Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s death anniversary: ​​Remembering the Iron Man of India

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India, was one of the leaders who is remembered for his selfless service to the nation. Born on October 31, 1875, he not only played an important role in India’s freedom struggle but also played a much more important role after independence. A lawyer by profession, Patel was an ardent supporter of Mahatma Gandhi. His ties with Gandhi deepened in 1918 during the Kheda Satyagraha, which was launched to seek exemption from payment of land revenue assessment after crop failure.

Praising Patel, Gandhi credited him saying, “This campaign could not have been carried out so successfully (without him).” In the ensuing years, Patel actively participated in the movements organized by Gandhi.

As the freedom struggle intensified, Patel abandoned his practice for good and began to channel his efforts into political and creative pursuits – visiting villages, addressing meetings, foreign cloth shops and liquor stores. But take a stand.

Read also: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s death anniversary: ​​PM Narendra Modi remembers the Iron Man of India

Patel played an important role in the Bardoli Satyagraha, which was launched against the British government’s decision to drastically increase the land revenue assessment.

In March 1931, Patel presided over the 46th session of the Indian National Congress, which called for ratification of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. After the Congress’s good performance in the elections to the provincial assemblies, Patel, as the chairman of the Congress Parliamentary Sub-Committee, guided and controlled the activities of these ministries.

To honor the legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the ‘Statue of Unity’ – the world’s tallest statue – was unveiled in 2018. (Image: Shutterstock)

After independence, he became the Deputy Prime Minister and was given the charge of Home, States and Information and Broadcasting portfolios. At that time he was also entrusted with the task of annexing the princely states into India. He lived up to the expectations, uniting more than 550 princely states to form the Republic of India.

He also successfully handled the complex issue of integration of Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir. Moreover, as Home Minister, he successfully managed the law and order situation and brought back peace in a country ravaged by communal conflict. He breathed his last on 15 December 1950.

Let’s take a look at some lesser known facts about the personality that shaped India in the 20th century.

1. Patel was one of the top senior leaders of the Indian National Congress (INC). He became the first Deputy Prime Minister of India after independence in 1947.

2. He was also appointed as the first Home Minister of independent India. Apart from this, he also oversaw the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of the States.

3. Patel passed his matriculation at the age of 22. Initially, he was not interested in politics, but after meeting Gandhiji in Godhra in 1917, he quit his job and joined the Congress and became the party secretary of the Gujarat Sabha.

4. When he was 36, Patel traveled to England, and enrolled in a three-year course at the Middle Temple at the Inns of Court. Despite having no previous college experience, he completed the course within 30 months and qualified as a barrister.

5. In times of calamities and famines in India, he joined the movement to fight for exemption of taxes in Kheda on the call of Gandhi.

6. He was an important part of Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement. He traveled extensively in western India to recruit 300,000 members. He also collected over Rs 1.5 million for the party fund.

7. He spread awareness widely across the country against untouchability, caste discrimination, alcohol consumption and women empowerment.

8. During the imprisonment of Mahatma Gandhi, Patel led the Satyagraha movement in Nagpur in 1923, which was against the British law banning the hoisting of the Indian flag.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was, undoubtedly, one of the most influential figures of India in the 20th century. To honor his legacy, the ‘Statue of Unity’ – the tallest statue in the world – was unveiled in 2018. It is situated on the banks of Narmada river in Gujarat.

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