In news-Every year, 31st October is celebrated as National Unity Day to pay tributes to veteran freedom fighter Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
About National Unity Day-
- To honour his contribution to India’s independence and unity, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2014 declared that National Unity Day will be celebrated on Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s birth anniversary, every year.
- On Patel’s birth anniversary in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 182m-tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel called ‘Statue of Unity’.
- Tallest statue in the world, it is located on the banks of the Narmada river in Kevadia, facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam near the city of Vadodara, Gujarat.
- The day is observed to ponder upon ways to maintain the nation’s unity.
About Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel-
- He was born on 31st October 1875 in Nadiad, Gujarat.
- He served as the first Deputy Prime Minister of India from 1947 to 1950.
- He was a barrister, statesman, and one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress during the struggle for Indian independence.
- In 1910,in order to enhance his career in the legal profession, Patel traveled to London and I. 1913 returned to India and practiced law in Ahmedabad.
- In 1917 Patel found the course of his life changed after having been influenced by Mohandas K. Gandhi.
- In 1918, when he planned mass campaigns of peasants, farmers, and landowners of Kaira, Gujarat.
- From 1917 to 1924 he served as the first Indian municipal commissioner of Ahmedabad and was its elected municipal president from 1924 to 1928.
- In 1928 he successfully led the landowners of Bardoli in their resistance against increased taxes.
- His efficient leadership of the Bardoli campaign earned him the title Sardar (“leader”), and henceforth he was acknowledged as a nationalist leader throughout India.
- In March 1931, he presided over the Karachi session of the Indian National Congress.
- During 1932 to 1933, he was lodged with Gandhi in Yerwada Jail.
- His contribution was notable during the integration of the princely states and the India-Pakistan War of 1947.
- He was also instrumental in the creation of the All India Services which he described as the country’s “Steel Frame”.