardar's constant pressure, and despite the opposition of Pandit Nehru and Rajaji, the decision was taken to march into Hyderabad and thereby to put an end both to the suspended animation in which the State stood and the atrocities on the local population which had become a matter of daily occurrence.”

In a Cabinet meeting on 8 September 1948, while the States Ministry under Sardar Patel pressed for occupation of Hyderabad to put an end to the chaos there; Nehru strongly opposed the move and was highly critical of the attitude of the States Ministry. However, Sardar Patel prevailed.

~ ~ ~

Sardar Patel’s daughter’s “The Diary of Maniben Patel: 1936-50” states: “About Hyderabad, Bapu [her father, Sardar Patel] said if his counselling had been accepted—the problem would have been long solved...Bapu replied [to Rajaji], ‘...Our viewpoint is different. I don’t want the future generation to curse me that these people when they got an opportunity did not do it and kept this ulcer [Hyderabad princely state] in the heart of India...It is States Ministry’s [which was under Sardar Patel] function [to make Hyderabad state accede to India]. How long are you and Panditji going to bypass the States Ministry and carry on...Bapu told Rajaji that Jawaharlal continued his aberration for an hour and a half in the Cabinet—that we should decide our attitude about Hyderabad. The question will be raised in the UN...Bapu said, ‘I am very clear in my mind—if we have to fight—Nizam is finished. We cannot keep this ulcer in the heart of the union. His dynasty is finished.’ He (Jawaharlal) was very angry/hot on this point.”

~ ~ ~

Writes Kuldip Nayar in ‘Beyond the Lines’: “...Reports circulating at the time said that even then Nehru was not in favour of marching troops into Hyderabad lest the matter be taken up by the UN...It is true that Patel chafed at the ‘do-nothing attitude of the Indian government’...”

* * * * *

Part-II and Part-III in subsequent blogs.

Rajnikant Puranik
Friday, October 31, 2014
91-22-2854 2170, 91-98205 35232

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Israel & the Jews (I): FAQs, Truths & Interesting Facts. Part-I : A Brief Overview on Israel

 FAQs, Truths & Interesting Facts 

In this series of blog-posts I intend bringing out the truths and interesting facts on Israel, Jews, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, that would also cover answers to many FAQs on the subject.

In several of the subsequent posts in this series, I also wish to compare and contrast India and Israel. There are many aspects that are common between India and Israel, and between Jews and Hindus—both historically, and in the current scenario. Of course, there are many things that are dissimilar and in sharp contrast.

How the idea of writing this series came to me? Depressed reading the heart-rending fate of the Yezidis and the Kurds, it suddenly occurred to me how visionary and wise Israel’s founding fathers were (compared to the critics of Israel [that include some prominent Jews], particularly the irresponsible leftist, left-liberal, socialist, communist and Marxist variety who have arrogantly claimed to be "on the RIGHT side of history" but whom the history has repeatedly proved WRONG) for had they not done what they did the fate of the Jews who would have still remained in the Arab lands would have been far worse—Holocaust-II? I then decided to do a blog-series on Israel and the Jews.



 A Brief Overview on Israel 



A few Notable Facts on Israel

Geographical Area

Israel is commendably a great nation (we shall appreciate why, as we get through this series of blog-posts), which is ironically very small—geographically! 


Israel’s total area is about 21,000 sq km, which is about 0.12% of the area of Russia (the largest country by area), 0.22% of USA, 5.88% of Germany and 6.72% of Poland.


Israel is just a tip, a very small island in the sea of 21 Arab nations, whose total area together is about 13.487 million sq km—Israel is just 0.16% of that! 

Israel’s area is 0.97% that of Saudi Arabia, 1.27% that of Iran, 2.09% that of Egypt, 4.79% that of Iraq, 6.79% that of Oman, 11.34% that of Syria, 23.5% that of Jordan and 25.12% that of UAE. 

Israel’s area-wise rank among nations is 153. It occupies a negligible 0.01% of the earth’s surface.


Israel’s population is approximately 8.3 million. Population-wise, it ranks 96 among nations. Its population-density is 388 per sq km—34th highest among nations. For comparison, the population of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) spread over just 1,200 sq km is over twice that of Israel—20.7 million, with overall population-density of 4,700 per sq km, and urban population-density of 20,700 per sq km!

When Israel was established in 1948 its population was mere 0.8 million. It has grown over 10 times during the last 66 years.

There are an estimated 14.2 million Jews the world over (less that what they were [17 million] before the World War II: Holocaust had reduced their numbers by 6 million). Out of them, 43% reside in Israel.

Religious Composition of the Population. Out of the total population of Israel, about 75% are Jews, 20.7% are Arabs, and  the rest 4.3% are non-Arab Christians, Baha'i, etc.

It speaks eloquently about Israel’s secularism that 25% of its population comprises non-Jews, of which the overwhelming majority is of Muslims. In sad contrast, Jews have been cleaned out of the Arab countries, where they had lived for centuries.

Countries by Majority Religion. There are 126 and 49 countries where the majority religion is Christianity and Islam respectively, while there are only 2 countries (India and Nepal) where the majority religion is Hinduism, and just 1 country where it is Judaism—Israel.

Out of the estimated world-population of about 7.1 billion, mere 0.22% are Jews, while the Christians are 33.4%,  Muslims 22.7%, Hindus 13.8%, Buddhists 6.8%, Sikhs 0.35%, ...


If you won’t be better tomorrow than you were today, 
then what do you need tomorrow for?
-  Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

Natural Resources & Agriculture. Despite being in the oil-rich middle-east, Israel, unfortunately, is without any oil resources. It is short on other natural resources too. 
In Israel, a land lacking in natural resources, we learned to appreciate our greatest national advantage: our minds. Through creativity and innovation, we transformed barren deserts into flourishing fields and pioneered new frontiers in science and technology.
— Shimon Peres
More than half the land of Israel is desert. Both its climate and the paucity of its water resources are unfavourable for farming. Just 20% of the land area is naturally arable. In other words, Israel’s geography is not naturally conducive for agriculture. And, the land was indeed very poor agriculturally for centuries, till the hard-working, innovative and intelligent Jews came on the scene. Today, agriculture is a highly developed industry in Israel.


Energy is the basis of everything. Every Jew, no matter how insignificant, is engaged in some decisive and immediate pursuit of a goal... It is the most perpetual people of the earth...
— Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

GDP. Despite the handicaps briefly covered above, Israel’s per-capita GDP (nominal) is a respectable @USD 36,000. This is far more than the average per-capita GDP (nominal) of Arab countries, despite their oil-wealth. This is thanks to Israel’s high-tech industries and agriculture.

Jewish Contribution to the World

No race or region or religious group can match the contribution of the Jews in various diverse fields. Compared to their very modest population their contribution is so overwhelming that if they are indisputably number one, then the next one comes at 101, there being none in-between! 


...If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.

The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendour, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

— Mark Twain

To illustrate, while the Jews form only 0.22% of the world population, between 1901, the year the Nobel Prizes were introduced, and 2013, they have won a whopping 193 Nobel Prizes out of a total of 876, a disproportionate 22%!

In the current century—since 2000—the Jews have been awarded 28% of all Nobel Prizes and 32% of those in the scientific research fields of Chemistry, Economics, Physics and Medicine. The greatest physicist so far—Albert Einstein—was a Jew. So were great physicists like Niels Bohr, Wolfgang Pauli, Max Born, Richard Feynman. 

Andrew Grove
You find major contribution of the Jews in all fields including high-tech and information technology. Andrew Grove, founder of Intel, and John von Neumann were Jews.  Neumann was a mathematician, physicist, inventor and polymath, who made major contributions to mathematics (foundations of mathematics, functional analysis, ergodic theory, geometry, topology, and numerical analysis), physics (quantum mechanics, hydrodynamics, and fluid dynamics), economics (game theory), computing (von Neumann architecture, linear programming, self-replicating machines, stochastic computing) and statistics.

Lawrence Ellison
Sergey Brin
Larry Page
Mark Zuckerberg
Lawrence Ellison, founder of Oracle, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Michael Dell of Dell are all Jews. 

Besides the fields of sciences, technology, medicine and literature in which the Jews have contributed in a major way, they have dominated the most vital segments that have made the modern world what it is—Banking, Finance and Economics. 
Karl Marx
Milton Friedman

Paul Samuelson

Famous Jewish economists include Karl Marx, David Ricardo, Rosa Luxemburg, Paul Samuelson, Simon Kuznets, Milton Friedman, Merton Miller, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman. 39% of the recipients of Nobel Prize in Economics have been Jews. Well-known Jewish bankers include Marcus Goldman and Samuel Sachs of Goldman Sachs, George Soros, and Rothschild family. Many Jews have headed the US Federal Reserve including Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernake.

Steven Spielberg

The Jews have made significant contributions towards cinema, TV and media: 20th Century Fox, CBS, Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks, Fox Film Corp., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, NBC, Paramount Pictures, Time Warner, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen and so on. 


Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.
— Winston S. Churchill

Some of the other Jewish notables are Sigmund Freud, Franz Kafka, Arthur Koestler, Boris Pasternak, Saul Bellow, Jacob Bronowski, Edmund Landau, Hermann Minkowski, Bernhard Neumann, Jonas Salk (Polio vaccine), Levi Strauss (of Levi's Jeans [invented in 1873] fame), …

Even in the “other-worldly” matters, the Jews dominate. Foundation of both the major religions in the world—Christianity and Islam—is Judaism. 

2000-1825 BCE
1393-1273 BCE

Jesus Christ
7-2 BCE to 26-36 CE

And, of course, Abraham and Moses (both common to the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and Jesus Christ were Jews.

Christianity’s sacred text includes the Jewish Bible, besides the New Testament. The Children of Israel is an important religious concept in Islam, and Islam incorporates Jewish history. Moses, the most important prophet of Judaism, is also considered a prophet and messenger in Islam. There are numerous references to the Israelites in the Quran.

It’s terribly unfortunate that despite the above both Christians and Muslims had been ungrateful enough to victimise the very people they drew inspiration from, and from whom they borrowed so much! It is hard to understand why these latter two Abrahamic religions (Christianity and Islam) should have been such unreasonably obstinate believers in only they alone being right; being aggressive proselytizers; being so intolerant, arrogant and full of themselves, permitting no alternate routes to God, and be so full of hate and ill-will towards those believing in other religions, including the one they borrowed liberally from, namely Judaism. 

People with such talent as Jews should have been welcomed with open arms by all countries. In fact, there should have been a competition to get them to your country. Instead, the barbarians (Hitler and his henchmen: the onlookers were guilty too) annihilated six million (over one-third of the world-population of Jews then) Jews in the Holocaust: apart from its sheer inhumanity, it deprived the world of so much talent and so many potential Nobel laureates.

And, why shouldn't Jews have a land and a country of their own? As I have remarked elsewhere, while Israel where it is richly deserved to be there, there should have been Israel-II in Europe: a well-earned reward for their unmatched contribution to making the West what it is today, but also a compensation for all the suffering heaped upon them by the Europeans. 

I for one feel immensely happy and proud as an Indian and a Hindu that Jews never suffered in India. 

Israel, Jews & the World :
Facts that Baffle you

Resenting the little land that Israel has.

It baffles you that even such little land (please see comparisons and statistics above) miserly conceded to Israel is resented.

Israel’s geographical area (21,000 sq km) is just 0.16% the area of 21 Arab nations (13.487 million sq km), and forms a negligible 0.01% of the area of the earth’s surface. 

Indeed, Israel lacks the geographical depth to assuredly secure itself. On top of it, the two-state solution(?) would further compromise its security, while leaving the new nation that might come up as equally, rather more, vulnerable!

77% of Palestine with Arab Muslims already!

Following its defeat in the World War–I, the Ottoman Empire was broken up into three parts which were administered as the “British Mandate for Palestine”, the “British Mandate for Mesopotamia (Iraq)” and the “French Mandate for Syria”.

Out of the area controlled under the “British Mandate for Palestine”, 77% of the area to the east of Jordan river was hived off as Transjordan (since renamed Jordan) in 1922 for the Arab Muslims. The remaining 23% of the area is what forms Israel, the West bank, etc.  Unfortunately, even this unjustly miser allocation of land to Israel is resented!

Just one nation for the Jews!

There are 126 countries where the majority religion is Christianity and 49 countries where the majority religion is Islam. Can’t Christians and Muslims concede just one small country for the religion to which they owe their origin, and from which they have borrowed so liberally?

Reparations from All Christian &
Muslim Nations.

Germany has paid substantial compensation to the Jews, but Nazi Germany was not the only country that harassed and humiliated Jews and subjected them to terrible miseries—almost all the Christian and Muslim countries are guilty of doing so through the centuries. As a very small token of compensation for the inhuman crimes that they have committed against the Jews through the centuries, is it not their obligation to let Israel and the Jews the world over now live in peace and security?

Why the nation of the Jews
in the Middle-east only?

There are some who argue that since the Jews were most harassed in Europe and the holocaust was caused by Germany, why shouldn’t “Israel” have been created in Europe rather than in the middle-east? Well, the Jews have been at the receiving end of the Muslims too for centuries. Besides, the area of Israel and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Jerusalem is truly the biblical area of the Jews where all their holy places exist and where they have lived for centuries—only many were driven out by the Christians and the Muslims.


Israel is the very embodiment of Jewish continuity: It is the only nation on earth that inhabits the same land, bears the same name, speaks the same language, and worships the same God that it did 3,000 years ago. You dig the soil and you find pottery from Davidic times, coins from Bar Kokhba, and 2,000-year-old scrolls written in a script remarkably like the one that today advertises ice cream at the corner candy store.
— Charles Krauthammer

So, locating Israel where it is currently located was fully justified. And, it was not as if the land that was made Israel was with that mythical nation “Palestine”. The land was with the British since the First World War, and earlier it was under the Ottoman Empire—there was no nation called Palestine.

But, considering what the Europeans did to the Jews through the centuries, there should have been a second Israel carved out for them in Europe! 

Israel’s Critics, including Jewish Critics.

Apart from the Muslim opponents; Israel’s critics are, by and large (not all), either anti-Semitic or “Left-Liberals” or communists or plain ignorant. Among the self-defined basic criteria to qualify as a “Left-Liberal” or a Marxist or a communist or a socialist is that you can’t be one unless you are pro-Muslim in your pronouncements, quite independent of the issues in question.

That a number of Jews themselves support the Palestinian position is often cited as evidence of its correctness. But, that’s not surprising or unusual in a free society. Many “Left-Liberals” and communists in India directly or indirectly support the Islamic terrorists on Kashmir, dreaded Maoists in Red-areas, and they used to even support the Khalistanis: does that justify the stand of the terrorists and their acts? It is only among the Muslims—whether in Muslim-majority countries or even in a free, democratic country—that the voice of dissent is rare. Even if Muslims honestly hold a different opinion they are scared to express it. However, the Jews, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and others freely engage is panning their own country or their own co-religionists.

Shockingly there are and have been prominent Jews who have been critical of Israel and who have not been enthusiastic about the creation of Israel itself. For example, Albert Einstein had said in 1938: "I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state” However, the Holocaust had not happened by then; and Einstein might have been blissfully unaware of the views of people like Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. 

Erich Fromm opined: “The claim of the Jews to the Land of Israel cannot be a realistic political claim.” Remarked Noam Chomsky: “People who call themselves supporters of Israel are actually supporters of its moral degeneration and ultimate destruction.” Of course, considering that history itself has repeatedly proved wrong socialists, Marxists and communists who arrogantly claimed to be on the “right side of history”, one can discount both Erich Fromm and Noam Chomsky in this respect. 

However, in an excellent, powerful, rich, sweeping yet in-depth, and riveting and revealing book “Israel is Real” by Rich Cohen when one reads at the end of its prologue “…By making the faith physical, by locating it in a particular place at a particular time, Zionists have made Jews vulnerable in a way that they have not been since the fall of the Second Temple. The fact that Judaism survived that calamity was a miracle, but would it survive again? In this way, modern Israel, meant to protect Jews, may have put them in greater danger than they have known in two thousand years” one, especially a non-Jew, feels both immensely sad and terribly depressed and can’t help empathetically feeling it is the Jewish suffering and insecurity of centuries that is giving vent to its anxiety.

High time the doubting Jews realised that the alternative to Israel was the fate of Jews like that of Kurds and Yezidis. Had there been no Israel and had hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab lands not found refuge in Israel and had instead remained in Arab lands, their fate would have been like that of the Kurds and Yezidis—Holocaust-II.

Besides, just because there are blood-thirsty bullies (like Hamas and other such Palestinian terrorist groups) around (there are many saner Arab voices too) who only seek eternal violence and conflict does it mean one should just throw up one’s hands and give up! That would only encourage the bullies. They are already planning to extend world-wide. They won’t stop just with you.

Although this can’t be an argument for Israel, still, viewed from a purely humanitarian, non-political angle, is it not desirable that more and more people come under the umbrella of democratic and secular governments like that of Israel who follow the rule of law and provide justice and prosperity to all irrespective of race or religion. Why is it that the Arab Muslims living in Israel don’t wish to migrate out of it? What is there to gain from coming under those bullies (like Hamas)? Assured slavery for half the population (women); and wretched life for the rest! 

In Israel, free men and women are every day demonstrating the power of courage and faith. Back in 1948 when Israel was founded, pundits claimed the new country could never survive. Today, no one questions that. Israel is a land of stability and democracy in a region of tyranny and unrest.
— Ronald Reagan, the US President

Subsequent blog-posts in this series would deal with the “History of Israel since the ancient times”, “Arab-Israeli Conflict”, “Current Status”, “India & Israel”,  "Jews and Hindus" and many other aspects.

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Rajnikant Puranik
October 21, 2014
91-22-2854 2170, 91-98205 35232