Remembering the Iron Man : Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the creator of New India

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New Delhi : When Chinese Prime Minister Chou En Lai wrote a letter to Jawaharlal Nehru to consider Tibet a part of China, Patel urged Nehru not to accept China’s dominance over Tibet otherwise China would prove dangerous for India. Jawaharlal Nehru did not believe that and due to this mistake we had to suffer and China occupied the land of our border.

Sardar Patel’s historical works include the reconstruction of Somnath Temple, the establishment of Gandhi Memorial Fund, the design of Kamla Nehru Hospital, etc.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was born on 31 October 1875 in Nadiad, Gujarat, into a Zamindar family of the Leva Patidar (Patel) caste. He was the fourth child of his father Jhaverbhai Patel and mother Ladabai. Sardar Patel attended primary school in Karamsad and high school in Petlad. But he gained most of his knowledge from self-study.

He got married at the age of 16. At the age of 22, he passed the matriculation examination and passed the district attorney’s examination. Which allowed him to advocate.

Sardar Patel had five brothers and one sister. Patel’s wife died in 1908. He had a son and a daughter at that time. He then lived as a widower. Determined to progress in the legal profession, Patel traveled to London in August 1910 to study.

As the home minister, he was the first person to Indianize the Indian Civil Services (ICS) and made them Indian Administrative Services (IAS). Sardar Patel, by reposing faith in the people who served the British, turned them to patriotism. If Sardar Patel had lived a few more years, there would probably have been complete rejuvenation of bureaucracy.

Sardar Patel became the President of the Indian National Congress three times, but three times Mahatma Gandhi intervened and made Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru the President of the Congress. During the Salt Satyagraha in 1930, Patel was jailed for three months.

In March 1931, he chaired the Karachi session of the Indian National Congress. He was again arrested in January 1932. He was released in July 1934 and in the 1937 elections, he organized the organization of the Congress Party.

Patel was arrested along with other Congress leaders in October 1940 and was released in August 1941. Sardar Patel was the prime candidate for the post of President of the Indian National Congress in 1945–1946. But Mahatma Gandhi intervened and made Jawaharlal Nehru the president.

Nehru was invited by the British Viceroy as Congress President to form the Interim Government. Thus, if the events were normal, Sardar Patel would have been the first Prime Minister of India.

Sardar Patel died on 15 December 1950 in Mumbai. Sardar Patel was posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian honor Bharat Ratna in 1991, 41 years after his death, which he should have received long ago. In 2014, the Narendra Modi government of the Center started celebrating Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary (31 October) as ‘National Unity Day’ across the country.

Disclaimer: This article is written with reference from National Media Website, there are no personal views.

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