Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was observed across India on 31 October 2016 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Iron Man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The theme for the 2016 Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was Integration of India.
The decision to observe 31 October as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Integration Day was taken by the Union Government to reiterate India’s strength and buoyancy against adversaries.
Events organised on 2016 Rashtriya Ekta Diwas
• On the occasion, floral tributes were paid to Sardar Patel across the country.
• It was followed by ‘Run for Unity’ involving people from all sections of society to be organised from the National Stadium to the C-hexagon of India Gate.
• A Run for Unity was also organised at the State/District Headquarters involving people from all sections of society.
• All the Government Offices, Public Sector Undertakings and other Public Institutions arranged a pledge taking ceremony to observe the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.
• A March Past was also organised in the evening by the police and other agencies.
About Vallabhbhai Patel
• Vallabhbhai Patel was born on 31 October 1875 at Karamsand in Gujarat.
• He was barrister who studied in London and practiced in Godhra, Borsad and Anand places of Gujarat.
• He played a key leadership role in organising peasant movements in Kheda, Borsad and Bardoli in Gujarat and promoted the Quit India Movement against the British Raj.
• He joined the Indian National Movement under Mahatma Gandhi and grew up to become one of its tallest leaders.
• He was the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India.
• He is credited for the integration of over 500 independent princely states in 1947-49 from the British colonial provinces by Independence Act 1947.
• He is known as the Iron Man of India and Bismarck of India. He is also remembered as the Patron Saint of India's civil servants for establishing modern all-India services.