During his visit to Goa on 19 Dec, Prime Minister Modi said that if Sardar Patel were alive, he would have liberated Goa in the 1950s. The following abstracts from Sri B. Krishna's book, "Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel India's Iron Man", will be of interest. At a two-hour discussion on Goa by the Foreign Affairs Committee in 1950, Sardar Patel seemed to take no interest. He kept his eyes closed for most of the time and seemed half asleep. Suddenly he woke up and said, "Shall we go in? It is two hours' work."
Nehru resisted the suggestion vehemently, saying, "If we, who professed to believe in non-violence, were to use violence to absorb Goa, we would be setting a bad example. Moreover, there would be international complications." Patel did not press his point and was silent. He said to have remarked that Jawaharlal Nehru was proving himself to be not merely the political heir of Mahatma Gandhi but a lineal descendant of Gowtham Buddha.
In May 1950, Sardar Patel undertook a Sea Cruise on INS Delhi from Bombay to Cochin on medical advice. While cruising along the Goa coast, Patel asked the ship's captain how many miles they were from Goa. On being told the distance, he asked the captain to take the ship nearer to Goa to let him have a look at it. When reminded of the rule of governing territorial waters, Patel smiled and said, "It does not matter. Lets go and have a look."
According to Taya Zinkin, when the ship was nearer Goa, Patel asked the captain, "How many men you have got on board?" 800, answered the captain. "Enough to take Goa?" Patel inquired. "I think so," replied the captain. "Well, let us go and take it while we are here," said Patel. A puzzled captain could not believe what he had heard and asked Patel to repeat what he had said. Patel repeated it. This confused the captain further. In a hesitant tone and some trepidation, he said, "You will have to give me a written order, sir, just for the record". Patel grinned and said, "Perhaps on second thought we better go back. You know that fellow Jawaharlal will object."
Nehru's inaction was brought to an abrupt end by Krishna Menon, who pushed an unsuspecting Nehru into the Goa fray in Dec 1961.
If Nehru had his way, just like Goa, he would have allowed the Nizam of Hyderabad to stay on with some loose alliance under a treaty with Mountbatten supporting him. Luckily Sardar Patel was alive, and as soon as Mountbatten left in June 1948, despite Nehru's hesitation and protestations, he ordered the Police Action to liberate the Nizam's Hyderabad and have it re accede to India and integrated with India.
Jawaharlal Nehru had Maharaja Hari Singh deposed and crowned Shaikh Abdullah as the virtual king of J&K. Sardar Patel was supposed to be unfriendly to Muslims. But while Nehru deposed Hindu Hari Singh, Sardar Patel made the Nizam of Hyderabad a Raja Pramukh–he did not depose him.