This Patel Community sees itself as self-sufficient and claims to take care of financially weaker members and the reason for its lack of interests in quotas is not difficult to fathom. Almost every household in the Charotar Leuva Patel community has an NRI mostly settled in US, UK and Canada and family ties remain strong with regular exchange of visits among the kin.
The region, with one of the highest per capita income in the country at almost Rs 1 lakh per annum, has prospered with thriving local businesses, industries and educational institutions, other than Amul, the signature of the cooperative movement success story.
“Our ancestors taught us to be hard working, earn and live with dignity. Those seeking quota are doing injustice to own community as Gujarat has plenty to work and lead a respectful life,” says Bhavesh Desai, a Patel from cluster of 14 villages (Chodah Gaon Patidar Samaj) near Kheda district. Desai recalls that in the past his community has not wanted to be included in the OBC category when their views were sought by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel before Indian Constitution was drafted. Or so goes the story.
“The entire Patel Samaj had unanimously refused OBC status and quota in government services. We have prospered since then and don’t see any reason for quota,” says Dharmesh Desai, an engineer with a software company at Anand. He adds, “I don’t want my son to take advantage of quota.” Desai comes from six-village Patel samaj and takes pride in development in the region, pointing to cleanliness in his village, which has a 100-year-old drainage system.
Residents of Charotar region are mostly followers of “Jyoti Bhagwan” an eternally lit lamp at Sant Ram Temple, whose motto is “Jan Seva, Prabhu Seva”. They exchange greetings as “Jai Maharaj” which is basically in reverence to the lamp.
The impressive Sant Ram temple at Nandiad is a unifying factor for all Hindu castes as caste lines seem to be dim in voting though Kshatriya and Leuva Patel are the two influential communities here.
Contrary to Charotar version, Kadva Patel community in north Gujarat seeks Anamat and a better deal for their crops. The region is agrarian and blames BJP of neglecting farmers’ welfare. “We are not against Modi and will vote for him in 2019 but others in BJP need to be taught a lesson,” says Bharatbhai Patel, a grocery shop owner at Chanasma town in Patan district. He says Chanasma has been a BJP and Jan Sangh stronghold but mood is swaying against it this time around.
Source : timesofindia