Vallabhbhai Patel one of the founding fathers of the Indian Republic, played a Key role in the country’s struggle for Independence. PM Narendra Modi on Monday paid rich tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 141st birth Anniversary. This day is also celebrated as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas ‘ (National Unity Day). PM Modi also offered floral tributes at Sardar Patel’s statue at Patel Chowk in Delhi’s Parliament Street. He also highlighted the Contributions of Vallabhbhai Patel popularly known as the Iron Man of India, in uniting the country during his monthly Mann Ki Baat. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was born on October 31 1875, in Nadiad, a small village in Gujarat. He was conferred with the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna, in 1991 for his services to the Nation. Sardar Patel was popularly known as The Iron Man of India.
PM Modi had also pointed that Vallabhbhai Patel contributed significantly in strengthening & also co-operating the co-operative movement in the country, he also added that the country’s first home Minister dedicated himself to the welfare of farmers. Sardar Patel also organized refugee camps for people who were fleeing from Punjab & Delhi, & led efforts to restore peace across the Nation. He united India by integrating into the newly Independent Nation those British Colonial Provinces under British rule. Patel would persuade every princely state to accede India. Patel’s commitment to National integration in the newly Independent country was total & very much Uncompromising which earned him the Sobriquet “Iron Man of India”. He is also fondly remembered as the “Patron saint of India’s civil Servants”, for having established the modern all- India services system. In2014 Government of India had introduced 31st October as Rashtriya Ekta Divas.
For many decades after his death there were lack of initiatives on the part of Government of India, Congress, the National media regarding the commemoration of Patel’s life & work. Patel was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna. Patel’s Legacy has been surprisingly adored by RSS & its branch BJP against whom Patel acted corrosively & forced them to stay away from communal politics after Gandhi’s assassination. Patel’s family home in Karamsad is preserved in his Memory. The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial in Ahmedabad was established in 1980 at the Moti Shah Mahal.
He appeared on the cover page of Time Magazine. Patel is namesake of many public Institutions in India. A major initiative to build dams, canals & hydroelectric power plants on the Narmada river valley to provide a tri-state with drinking water, electricity & increase Agricultural Production, was named the Sardar Sarovar. Patel is also the namesake of the Sardar Vallabhbhai national Institute of Technology in Surat, & many other Institutions.
India’s National Police Training academy is also named after him. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was one of the important Social & Political Leaders of India. Patel was very attached to Gandhiji & considered him to be an Elder brother. Regarding his contributions, Sardar Patel is known for National Integration. The period from 15th august 1947 to 17 Sept. 1948 was a horrible one for most of the people living in the region, All the princely states were given option to join India or Pakistan or remain Independent of both. Almost all the princely states agreed to join the Indian Union.
Hyderabad state was one of the wealthiest & powerful princely states was ruled by Nizams, the Nizam chose to remain independent much against the wishes of the people. Most of the people wanted to join Indian Republic, revolted against Nizams, He created a private militia known as Razakars, they were brutal in nature. In due course of time Razakars became very powerful & Nizam became mere puppets. There were atrocities committed by Militia.
Now the question – Was it right to say that Sardar Patel annexed the Hyderabad state forcefully?
Sardar Patel to fight against Razakars Sardar Patel had initiated Operation Polo, or else millions of people would have become shelter less. The answer to the above question is that There is nothing wrong in Annexing a territory as people wanted to be part of Union & were being harassed by the regime. So, Sardar Patel was absolutely right in Annexing the territory. This was supposed to be Single Largest Achievement by Sardar Patel. So, we Celebrate September 17th as Hyderabad Liberation Day, on this day Hyderabad became Independent. This was most dramatic one by Sardar Patel for Hyderabad, Patel’s troops annexed it under 5 days with a loss of just 32 men. They called it a Police Action. It was the most efficient military operations in history of India.
The Swift thinking of Patel & with his wisdom & foresight made his people to Act upon & with Nehru’sdiplomacy, that UN Security Council could not do much despite all above efforts. In case of Integration of Junagadh now the chunk of present Gujarat, India waited till the Enemies made the mistake & made optimum utilization. The Nawab had already left the state & its new head Shah Nawaz Bhutto (grandfather of Benazir Bhutto &father of Zulfiqar Ali). The smaller rulers were annexed of who had already wanted to join India. A Plebiscite was held to confirm the verdict.
In case of Travancore, present Kerala, the king was of the view that he amassed the ports & Economy to stake for his own Hindu Kingdom. Once again the Communists helped Patel’s cause. A massive peasant unrest brought the King crawling to join India.
Sardar Patel is remembered for his role in in Uniting 550+ princely states including Hyderabad, Kashmir etc. Sardar Patel is Known for uniting the Nation & is compared with perhaps the greatest diplomat over Otto von Bismark. Nehru showed the Nation as a country of snake charmers. Nehru told China when they took away chunk of India, nothing grows here, which becomes quite evident of his strategic thinking as a Head of the Nation.
Sardar Patel’s quotes of Unity –
“It is the prime responsibility of every citizens to feel that his country is free and to defend its freedom and is his duty. Every Indian should now forget that he is a Rajput, Sikh or a Jat. He must remember that he is an Indian and he has every nright in this country but with certain duties.”
Dr Sukanya Iyer