Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Vallabhai Patel from Gujarat is a barrister, statesman, and prominent member who played a key role in India’s freedom struggle. He is popularly known as the Iron Man of India. He was the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India. never thought of taking active participation in the freedom struggle, but when he met Gandhi in 1917, he changed his views, left his law practice, and seriously participated in India’s freedom struggle.
Early life and childhood
He was born in a middle-class agricultural family background in 1875 at Nadiad. His father took an active part in the Mutiny of 1857 in the army of Rani Lakshmi of Jhansi. At the age of 16, he was married to Jhavarbh. At the age of 22, he completed his matriculation from high school in Nadia. He borrowed law books and passed the district’s pleader’s examination. He started his practice in Godhra in 1990. Patel was blessed with 2 children, a boy and a girl. He became a capable lawyer with his hard work and dedication. He saved enough money to go to England to study law. He didn’t marry again when his wife died. At the age of 36, with his hard work and dedication, he completed his law and also secured a top place in Roman law.
Role in the Indian National Movement
He joined the Indian National Congress and helped in Gandhi’s campaigns. There was a famine and an epidemic in the Kheda district. Despite crop failures, the British government refused to exempt land revenue. He strived hard to get a tax exemption. He motivated many farmers to revolt against the government without violence by not paying taxes. Farmers’ efforts paid off and the government was forced to exempt the taxes.
His whole family participated in the Non Cooperation movement in 1920, boycotted all foreign goods, and burned western attire on bonfires. He started wearing Khadi attire. As the president of the municipal committee, he implemented several sanitation, water supply, administrative, and town planning programs. He also worked towards several social reforms, including the prohibition of untouchability, casteism, alcoholism, etc.
Satyagrahas were undertaken all over Gujarat to express solidarity and sympathy with the Bardoli farmers. Then he negotiated with the British. The administration returned the seized lands and the implementation of increased taxes was deferred. He was named as sardar, or chief, by the farmers of Bardoli satyagraha on their success.
- After Gandhi’s assassination in 1948, he suffered a heart attack and shifted to Bombay when his health deteriorated. He had a second heart attack and died on December 15, 1950.
- The Sardar Patel National Memorial was opened at Moti Shahi Mahal, Ahmedabad, in 1980. Sardar Sarovar Dam (Gujarat) was dedicated to him as Sardar Sarovar. Several institutions were named after him.
- He was posthumously awarded India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, in 1991.
- The government declared October 31st as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, or National Unity Day, was announced by the government in 2014.
- The world’s tallest statue, the 182-metre (597 feet) tall Statue of Unity, was dedicated to him on October 31, 2018. It is approximately 3.2 km away from Sadhu Bet, near Vadodara, Gujarat.
- Date of Birth: 31 October 1875
- Place of Birth: Nadiad, Bombay Presidency (present day Gujarat)
- Parents: Zaverbhai Patel (father) and Ladbai Patel (mother).
- Spouse: Jhaverba
- Children: Maniben Patel, Dahyabhai Patel,
- Education: N. K. High School, Petlad; Inns of Court, London, England.
- Association: Indian National Congress
- Movement: Indian Independence Struggle
- Political Ideology: Moderate, Right-wing
- Religious Beliefs: Hinduism
- Publications: Ideas of a Nation: Vallabhai Patel, The Collected Works of Vallabhbhai Patel, 15 volumes
- Passed Away: December 15, 1950.
- Memorial: SardarVallabhbhai Patel National Memorial, Ahmedabad, Gujarat