There are people who follow others and there are people whom others follow.
The whole of the nation will be celebrating the Iron-man Sardar Patel’s Birth Anniversary on 31st of October. Run-for-unity under the leadership of our PM Mr. Narendra Modi shall be organized at various places in the country. Yes, he was the epitome of unity and integrity of the country. The country and its citizens owe much to him for his great and incredible contribution for building it the way it has stood today.
Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel was born on 31st of October 1875 at Nadiad. By profession he was a barrister who turned in to a Statesman by joining Indian National Congress and participated in the Freedom Movement with everything he had. He is more known as the Architecture of Independent India.
There is one remarkable incident from his life. This incident had changed the direction of Indian Freedom Struggle. It is considered first and foremost contribution of Patel to the Freedom Fight of the Country. The Khera Division of Gujarat was in the grip of acute drought. The peasants demanded relaxation in the taxes. But the English Govt didn’t accept this demand of the dying farmers. Sardar Patel took the rein of the movement in his hand and led the movement. The English had to bow.
Viewing his strong leadership in the previous movements, he was given the command of one more movement popularly called Bardoli Satyagraha. He led the movement successfully and consequently the English Viceroy ordered to remove all taxes which were imposed by Bombay Govt and the peasants were returned their land and animals. Even the farmers who were arrested during the agitation were freed. It was a great victory and the whole credit went to Vallabhbhai Patel. Victory Day was celebrated on 11th and 12th of August and in this victory ceremony Gandhiji honored him calling Sardar. So Gandhiji conferred on him this title of Sardar and he became famous world-wide as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
India got freedom in 1947. But the major challenge was to come yet. Sardar Patel became the first Home Minister of India. But the country was not united geographically. The country had as many as 562 Provinces which were not under English Empire. Most of these provinces except Jammu and Kashmir, Hyderabad, Junagarh were ready to be the part of Union of India. The Nawab of Junagarh wanted its merge with newly formed Pakistan. But there was the public revolt in the state. As a result the Nawab had to flee Pakistan to save his life and Junagarh was merged with India.
The Nizam of Hyderabad didn’t want to go with Pakistan but wanted Hyderabad a free and independent country. Therefore even after the freedom, the Hyderabad state could not became the part of India till 18th Sept 1948. The then Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel decided to take action when all talks were fail. So the Indian Army attacked Nizam’s Army and the latter’s army could not confront the former. The Nizam surrendered. And due to astute and valiant efforts of Patel Saheb, Hyderabad became the part of India in Sept 1948.
Only one state i.e. Jammu and Kashmir was left. But Patel couldn’t interfere with this State as the PM had decided to tackle this state himself. But the issue of this state is still hanging fire and it seems as if it were an eternal problem.
It was an unprecedented task. Now Patel was popular internationally. He became popular among the Indian Masses. Lauding this bloodless efforts of Patel even Gandhiji has remarked ” Only you could have done this.”
He was a great advocate of Unity and Integrity of the country. He wanted India a perfect example of Secularism to the world. He had once said ” It is the prime responsibility of every citizen that his country is free… He should now forget that he is a Rajput, a Sikh or a Jat. He must remember that he is an Indian and he has all rights in this country but with certain duties.”
The changing of ICS into IAS was the result of his sincere efforts. During his tenure, there was a radical change in bureaucracy.
Patel had great sympathy for the farmers and the laborers. According to him, both are the basis of any progress and both are deprived of that progress. He wanted to do something for the deprived and oppressed classes. Had he lived a bit longer, there could have a been a quite different face of the country. This legend left this physical world for his heavenly abode on 15th December 1950. We salute him billions of times and pay our sincere tribute to this great son of mother India.