National Unity Day, observed on the 31st of October, is a day of immense significance for India. This article delves into the history, significance, and major contributions of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the driving force behind the integration of India’s diverse states. We’ll explore why this day is celebrated and the role it plays in promoting unity and togetherness in the country.
In this Article
The Birth of National Unity Day
National Unity Day was introduced by the Government of India in 2014 as a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who played a pivotal role in shaping India’s political landscape. It marks his birth anniversary, which falls on the 31st of October.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel: A Visionary Leader
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s visionary leadership was instrumental in realizing the dream of a strong and united India. His far-sightedness and unwavering dedication to the country’s unity and integrity have left an indelible mark on India’s history.
The Significance of National Unity Day
Why is National Unity Day Celebrated?
National Unity Day is celebrated annually on the 31st of October to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It serves as a reminder of the importance of unity and societal upliftment.
The inception of National Unity Day
The first National Unity Day celebration took place in 2014 and has since grown in prominence. It includes various events such as the ‘Run For Unity,’ a nationwide marathon that raises awareness about Sardar Patel’s contribution to national integrity. Additionally, a National Unity pledge is taken by citizens as a testament to their commitment to the nation’s security and unity.
The Statue of Unity
In 2018, the Government of India unveiled the ‘Statue of Unity’ in Gujarat to commemorate the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. This colossal statue, standing at 182 meters, is the tallest in the world and symbolizes the towering legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The Legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Birth and Early Life
Born on the 31st of October in 1875 in Nadiad, Gujarat, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was destined for greatness. He went on to become the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India.
Unifier of India
Sardar Patel is celebrated as the real unifier of India, known for his immense contributions in integrating and unifying the nation. He emphasized the need for people to unite, a principle that still resonates in initiatives like Atmanirbhar Bharat, aimed at making India self-reliant.
Patron Saint of India’s Civil Servants
He is fondly remembered as the ‘Patron saint of India’s civil servants’ for establishing the modern all-India services system, an essential part of India’s administrative structure.
Role in Framing Constitution
Sardar Patel’s contributions extended to his role in various Committees of the Constituent Assembly of India. He chaired the Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, the Committee on Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas, and the Provincial Constitution Committee.
Sardar Patel’s impact on society extended beyond politics. He championed causes such as the fight against alcohol consumption, untouchability, caste discrimination, and the emancipation of women.
Integration of Princely States
Sardar Patel played a monumental role in integrating around 565 princely states into the Indian Union. Some states, like Travancore, Hyderabad, Junagadh, Bhopal, and Kashmir, were initially hesitant to join India, but Patel’s diplomacy and, where necessary, firm methods, brought them into the fold.
The “Iron Man of India”
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel earned the moniker “Iron Man of India” for his crucial role in unifying and integrating Indian princely states into the Indian federation, ultimately preventing the balkanization of India.
National Unity Day serves as a reminder of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s indomitable spirit and his relentless pursuit of a united India. It is a day to honor his legacy and the principles of unity, integrity, and security. As we celebrate National Unity Day, let us reflect on his vision and strive to uphold these values for a stronger and more integrated India.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel known as the “Iron Man of India”?
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel earned this title for his pivotal role in integrating Indian princely states into the Indian federation and preventing the fragmentation of the nation.
What is the ‘Run For Unity’ event?
The ‘Run For Unity’ is a nationwide marathon organized on National Unity Day to raise awareness about Sardar Patel’s contribution to national integrity.
What is the Statue of Unity, and why was it unveiled in 2018?
The Statue of Unity is a colossal statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, unveiled in 2018 on his 143rd birth anniversary. It symbolizes his towering legacy and contributions to India.
How many princely states did Sardar Patel integrate into the Indian Union?
Sardar Patel played a key role in integrating around 565 princely states into the Indian Union, ensuring the unity of the nation.