Maniben Patel

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Patel in October 1947
Mahatma Gandhi with Manibehn Patel before his departure to Europe, 1931 Mahatma Gandhi and Manibehn Patel before his departure to Europe.

Maniben Patel (3 April 1903, Karamsad-1990) was an Indian independence movement activist and a Member of the Indian parliament.[1] She was the daughter of Indian leader and a freedom fighter, Sardar Patel. Educated in Bombay, Manibehn adopted the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi in 1918, and started working regularly at his ashram in Ahmedabad.

She participated in the Non-Cooperation movement and the Salt Satyagraha, and was arrested for long periods. In the 1930s she became her father's personal aide, also caring for his personal needs. But she again participated in the Quit India movement and was imprisoned from 1942 to 1945 in Yerwada Central Jail. Manibehn Patel served her father closely until his death in 1950. After moving to Bombay, she worked for the rest of her life with numerous charitable organizations and for the Sardar Patel Memorial Trust, and wrote her memoirs on the freedom struggle and her father's life..

Maniben was once Vice-President of the Gujarat Provincial Congress Committee. Later she was elected to Rajya Sabha but information is lacking on whether it was as a Congress member or as Swatantra Party member or NCO (Congress-O) member; both Swatantra Party and NCO (Morarji Desai's Congress group) were powerful in Gujarat in 1967-1971. She fought post-Emergency election in 1977 against Congress on Janata Party's ticket and was elected from Mahesana Lok Sabha constituency. She was connected with several educational institutions including the Gujarat Vidyapith, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Bardoli Swaraj Ashram and Navjivan Trust prior to her death in 1990.

In 2011, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Memorial trust undertook a project to publish her Gujarati diary, in collaboration with Navjivan Publications.[2][3]

Works[edit]

  • Inside story of Sardar Patel: the diary of Maniben Patel, 1936-50, by Manibahen Patel. Ed. Prabha Chopra. Vision Books, 2001. ISBN 81-7094-424-4.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joginder Kumar Chopra (1993). Women in the Indian parliament: a critical study of their role. Mittal Publications. p. 174. ISBN 978-81-7099-513-5. 
  2. ^ Vashi, Ashish (June 8, 2011). "Knowing Sardar Patel through his daughter's diary". The Times of India (Ahmedabad). Retrieved 2013-06-02. 
  3. ^ Datta, V. N. (September 30, 2001). "Patel’s Legacy". The Tribune. Retrieved 2013-06-02.