On the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled his visionary statesmanship, indomitable spirit and extraordinary dedication by which he laid the foundation of a unified and cohesive nation.
The architect of India’s unity, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s views on India’s long-term security and the rising geo-political atmosphere were both pragmatic and prognostic. A man of strong character and diligence, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is a revered figure in India’s freedom struggle. Patel served as India’s first Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs from 1947-50. Patel worked towards forging a united India for which he earned the title of “Iron Man of India”.
Oath-taking ceremony of Sardar Patel (picture source- Zee News)
Born on October 31, 1875, in Gujarat, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had leadership qualities from a very young age. He was a successful lawyer and a true champion of democracy. He is one of the greatest freedom fighters whose contribution to making India strong and prosperous remains unparalleled. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had a very realistic approach to global affairs.
SARDAR VALLABHBHAI PATEL- THE ARCHITECT OF UNITY
picture source- IndiaTV News
As the first Home Minister of Independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel played a pivotal role in building modern India. The political integration of the country was possible because of his firm resolve, foresightedness, diplomatic skills and decisive actions.
He worked relentlessly towards amalgamating 562 princely states into the Democratic Republic of India. This was a major challenge at that time due to the threat of balkanization once the British quit India. He sensed the urgency and took measures to diffuse this danger. He persuaded the princely states to accede to the government of India. By August 15, 1947, all the states except Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir signed the Instrument of Accession.
With Patel’s persuasion, the last ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, decided to accede to India. Hence on October 26, 1947, it became a part of India. With Patel’s tactful diplomatic skills, the princely state of Junagarh was integrated into India through a referendum that voted overwhelmingly for union with India. With his thoughtful approach, Hyderabad was annexed to India by “police action” or “Operation Polo” in September 1948.
SARDAR VALLABHBHAI PATEL’S VIEWS ON THE WORLD
Patel had a very pragmatic approach towards India’s security and foreign policy. In various speeches, he pointed out that India should have relations with various countries and should adopt those policies that suit its national interests. He was exposed to discussions on foreign affairs and presented rational views when dealing with questions regarding the Commonwealth, Tibet, China, Pakistan and Indonesia which shows his serious understanding of them from a national perspective. He was aware of the repercussions of the geopolitical rivalries due to the ‘Cold War’ between the USA and the Soviet Union. Patel was opposed to and often critical of the Nehruvian policies.
SARDAR PATEL AND ALL INDIA SERVICES
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is the key force behind the establishment of All India Services. For this, he is well remembered as the “patron saint of India’s civil servants”. While addressing the probationary officers of these services he described them as “the steel frame of India” and advised them to maintain impartiality and incorruptibility in administration.
STATUE OF UNITY
picture source- travel scape
The Statue of Unity which is the world’s tallest statue is built in Kevadia in Gujarat depicts the nationalist and activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated it on October 31, 2018, on tha occasion of the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
TRIBUTES ON HIS BIRTH ANNIVERSARY
Prime Minister Modi, President Murmu and other dignitaries paid tribute to the Iron Man of India on his birth anniversary. The PM said that his unwavering commitment to the cause of India will be the guiding light for all.
PM Modi at the Statue of Unity (dynamite news)
Speaking at the National Unity Day event in Gujarat PM hailed Sardar Patel as a visionary leader. He also performed jalabhishek at Sardar Patel’s statue at Kevadia. Home Minister Amit Shah stated that Sardar Patel aimed to see a united and progressive India. He also mentioned that Sardar Patel devoted his entire life to nation-building. A special program was held at the Statue of Unity to highlight the contribution of Sardar Patel. President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar and others paid floral tributes to Patel at Sardar Chowk in New Delhi
The birth anniversary of Sardar Patel is observed as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day. Sardar Patel was a man of principles who is remembered for his selfless service to the nation. Patel was an ardent supporter of Mahatma Gandhi, a fierce nationalist and a successful lawyer who had the core philosophy of ‘nation first’. His deep insights and fierce leadership helped to form the basic principles of India’s governance.