• Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, known as the “Iron Man of India,” was born in Nadiad village in present-day Gujarat on October 31, 1875.
  • In India’s freedom struggle, he was a political and freedom leader.
  • He is known as the Iron Man of India because of his strong views on the union of princely states into one nation, his good attitude toward women’s emancipation, and his active participation in shaping India into what it is now.
  • Vallabhbhai Patel was given the title of ‘Sardar’ by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Following the Bardoli Satyagraha, however, the women of the hamlet began to refer to him as Sardar because of his active involvement and leadership.
  • Due to his role in uniting the shards of princely kingdoms into a single nation, he is known as the ‘Bismarck of India.’
  • Modern All India Services was founded by him.
  • He served as India’s first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
  • Sardar Patel, 75, died of a major heart attack in Bombay on December 15, 1950.
  • In 1991, he was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna. Since 2014, his birthday has been celebrated as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day).

Political life

  • In 1897, he completed his matriculation and went on to study law in England.
  • Patel returned to India after finishing his law school in 1913 and began his profession in Godhra.
  • He eventually relocated his thriving practice to Ahmedabad, with the goal of amassing fortune and providing a comfortable lifestyle for himself and his family. By that time, he had married and had two children.
  • He met Mahatma Gandhi in Ahmedabad and fell under his spell after a few encounters with him.
  • He became a devout devotee of Gandhi and began participating in political activities.
  • He offered to lead the Kheda campaign against peasant taxation because Gandhi himself would be at Champaran, and he became the secretary of the Gujarat wing of the Congress Party (Formed on December 28, 1885).
  • The Kheda campaign (1918) was a success, as Patel and his associates forced peasants to refuse to pay taxes until the government granted their requests through a village-by-village tour.
  • Patel organised a volunteer army to assist the locals in their efforts. The farmers’ suffering drew a lot of sympathy as a result of this uprising.
  • The administration agreed to meet with Patel and put a year’s worth of taxes on hold. Patel was hailed as a national hero.
  • He was then elected president of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee in 1920. He served in that capacity until 1945.
  • Patel backed Gandhi when he declared the non-cooperation movement in 1920, and he worked relentlessly to organise it.
  • He subsequently ditched his European clothing and used Khadi.
  • When Gandhi paused the movement in the aftermath of the Chauri Chaura incident (which occurred on February 5th, 1922), Patel was one of the leaders who backed him up.
  • Patel also led the Bardoli Satyagraha in 1928, which was a huge effort. In the aftermath of floods and famines in the area, as well as a high tax rise by the government, he urged farmers to refuse to pay taxes once more.
  • He got the title of ‘Sardar’ after the campaign’s success.
  • During the Dandi March (1930), Patel was arrested.
  • He was chosen President of the INC in Karachi in 1931. In 1932, he was arrested once more.
  • He rose to become the Congress Party’s most powerful fundraiser and organiser, especially when it came to picking candidates for the national and provincial legislatures.
  • He was a firm believer in creating discipline among party members, since he did not want people’s attention diverted from the broader aim of independence from British authority.
  • With an emotive address on August 7, 1942, he backed the Quit India Movement and urged people to fight.
  • He was imprisoned, along with all other significant national leaders, and was only liberated in June 1945.
  • Even though Patel was opposed to partition, he recognised that it was necessary at the time since the Congress and the Muslim League could not agree on the matter.
  • It was also necessary to stop the spread of communal hate and violence across the country.
  • Patel was a member of the Partition Council, which oversaw the split of public assets between the two new states.
  • Patel organised humanitarian efforts and refugee camps after the horrific atrocities of the carnage during partition.
  • He ordered the Indian Army’s South Indian battalions to restore order in the devastated districts, knowing well that the Punjab and Delhi police forces, who were too near to the catastrophe, could not be trusted.
  • Patel is regarded as a national hero in India, not just for his position as a freedom fighter, but also for his role in bringing the country together after independence.
  • India’s political structure was made up of British Indian provinces and more than 600 princely states.
  • Patel is known as India’s Bismarck because of his outstanding contribution to the country’s political unity.
  • Patel dispatched the troops to Junagadh when the Nawab acceded to Pakistan despite the fact that the city had an 80 percent Hindu population.
  • The princely state was amalgamated with India using a mix of military and political means.
  • In 1948, the Indian army stormed Hyderabad on Patel’s instructions, securing the city’s unification with India. The operation is called Operation polo.
  • In the Constituent Assembly of India, Patel was in charge of the Provincial Constitution Committee and the Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights, Minorities, and Tribal and Excluded Areas.
  • He is known as the ‘patron saint’ of the civil services because of his involvement in establishing India’s modern civil services.
  • He famously referred to the services as the country’s “steel frame” of government machinery.

Patel’s economic ideology 

  • Patel’s economic ideology included self-reliance as one of its main cornerstones.
  • He desired a rapid industrialization of India. The goal was to lessen reliance on other resources.
  • Patel led Gujarat’s cooperative movements and was instrumental in the formation of the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union, which was a game-changer for dairy production across the country.
  • Sardar was underwhelmed by socialist platitudes and frequently emphasised the necessity for India to develop riches before arguing what to do with it and how to distribute it.
  • He envisioned the government playing the role of a welfare state, but he recognised that other countries had already done so at a more advanced stage of development.
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a staunch opponent of nationalisation and restrictions. The business incentive was a terrific motivator for him, not a deterrent.
  • Patel was not a fan of those who sat around doing nothing. “Millions of idle hands who have no work cannot find employment on machines,” he declared in 1950. Before claiming a fair portion, he asked labourers to contribute to the creation of prosperity.
  • Sardar was an outspoken supporter of investment-led growth. “Every citizen’s mantra should be to spend less, save more, and invest as much as possible,” he stated.

Integration of Princely States

  • Sardar Patel, India’s first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, was instrumental in the union of 565 princely kingdoms into the Indian Union.
  • Travancore, Hyderabad, Junagadh, Bhopal, and Kashmir were among the princely kingdoms that refused to join India.
  • Sardar Patel worked relentlessly to reach an agreement with the princely kingdoms, but he did not shy away from using Sama, Dama, Dand, and Bhed techniques when necessary.
  • He had used force to acquire the princely realms of Junagadh, governed by the Nawab, and Hyderabad, ruled by the Nizam, both of whom had refused to join the Union of India.
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel joined the princely kingdoms in British Indian territory, preventing India from becoming divided.

All India Service

  • He also played a key role in the establishment of the All India Services, which he referred to as the country’s “Steel Frame.”
  • In his talk to these services’ probationers, he urged them to be guided by the spirit of service in their day-to-day operations.
  • He reminded them that after Independence, the Indian civil service (ICS) was no longer Imperial, civil, or filled with any spirit of service.
  • His advice to probationers to maintain the highest level of impartiality and incorruptibility in administration is as pertinent now as it was back then.
  • On April 21, 1947, he warned them, “To wander from the road of rectitude in one of these regards is to debase public service and diminish its dignity.”
  • He understood the importance of a good, stable administrative organisation as the lynchpin of a functioning republic better than any of his contemporaries.
  • The man’s sagacity is credited with giving birth to today’s all-India administrative services, and he is hence known as the “Father of Modern All India Services.”

Statue of Unity

  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is commemorated with the Statue of Unity.
  • It was dedicated on the 143rd anniversary of Sardar Patel’s birth on October 31, 2018.
  • The Statue of Unity is the world’s highest statue.
  • It stands 23 metres taller than China’s Spring Temple Buddha monument and nearly twice as tall as the United States’ Statue of Liberty (93 metres).
  • It was listed in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s “Eight Wonders” in January 2020. (SCO).


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