This is a story of a great soul who helped India during the time of difficulties without getting the supreme post [Prime Minister or President] and also of the real feeling of unity and integrity of India and Indians. This great soul was known for his diplomacy, shrewdness a love for the nation in true sense, an ironman of the nation, freedom fighter, true and great follower and devotee of Mahatma Gandhi and also one of the founding father of the Indian Constitution Therefore this great soul was regarded as Indian Bismarck. This great soul was Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
Sardar Vallabhai Patel was born to a family of peasant proprietors on 31st October 1875 in a small town near Surat. He took the unusual step in that family of studying law and going to England from 1910 to 1913. He returned to Ahemdabad where he soon became prominent and was elected to the Municipal Council in 1917. He served as its Chairman from 1924 to 1928 and worked hard to improve the civic and health amenities of the city. By this time he had joined the Indian National Congress where his organizational skills were at a premium.
Patel organized a satyagraha of peasants in 1918 to obtain an exemption of land tax from the government in years when the crop failed. This attracted the notice of Gandhiji. By 1922 Patel’s political and constructive work in Gandhian sense had supplanted his legal practice in importance. He led a mass movement in 1928 against raising assessments of land revenue; thereafter he was known as the Sardar and was addressed as such by Gandhiji and others. Patel was a key player in the Civil Disobedience Movement launched by Gandhiji in 1930 and served as President of Indian National Congress in 1931. He was arrested in January 1932 to May 1932 and again from 1942 to 1945.
When India got its independence on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India and Sardar Patel was the Home Minster in Nehru’s Cabinet.
As a Home Mister Patelji controlled the Congress Party machine better than anyone else before or since his time. He also won the administration and loyalty of civil services as he ensured a smooth transition of administration from Indian Civil Service to the Indian Administrative Service and allied central services of the newly independent Union. His unequivocal objective of building a strong and united India and the example he set of administering it with courage, justice, correctness and practically continue to be recalled at the present time. Patel’s cool courage averted the danger of possible breakdown in civil order at the time of Gandhiji’s assassination on 30th January 1948.
Undoubtedly, one of Patelji’s greatest achievement was bringing into the Indian Union five hundred and sixty two Princely States with a variety of administrative system and 80 million people scattered around the subcontinent. With only three exceptions, this integration process was completed smoothly, through the exercise of shrewd and practical diplomacy. These cases of Junagarh, Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir were complicated by the conduct of the rulers and the enticements offered or interventions made Pakistan. Patel ordered a referendum in Junagarh and a police action in Hyderabad, which resulted in the full integration of those two states. Patel reluctantly acquiesced when the Indian government submitted the issue of Kashmir to the United Nations; his method of dealing with the quandary posed by Pakistan’s military action in 1947 to 1948 remains a matter of a speculation.
Vallabhai Patel left the world on 15th December 1950 but he and his achievements and selfless duties will be remember by the Indians of all the generations.
On 31st October 2014 the statue of Sardar Patel was built in Gujarat on the occasion of his birth anniversary. This statue is also regarded as statue of Unity. This statue is the tallest statue in the world with the length of 182 m.