Prime Minister Narendra Modi honoured Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the occasion of his 141st birth anniversary in New Delhi on October 31, 2016.
About Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel:
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was an Indian barrister and statesman, one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress and one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India.
He was a social leader who played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation. In India and elsewhere, he was often addressed as Sardar, which means Chief in Hindi, Urdu and Persian.
He was raised in the countryside of Gujarat. Patel was employed in successful practice as a lawyer. He subsequently organised peasants from Kheda, Borsad, and Bardoli in Gujarat in non-violent civil disobedience against oppressive policies imposed by the British Raj; in this role, he became one of the most influential leaders in Gujarat.
He rose to the leadership of the Indian National Congress, in which capacity he would organise the party for the elections held in 1934 and 1937, as well as continue to promote the Quit India Movement.
As the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India, Patel organised relief for refugees fleeing from Punjab and Delhi and led efforts to restore peace across the nation.
Patel took charge of the task to forge a united India by integrating into the newly independent nation those British colonial provinces “allocated” to India. Besides those provinces under direct British rule, approximately 565 self-governing princely states had been released from British suzerainty by the Indian Independence Act 1947.
Through both frank diplomacy as well an option to deploy military force, Patel would persuade almost every princely state to accede to India. Patel’s commitment to national integration in the newly independent country was total and uncompromising, earning him the sobriquet“Iron Man of India”.
He is also affectionately remembered as the“Patron saint of India’s civil servants” for having established the modern all-India services He is also called the Unifier of India.
PM Modi also offered floral tributes at Sardar Patel’s statue at Patel Chowk in Delhi’s Parliament Street.
PM Modi had highlighted the contribution of Vallabhbhai Patel, popularly known as the Iron Man of India, in uniting the country during his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme.
Modi also pointed out that Vallabhbhai Patel contributed significantly in strengthening the cooperative movement in the country, adding that the country’s first home minister dedicated himself to the welfare of farmers.
Rashtriya Ekta Diwas : Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) was introduced by the Government of India and inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014. The intent is to pay tribute to Vallabhbhai Patel, who was instrumental in keeping India united. It is to be celebrated on 31 October every year as annual commemoration of the birthday of the Iron Man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding leaders of Republic of India.