Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel popularly known as 'The Iron Man Of India' was one of the most influential leaders who had played a significant role in country's struggle for independence. His contributions in leading India are countless. He will always be remembered for his wisdom and diplomatic skills. He was not only a great freedom fighter but a motivational speaker whose slogans have inspired millions. He was a man of creeds who always believed that nation was his priority. He was an ardent follower of Gandhiji. After Independence, he became the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of independent India.
Let's go ahead and read about his struggles and contribution in leading India.
Born on October 31, 1875 (Nadiad)
Took last breath on December 15, 1950 (then Bombay)
Father's name - Jhaverbhai (farmer)
Mother's name - Laad Bai
Spouse - Jhaverba
Siblings - Somabhai, Narsibhai, Kashibhai, Vithalbhai Patel, and Dahiba.
Children - Dahyabhai and Maniben
He left home after contracting Bubonic Plague, he started living alone in Nadiad and recuperated slowly.
Wife's tragic death- Patel's wife was a patient of cancer. She died during a major surgical operation.
His father, Jhaverbhai Patel, was a small farmer and mother Laad Bai was a simple lady. Ever since his childhood, he was a very hardworking guy. He did his schooling from N. K. High school, Petlad and used to help his father in farming often.
Throughout his school life, Vallabhbhai Patel was very wise and intelligent. After school, he refused to go to college because of his family's poor financial conditions. He stayed home for three years and prepared for District Leader's examination and passed the exam with flying colours. He was a person of independent nature. He started his practice of law in a place called Godhara, and soon the practice flourished.
When the British government's atrocities were increasing, and they ordered to confiscate the land of the farmers, he fought for the rights of the farmers and forced the British government to amend all the rules. He collected all the farmers together and that was the time when he got the title of 'Sardar'.
A great freedom fighter, who was successful in integrating around 565 princely states after independence that got him the sobriquet of 'Iron Man'.
"It is in my nature to be a friend of the friendless."
"The negligence of a few could easily send a ship to the bottom, but if it has the wholehearted co-operation of all on board, it can be safely brought to the part."
"There is something unique in this soil, which despite many obstacles has always remained the abode of great souls."
"It is the prime responsibility of every citizen to feel that his country is free and to defend its freedom is his duty. Every Indian should now forget that he is a Rajput, a Sikh or a Jat. He must remember that he is an Indian and he has every right in this country but with certain duties."
"Take to the path of dharma – the path of truth and justice. Don't misuse your valor. Remain united. March forward in all humility, but fully awake to the situation you face, demanding your rights and firmness."
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel began his political career in September 1917 where he delivered the speech to motivate people in signing the Gandhi's petition that demanded swaraj. During the time of plague and famine, he organized relief efforts. He also fought against the forced servitude of Indians to Europeans. He initiated village-to-village tour to encourage people to revolt against payment of taxes. He was the left hand of Gandhiji in Non-cooperation movement. He recruited about 3,00,000 members and raised about 15 lakh rupees. He led Satyagraha against a law that restricted the hoisting of the Indian flag.
In 1931, he became the Congress president for the Karachi session. He also contributed to the Quit India Movement and supported Nehru's decision to withdraw the Congress party from central and provincial legislatures.
In 1946, during the election for the Congress presidency, Patel supported Nehru. He became the first home minister and played a prominent role in the integration of several princely states into the Indian federation. He also believed that the division of India could resolve the rising Muslim separatist movement led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
At the Partition Council, he represented India and along with Nehru, he selected the Indian council of ministers. He decided to appoint Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as the chairman of the drafting committee and the other leaders for the process of writing the constitution.
Sardar was the head of the committees that were responsible for fundamental rights of tribal and excluded areas, minorities, and provincial constitutions.
Several institutes have been named after him, such as:
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology, Meerut
Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat
Sardar Patel University, Gujarat
Sardar Patel Institute of Technology, Vasad
Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, New Delhi
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Technology, Vasad
Monuments and statues:
Sardar Patel Memorial Trust
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial, Ahmedabad
Sardar Sarovar Dam, Gujarat
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad