Return to India - Extension and Media Centre


^ Return to India
On his return to India in October 1927, H M Patel was posted as Assistant Collector at Larkhana (Sindh, now in Pakistan). He worked under AD Gorwala, as ICS officer of Return to India - Extension and Media Centre repute, and later editor of ‘Opinion’. It is noteworthy that his cordial relations with Gorwala which started in 1927 grew as the years passed and as an expression of his affection and respect for him Return to India - Extension and Media Centre H M Patel edited ‘Say not the struggle naught availeth’, a collection of essays in his honour, when he turned seventy-five. While in Sindh he gained valuable experience of handling emergency Return to India - Extension and Media Centre situations like communal riots and floods. That Mahatma Gandhi lauded the way H M Patel handled the riots merits special mention.

^ Heads Partition Secretariat
On the eve of the Partition of Return to India - Extension and Media Centre the country in 1947, he shouldered the weightiest responsibility of working as the Partition Secretary representing the future interests of India. It involved the gigantic task of distribution of assets and liabilities between India Return to India - Extension and Media Centre and Pakistan to the satisfaction of both the countries. This was in addition to his already heavy responsibility as Cabinet Secretary.


Choudhari Mohammad Ali (who later became Prime Minister Return to India - Extension and Media Centre of Pakistan) was H M Patel’s counterpart, representing Pakistan as Partition Secretary. H M Patel could foresee that if the Partition Secretariat would try to solve the innumerable and varied problems it would Return to India - Extension and Media Centre not be able to do so within the ten weeks available for accomplishing the stupendous task. So he and his counterpart formed different committees consisting of senior bureaucrats from both Return to India - Extension and Media Centre India and Pakistan in equal number for dealing with different problems and reporting to the Partition Secretariat. He would hold informal meetings of different committees every morning at his residence and keep himself Return to India - Extension and Media Centre posted about the progress of the work. In case of any differences in the viewpoint or approach of the committees, his decision, which he took after deep thought, would be considered final. That Return to India - Extension and Media Centre there were no representations from either side later or need for arbitration speaks about the excellent manner in which the colossal task was performed. In the words of Lord Mountbatten :


“Soon after I Return to India - Extension and Media Centre came out in March 1947 as the last Viceroy of India, I met H M Patel and was immediately struck by his sincerity and ability. I not only took a Return to India - Extension and Media Centre great liking to him but I was able to make use of his outstanding qualities later on. When in fact the time came for the sad partition of India, I selected H M Return to India - Extension and Media Centre Patel to work on behalf of India with Mohammad Ali Choudhari as the Civil Servant representing the future interests of Pakistan. They did a marvellous job in preparing the administrative steps needed for Return to India - Extension and Media Centre the separation of Pakistan from the rest of India. I kept close personal touch with him during this time and was greatly impressed with all that he was doing. Later as Secretary Return to India - Extension and Media Centre of the Cabinet, I again had cause to admire his dedicated patriotic devotion…”

^ Controls Delhi Riots, Heads Defence Secretariat
At the age of forty-three in 1947, H M Patel was appointed the Return to India - Extension and Media Centre Cabinet Secretary, the first Indian to be so elevated. In addition, he was in overall charge of Delhi where death was raging and its streets were running with blood due to post partition Return to India - Extension and Media Centre riots. He met the crisis promptly and decisively and controlled the blood bath, observes K M Munshi in one of his writings. K M Munshi, who was the Agent – General of India Return to India - Extension and Media Centre in Hyderabad during what is known as the Hyderabad Police Action, keenly watched H M Patel, Defence Secretary, in association with V P Menon, States’ Secretary, working out and implementing Return to India - Extension and Media Centre the campaign leading to the police action against Hyderabad. It was a hard job of military organization and not without danger, which required a great capacity for leadership and very hard Return to India - Extension and Media Centre work. He played a key role in the consolidation of the country’s Armed Forces that were fragmented during the Independence and in the development of ordnance factories, ordnance depots and service training schools etc Return to India - Extension and Media Centre.


In 1953, he was appointed Secretary, Ministry of Food and Agriculture. During this period, he formulated forest policy for the reclamation of ravine lands and policy regarding warehouse and rural credit Return to India - Extension and Media Centre etc.


In 1954, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of India, invited H M Patel to join him as his Secretary but graciously agreed to H M Patel’s staying on in the Food and Return to India - Extension and Media Centre Agriculture Ministry in view of the fact that he was handling certain important problems.


When Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India, needed an officer of high caliber to deal with the extremely Return to India - Extension and Media Centre knotty problem of Kashmir, he expressed his keenness to entrust the work to H M Patel. He also needed him to handle the problems of food and finance. He requested Sardar Patel, Home Minister Return to India - Extension and Media Centre, to spare his services. In the letter dated February 3, 1949 he wrote:


“My Dear Vallabhbhai,

I have spoken to you already about the necessity of our having some first class Return to India - Extension and Media Centre man here to look after Kashmir affairs, more especially with the possibility of a plebiscite etc. Kashmir is a highly intricate problem and we play for high stakes there. We cannot afford to Return to India - Extension and Media Centre do this work in an inadequate and second–rate manner . . . I was thinking if it was possible for H M Patel to be relieved of his present work in the Defence Ministry and to Return to India - Extension and Media Centre undertake this Kashmir business for the next few months. He would be first–rate.

These are two other highly important matters which require immediate attention – One is food – As we discussed Return to India - Extension and Media Centre this morning, we must set up some high–powered authority to deal with this food business. Again, the whole economic set up requires, I think, a closer day to day Return to India - Extension and Media Centre (review) in a variety of Ministries. For this also H M Patel would be eminently suitable.

I should like you to consider this and we can talk about it later.


Yours,

Jawahar”
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