Hitting an icon is no easy job but Gujarat cooperator and the one who is credited with bringing NAFED back to rails, Dileep Sanghani has done so. Addressing an Amul bike rally (on the birthday of Verghese Kurien) he tried to make a historical correction: Kurien was great but so were Tribhuvan Patel and H M Dalaya.
But a country which is given to hero-worship rather than understanding historical facts objectively has reacted with a shock when Sanghani, who is on the board of several national level co-op federations including IFFCO said “Kurien refused to given donations to Saburidham but generously did so in case of Christian missionaries.”
It was in 1995 when the tribal belt (where Bhagwan Ram ate fruits from a tribal lady called Saburi) was hosting a religious function where Hindu saints from across the country were slated to come. Known as Saburidham the trustees of the place approached Kurien for donations which the latter refused citing his lack of faith in religious activities. But the same Kurien would give donations to Christian missionaries active in the tribal belt, Sanghani has charged.
“I have facts on my side; go and ask Mr Harshad Katari who was the then in-charge of Saburidham and who had come to seek donations from Kurien when he was the Chairman of GCMMF”, says Sanghani. Sanghani received a call from Katari on Sunday dittoing his statement when the controversies erupted, said a close aide.
“I have received many phone calls from media houses including BBC and I say it again that I stand by my statement. So far as media hullaballoo is concerned I give it two hoots and I stand on my statement”, said a confident Sanghani.
Sanghani’s assertion on Kurien has support of many others who opine that out of the three- Tribhuvan Patel, H M Dalaya and Verghese Kurien, Kurien was lapped up by English media and made a hero at the cost of other two, as these newspapers were mostly controlled by Christian missionaries.
Recounting the contributions of Tribhuvan Patel Sanghani said the man was a saint as he not only donated a huge patch of land where Amul stands today but also willed that none of his family members could be Director or employees of the milk federations. Selflessness at its best! Stated Sanghani.
Have you heard of H M Dalaya? He was the man who created milk powder and revolutionized dairy cooperatives of Amul. Dalaya and Kurien studied together and joined Amul in 1950 as experts but Dalaya was forgotten, though his contribution is no less, opined Sanghani.
In his speech at the car rally Dileep Sanghani said that it was Tribhuvan Patel who, on the advice of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel started Amul in 1947. And he did so facing extreme hostilities from the employees of the existing brand of Polson. Soon Amul began to gain in strength as unlike Polson it did not exploit the milk producers. Its union spread to many districts and when the issue of marketing came up, experts were being sought after.
It was here that the two experts Verghese Kurien and H M Dalaya joined in 1950- much after Tribhuvan Patel has established the brand with his sweat and blood. “I respect Kurien for his role but I also wish to give credits to the two other icons of Amul revolution”, asserted Sanghani trying to place his statement in correct perspective before this correspondent.