A.D. Patel

Fijian politician

Ambalal Dahyabhai Patel (March 13, 1905 – October 1, 1969) was an Indo-Fijian politician, farmers' leader and founder and leader of the National Federation Party. Patel was uncompromisingly committed to a vision of an independent Fiji, with full racial integration. He was one of the first to advocate a republic, an ideal not realized in his lifetime. He also advocated a common voters' roll and opposed the communal franchise that characterized, and continues to characterize, Fijian politics.


  • Communal franchise is wrong in principle and harmful in practice; the time has come in Fiji for all races to get out of the thin water-tight compartments and start thinking in terms of residents of Fiji.
    • Statement in defense of common roll (1929).
  • First and foremost must come the recognition and the realization that education is not a luxury in colonial areas, but it is as much a necessity as in free countries. It is an amenity to which every citizen has a right. It is a social service which should be the first charge on the finances of a country. And in advanced countries it is not uncommon for the state to spend as much as 25 per cent of their revenue on education.
    • 1954 statement calling for more spending on education.
  • There is a clear acknowledgement all over the world that we should not teach people to read and then to leave them without literature. For they would then relapse into a dreary and ultimately dangerous state of half-education, in which they would be easily satisfied by crude semi-pictorial approximations of the strip cartoon and by the abundant supply of degenerate literature which destroys, rather than promotes, a capacity to face the problems of the world with skill and courage
    • His argument for the introduction of a colony-wide library system in 1955.
  • I believe that it is of the utmost importance that we all should feel and inculcate among the people and circulate amongst them what I call a sense of compatriotism. We should all feel that we are all nationals of one country, whatever our race, colour, creed, or sect…
    • January 1964 call for “One Country, One Nation, One People”
  • We need university education in Fiji and must seriously think about starting post secondary education in Fiji. In the near future we hope to see a university college in Fiji and ultimately a fully fledged university
    • During 1964 budget debate, he called for the establishment of a university in Fiji.
    • B. V. Lal, A vision for change: AD Patel and the politics of Fiji, Australian National University, ACT, 1997.

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