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Remembering The Iron Man of India – Shri Sardar Patel.

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Leaders Pay Tribute to the Architect of Indian Unity

On the occasion of National Unity Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and a host of notables paid heartfelt tributes to the “Iron Man of India,” Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, on his 148th birth anniversary. This day, observed on October 31, marks a celebration of the unparalleled legacy of Sardar Patel, who played a pivotal role in uniting the diverse princely states into the modern nation of India.

Modi’s Homage and Tribute at the Statue of Unity

Prime Minister Modi, currently in his home state of Gujarat, took a moment to reflect on the visionary statesmanship and unwavering dedication of Sardar Patel, who, through a blend of persuasion and firmness, wove together a nation that was a tapestry of princely territories. In his message, the Prime Minister said, “On the Jayanti of Sardar Patel, we remember his indomitable spirit, visionary statesmanship, and the extraordinary dedication with which he shaped the destiny of our nation. His commitment to national integration continues to guide us. We are forever indebted to his service.” Modi further honored Sardar Patel by laying floral wreaths at the imposing Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue dedicated to the great leader.

Sardar Patel: Architect of Unity and Nationalist Leader

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, born into a landowning family in Gujarat in 1875, was an eminent lawyer and a prominent Congress leader during the struggle for India’s independence. His role as the first home minister of independent India was pivotal in bringing together over 565 self-governing princely states into a unified India. His relentless pursuit of national integration earned him the revered title “Iron Man of India.”

Celebrating National Unity Day: Honoring the Unifier

The significance of October 31 as National Unity Day is rooted in its recognition of Sardar Patel’s remarkable feat of persuading princely states to join the Indian Union. As the Central government declared, this day serves as an opportunity to reaffirm India’s strength and resilience in the face of challenges to its unity, integrity, and security.

Sardar Patel’s Early Years: Education, Law, and Satyagraha

Sardar Patel’s legacy goes beyond his political achievements. His early years were marked by a strong commitment to education and law. He ventured to London for legal studies and returned to India as a distinguished barrister in criminal law. His association with Mahatma Gandhi and the principles of satyagraha reshaped his life, leading him to become a nationalist leader.

The Leader Emerges: Bardoli and Mass Campaigns

In 1918, Sardar Patel’s leadership emerged during the Kaira mass campaigns against the Bombay government’s attempt to collect full annual revenue taxes despite crop failures. He later led the Bardoli landowners’ resistance in 1928, earning him the title ‘Sardar’ or leader, and cementing his status as a national figure.

Post-Independence Achievements and Legacy

Post-independence, Sardar Patel’s contributions were multifaceted. He served as deputy prime minister, minister of home affairs, minister of information, and minister of states, but his most enduring legacy is the seamless integration of princely Indian states into the Indian Union and the unification of India.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s life of dedication to his country culminated on December 15, 1950, when he passed away in Bombay after suffering a massive heart attack. His legacy lives on, celebrated on National Unity Day as India continues to draw inspiration from his vision of unity and integrity.

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