Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel (31 October 1875 - 15 December 1950), popularly
known as a 'Iron Man of India' was born in an agriculturist family of Kaira
district. He was a imminent Barrister and statesman but gave up his practice for
the sake of his country. He joined the Congress and became an associate of
Mahatma Gandhi. Because of his national view and great love for his country,
which was a sin in the eyes of the English, he had to go to jail several times.
But all these obstacles did not deter him from the path which he had chosen for
Further, His real work began after the Independence of the country when acting
as the Home Minister he brought about 600 states within the Indian Republic. It
was a very difficult task because some of these states were very powerful and
which would not easily give up their individuality. But Sardar Patel tackled the
menace very carefully and both by 'advice' and 'pressure' he brought about the
integration of the Indian states under the Indian government.
As the first Home Minister and Deputy PM of India, He organised relief for
refugees in Punjab and Delhi, and led efforts to restore peace across the
Nation. He took charge of the task to forge a united India from the British
colonial provinces allocated to India and more than five hundred self-governing
princely states. After the rehabilitation of the refugees, another great
'menace' was the 'princely states'. During the time of independence, India was
not one but two: "British India" or a great part of the country under the
British government or sizeable region of the country under the Indian princes
living under the paramountcy of British crown.
However, The Indian Independence Act 1947 completely permitted the Indian states
to decide their prospect. It allowed to join either the Indian Dominion or the
Pakistan Dominion or remain independent. Above provision was a mischievous
design of the British Government to destroy the territorial integrity of India.
If all the princely states had decided to pull in different directions, there
was a possibility of several islands of independent and semi-independent states
within India leading to chaos in the country. But fortunately India had a great
organizer like Patel who by his foresight, statesmanship, and inherent ability
fix the whole menace remarkably.
While the job of reconstructing India - territorially and emotionally - was
immense. Entire nation was going through a period of mayhem. There were forces
at play which wanted a divided nation. The central question for leaders like
Mahatma Gandhi at the time of partition was whether there will be two nations
once British are gone or 565 different nations. At such a time, responsibility
of reconstruction of India fell in the able hands of Iron Man – Sardar
He appealed to the princes to accept this instrument and accede to Indian Union.
Slowly and slowly most of the states were merged in the Indian & the danger of
India's unity and security was removed. Some of these states were merged with
the adjoining provinces, some were grouped into unions, some were allowed to
remain as separate units while others were placed under the control of the
Patel was very much aware that 'you will not have a united India if you do not
have a good all-India Service', therefore before embarking on reorganization of
states, he build confidence in the 'Steel Frame' or the Indian civil services.
Thus, he worked tirelessly to build a consensus with the princely states but did
not hesitate in employing methods of Sama, Dama, Dand and Bhed where ever
necessary. Patel along with his aide VP Menon designed 'Standstill Agreements
and Instrument of Accession' accommodating requests and demands from various
'VP Menon' who ably assisted Sardar Patel in this enormous task writes in The
Story of the integration of the Indian States, 'India is one geographical
entity. Yet, throughout her long and chequered history, she never achieved
political homogeneity. Today, for the first time in the country's history, the
writ of a single central Government runs from Kailasa to Kanyakumari, from
Kathiawar to Kamarupa (the old name of Assam).' Sardar Patel played an
instrumental role in creating this India.
Thus, The different patterns of administration in the princely states were
brought into line with that of the provinces. This policy of integration and
merger united the country into one political framework. Hence, He had not only
steered the nation out of problems at the time of freedom but also contributed
greatly to consolidate the "small princely kingdoms" that wanted to secede from
India after the British had left. Above was the long term vision of patel that
integrated the nation into a single thread by using his diplomacy and
He was very impressed by Mahatma Gandhi's success in the 'Champaran Satyagraha',
wherein he had confronted the British for the sake of oppressed farmers in the
region. In 1927, he organized the 'Bardoli Satyagraha Movement' for the welfare
of the farmers. Sardar Patel achieved great success and won the title 'Sardar'.
In 1931, he was elected as the President of the Karachi Session of the Congress
with astonishing speed to dismantle the history of imperialism and create the
geography of unity with the spirit of nationalism.
On November 13, 1947, Sardar Patel, the then deputy Prime Minister of India,
vowed to rebuild Somnath Temple. Somnath had been destroyed and built several
times in the past and the story of its resurrection from ruins this time would
be symbolic of the story of the resurgence of India. The then President of
India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad speaking at the inaugural ceremony at the temple
said, "It is my view that the reconstruction of the Somnath Temple will be
complete on that day when not only a magnificent edifice will arise on this
foundation, but the mansion of India's prosperity will be really that prosperity
of which the ancient temple of Somnath was a symbol." He added, "The Somnath
temple signifies that the power of reconstruction is always greater than the
power of destruction."
Our history is gratefully witness to the fact that whether some political
ideology gives him recognition or not, the young generation doesn't want to
forget him. Thus, the youngsters across the world are associated with it. As a
result, when the opportunity to serve came before us we commemorated the
contributions made by the 'Iron Man of India' in a featured manner and will
continue with it in every generation.
Statue of Unity
Talking about the Statue of Unity at Kevadiya in Narmada district of Gujarat,
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Dec 14 stated that, "I am told, and am happy
to know, his statue is receiving double the number of visitors (as compared to)
Statue of Liberty in America. Whoever visits India must visit Sardar Patel's
statue and know about his contribution,". The country needs to keep growing "to
meet the growing expectations of people". "India is today the world's fastest
growing economy because of changes (brought about) by central government and
state governments. But we need to keep it fast growing to meet the growing
expectation of people," the vice president mentioned on 14th December 2019.
Significantly, The 'Statue of Unity' the world's tallest statue, the 182 metre
height, it has been successfully completed completed in October 2018, at a cost
of ₹2,989 crore. At 182 metres tall, not just in height, but it also stand tall
for academic, historical, national and spiritual values. The 'Statue of Unity'
has been marked as a India's world tourism development. It is being built not
only to remember India's freedom struggle but also to inculcate Sardar Patel's
visionary ideology and thoughts of unity, patriotism, inclusive growth and the
In other words, It is a symbol of the 'unity of hearts' and the 'geographical
integrity' of our motherland. It is a reminder that divided, we may not be even
able to face ourselves. United, we can face the world and scale new heights of
growth and glory. It symbolizes Patel's impeccable work of uniting the
disintegrated groups of nearly 565 princely states after the independence and
building the Indian State. It stands as a tribute to the extraordinary
administrative skills and bravery shown by the then home minister Patel in
uniting India after the bloody partition. In short, He played a significant role
as the Unifier of country, Great Organiser and India's First Home Minister.
However, There were many who thought that a diverse country like India can never
remain united. They considered our diversity our biggest weakness. But Sardar
Patel converted this into our biggest strength. India is following the path
shown by him and is moving towards becoming the world's greatest economic and
strategic power. It is Patel's efforts that have led our country to what it is
today. Thus, India becomes a worldwide tourist attraction, PM Modi already has
another giant statue of a warrior king in the state of Maharashtra, set to be
ready by 202, it can pave a new way to serve the goal of One India, Noble India,
ultimately providing a great boost to India's tourism development, worldwide.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 15 paid tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai
Patel on his 69th death anniversary, In a tweet, PM Modi stated that, "people
remain eternally inspired by his exceptional service to the nation". "Tributes
to the great Sardar Patel on his punya tithi (death anniversary). We remain
eternally inspired by his exceptional service to our nation,". Meanwhile,
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar and Union Home Minister Amit
Shah also paid tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his death anniversary
On Dec 14, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu stated that history has not done
justice to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the country's first home minister. "Sardar
Patel believed freedom without economic prosperity and social reform would rob
India's independence of its true meaning,". Unfortunately, history has not done
justice to the personality and contribution of this great son of this great
country. But now, fortunately, we are recognising it. He wanted to bridge the
urban-rural divide and he "re-focussed country's attention on rural development"
in line with Mahatma Gandhi's ideal of "Ram Rajya'' (the perfect state), M
Venkaiah Naidu asserted.
Despite all of this, 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. In India and elsewhere, he was often addressed as 'Sardar',
which means Chief in Hindi, Urdu and Persian. Thus, He played a heroic role in
the reconstruction of the Indian civilization, and at a time when PM Narendra
Modi has given a call for 'New India', Patel’s words in a letter to Princely
rulers are more relevant than ever, We are at a momentous stage in the history
of India. His greatest contribution to the unity of Free India, this unique work
the future generations of India will always remain indebted to this iron man. He
was a man of Iron-will and has been rightly called the iron man of India. He
left us on 15th December 1950.
Author: Trilok Singh, Currently Studies Masters in Mass Communication &
Journalism at International School of Media and Entertainment Studies, News 24
Campus. MA in Political Science, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi.
Currently, CEO at Youth Darpan Media, IASmind, & India s Journal. Forthcoming
Media House is Online Media 24.