Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first Home Minister of India and former Deputy Prime Minister, was in news on 31 October 2016. The Iron Man of India came into news on his 141st birth anniversary.
His birth anniversary is celebrated as National Unity Day (Rashtriya Ekta Diwas). The theme for the 2016 Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was Integration of India.
Highlights of Celebrations
• The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the digital exhibition “Uniting India: Sardar Patel” at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
• PM Modi also launched the “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat” initiative, to promote greater awareness among people of various States about one another, hence promoting the spirit of Unity in Diversity. 6 MoUs between two States each were also signed on the occasion, under this initiative.
• Modi flagged off the Run for Unity from Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in the capital.
• Modi also released a stamp to commemorate the anniversary of Sardar Patel.
About Digital Exhibition, Uniting India: Sardar Patel
• The Digital Exhibition has a total of 29 exhibits where a small film on the life of Sardar Patel has been prepared for wider awareness about his unmatched personality.
• The Exhibition has showcased that a total 565 princely states, some of which were ruled by Maharajas and others by Nawabs, started believing they would become independent rulers of their kingdoms as in the pre-British era.
• The exhibition has also showcased the vision of free India which was Sardar Patel's insight, wisdom and diplomacy that drove sense into the minds of the monarchs who agreed accession to the Indian Republic.
• The exhibition also carries a 3D film that depicts that how Sardar Patel handled effectively the integration of the princely states with his diplomatic skills. It also narrates the problem of amalgamating 565 independent states with a democratic self-governing India was difficult and delicate. It show us the efforts of Sardar Patel that through calculated methods, the absorption of a multitude of princely states into the Indian Union. Without a civil war, he secured the solidarity of the nation. The film at the last exhibit showcases the strength of India along with its cultural, social ethos. India is a land of diverse communities.
• This film showcases the achievements of India in various areas like Social Development, Communication, Road Connectivity, Space Technology, Agriculture etc. This film motivates us to fulfill the vision of the Prime Minister by taking positive steps to make Shreshtha Bharat.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
• Born on 31 October 1875, Sardar Patel was an Indian barrister and statesman, one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress
• He was one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India and the architect of modern political India.
• He was a social leader who played a leading role in the country's struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation. He united 565 princely State to be part of India.
• In India and elsewhere, he was often addressed as Sardar, which means Chief in Hindi, Urdu and Persian.
An annual commemoration of Patel, known as the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day), was introduced by the Union Government in 2014 and is to be held annually on his birthday, 31 October.