National Unity Day – Sardar Patel (Iron Man of India)

Sardar Patel was the architect of the United and modern India. whatever the country is it is because of Iron Man. If there had been no Sardar Patel India would have been extremely divided on various lines. Therefore to honour its recognition, the Indian government started National Unity Day on 31st December. The Indian government also built the Statue of Unity in Kevadia, Gujrat.

He Integrated 565 princely states of which Hyderabad and Junagarh included diplomatic and military actions. He has a perfect balance of hard power and soft power. He believed that there could be no soft power without hard power. He even had a different view on the conflicts related to China. He was of the view that China was a potential danger and it had to be countered to ensure Indian safety.

Iron Man of India.

Patel and Modern Steel Framework

When the British ruled India, Civil services were seen as a tool of exploitation. The civil servants were the agents of the British Raj and worked for their advantage and profit. They were made to collect revenue and ensure safety for the Britishers. Sardar Patel rejuvenated the whole system and converted these officials into the steel frame of India. The steel frame of India is now reliable and trustworthy hence, it is a cornerstone of the Indian administration.

Sardar Patel was in strong favour of the centralised civil services of India. he kept the integrity and the sovereignty of the nation above everything else. he was a man of skill and extravagant courage. When India was getting independence, India was suffering from the pain of partition. MA Jinnah announced the Direct Action Day. There was extensive bloodshed all over India. Punjab was bleeding, Bengal was bleeding and even Delhi was set on fire. Thus, Patel gave priority to the unity and integrity of India. Hence, he favoured strong and centre-biased civil services for India which later was recognized as the steel frame of India.

Unification of the Princely States:

when India gained independence, both Nehru and Patel were in the race for the prime minister. Patel was seen as closer to the seat of PM as he was a member of the right-wing in Congress. However, the socialist block succeded in appointing Nehru as the prime minister of the Independent India and Sardar Patel was appointed as the home minister. Being India’s first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Patel was an integral part of the integration of about 565 princely states into the Indian Union.

The princely states like Travancore, Hyderabad, Junagadh, Bhopal and Kashmir were reluctant to join the Union of India. Sardar Patel was the main player in the game where every princely state was struggling to decide their fate. He was able to build a consensus with the princely states. Also, Patel was a realist in his approach. He deployed every method in his arch including methods of Sama, Dama, Dand and Bhed wherever necessary.

He was keen to use force to include the princely states of Junagadh ruled by Nawab and Hyderabad ruled by Nizam, as both of them declined their permission to join the Union of India. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel communicated with every princely state along with British Indian territory and coaxed them to join the union of India. In this way, he prevented the balkanization of India.

Balkanization is the process where a large nation is divided into small nations based on ethnicity, for example, the Balkan Region in Europe. Thus, through his vigour and agility, he came to be known as the “Iron Man of India” for playing an important role in the unification and integration of Indian princely states into the Indian Federation and for convincing princely states to align with the Indian Union.

Statue of Unity

Due to the recent politics, Sardar Patel has assumed a greater role in Indian politics. The BJP party has given due importance to the role of Sardar Patel. Hence, to celebrate this honour, the NDA government has built the Statue of Unity in memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It was on 31st October 2018 to mark the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.

with this, the Statue of Unity became the tallest statue in the world. with a total height of 182 meters, it is 23 meters taller than China’s Spring Temple Buddha statue and almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty (93 meters tall) in the US. Also, In January 2020, it was recognized as the ‘Eight Wonders’ of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Conclusion

Holistically, Sardar Patel was a visionary and realist leader who was the icon of modern and united India. Patel was a selfless leader, who was devoted to the country’s interests and placed even his life above India. He with his mind shaped India’s destiny with single-minded devotion.

The priceless contribution of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in building a modern and unified India will be recognized by every Indian as the country marches ahead as one of the largest economies in the world.

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