“Manpower without Unity is not a strength unless it is harmonized and united properly, then it becomes a spiritual power”.
Those were the words of the man behind the unification and integration of India- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He is the revered name in politics. When we talk about unity, the first name that pops in our mind-is Sardar Patel as he was the one who had played a crucial role in integration of more than 500 princely states into the Indian subcontinent. He was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies and doctrines, as he was close ally of the Mahatma. He was the first Home Minister of independent India and his efforts towards the unification of India is unsurmountable.
Childhood of Sardar Patel
Vallabhbhai Patel was born on 31stOctober,1975 in Nadiad to Zaverbhai and Ladbai. His father was part of army of Queen of Jhansi and his mother was a spiritual woman. He had commenced his academia in Gujarati medium school, but later was shifted to an English medium school. After completing his high school education, he was sent to England to pursue a degree in law. He completed his law degree in 1913 from Inns Court and came back to India to practice law.
He was offered umpteen number of posts by the British Raj, but he rejected all of them as he was a staunch opposer of the British policies and laws.
In 1891, he married Zaverbai. Patel then started practicing in Ahmedabad and there he went to attend a lecture delivered by Mahatma Gandhi and was deeply affected by his words. Thereafter he adopted the doctrines of Mahatma Gandhi and become the disciple of the charismatic leader.
Role in the Indian National Movement
In 1917, Sardar Patel as the secretary of Gujarat Sabha, the Gujarat Wing of Congress. His effort to bring farmers together to oppose the laws imposed by British Raj brought him the title ‘Sardar’. He was staunch supporter of Non Co-operation Movement initiated by Mahatma Gandhi.
In 1928, the farmers of Bardoli again face the problem of “tax-hike”. After prolonged negotiatons when the farmers refuse to pay taxes, the government seized their lands in retaliation.
In 1930, Sardar Patel among the revolutionaries that took part in Dandi March who later played a significant role in ‘Salt Movement’.
He also played a crucial role in Quit India Movement. Sardar’s journey saw umpteen number of confrontations with other revolutionaries.
The movement lead by Muhammad Ali Jinnah that demanded a separate country led to series of Hindu-Muslim riots across the country.
Contributions to Independent India
After India became Independent, Patel became the first Home Minister and also Deputy Prime Minister. He played a prominent role in unification of 562 princely states into Indian subcontinent. Patel was leading member of constituent assembly of India and recommended B.R. Ambedkar’s name for name of the head. He also had a key-role in established in IAS and IPS, Indian Administrative Services and Indian Police Services respectively. He was staunch opposer of Nehru’s polices for dealing with Pakistan. He organized multiple refugee camps in Punjab and Delhi, and later in Bengal.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s health started deteriorating in 1950. On 2 November 1950, his health declined further was bed-ridden. After suffering a massive heart-attack on 15thDecember 1950, the great soul left the world. He was conferred with Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1991. His birth anniversary was declared as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ in 2014.