Recently, Indian Prime Minister has inaugurated a 182-metre statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel- Statue of Unity, on the Narmada river in Gujarat as a tribute to the country’s ‘Iron Man’.
• PM Modi has dedicated the ‘Statue of Unity’ to the nation on Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary.
• It is built at a cost of Rs. 2,989 crore over the Narmada River and overlooking the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
• The statue is described as the world’s tallest.
• The statue was designed by Padma Bhushan winning sculptor Ram V Sutar.
• Recognition of his contribution: It was done to recall his contribution in unifying the country after independence as he brought more than 500 princely states on a common platform to join the Union of India.
• Symbol of Unity and Integrity: The ‘Statue of Unity’ is a symbol of both the unity of hearts and the geographical integrity of our motherland.
Contribution of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel:
• In Freedom Struggle: He subsequently organized peasants from Kheda, Borsad, and Bardoli in Gujarat in non-violent civil disobedience against the British Raj, becoming one of the most influential leaders in Gujarat.
• He was a founding father of the Republic of India who played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation. He served as the first Deputy Prime Minister of India.
• In Unification of India:
– Foresightedness: His foresight, tactful navigation and the resolve he demonstrated in integrating more than 500 disparate princely States into the Dominion of India is an unparalleled accomplishment in modern history. In this sense, he is often compared with Bismarck of Germany who led the unification of Prussian State.
– Strong statesman: Patel was a statesman with a strong sense of realpolitik, a realist to the core.
– Veteran administrator: In the 1920s, he served the Ahmedabad municipality. His experience helped him in strengthening independent India’s administrative framework.
• In Growth of Cooperative Sector in India: Today, if India is known for a vibrant cooperative sector, a large part of the credit goes to Sardar Patel. The roots of Amul can be traced back to his vision for empowering local communities, particularly women.
– He also popularized the idea of cooperative housing societies, thus ensuring dignity and shelter for many.
• Trust and Integrity: Two traits synonymous with Sardar Patel are trust and integrity.
– Farmers: They saw him as a Kisan Putra, who led from the front during the Bardoli Satyagraha.
– Working class: They saw him as a ray of hope, a leader who would speak up for them.
– Traders and industrialists preferred to work with Sardar Patel because they felt here was a stalwart who had a vision for India’s economic and industrial growth.
…By common endeavour we can raise the country to a new greatness, while a lack of unity will expose us to fresh calamities…
—Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
• As an Architect of the Civil Services of India:
– The Iron Man of India was the chief architect of India’s steel frame — the civil services.
– Thus, All India Services were seen as an important cementing force in promoting the unity and integrity of the nation.
National Unity Day
• It is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on 31st October.
• Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) was introduced by the Government of India and inaugurated in 2014.
• The events like Run for Unity was organized in Delhi on this occasion.
Code of Conduct to be followed in Public Life:
• Sardar Patel’s life presents a classic example of what conduct should be followed in Public life. Similarly, there are Nolan Principles, the seven principles of public life, which every administrator should follow: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership.
• Patel’s legacy and modern day values are in coherence with one another. We can learn the core values of day today Public life by recalling his values and shape ourselves and our country to a highly efficient and self-sufficient and a welfare state as he saw India a nation as ‘democratic in structure, nationalistic in foundation and welfarist in spirit and function’.