Published on: December 15, 2021
December 15 marks the death anniversary of the great “unifier of the nation”, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel
- Born in Nadiad, Gujarat.
- His father had fought in the Mutiny under the Rani of Jhansi and was subsequently taken prisoner by Malhar Rao Holkar.
- Patel subsequently organised peasants from Kheda, Borsad, and Bardoli in Gujarat in non-violent civil disobedience against the British Raj, becoming one of the most influential leaders in Gujarat.
Role in Indian National Movement
- In 1917 – elected as the Secretary of the Gujarat Sabha ( Gujarat wing of the Indian National Congress )
- In 1918 – led a massive “No Tax Campaign” that urged the farmers not to pay taxes after the British insisted on tax after the floods in Kaira.
- Efforts to bring together the farmers of his area brought him the title of ‘Sardar’.
- Actively supported the non-cooperation Movement launched by Gandhi.
- Led the Salt Satyagraha movement across Gujarat when Gandhi was under imprisonment, upon request from the congress members.
- Freed in 1931 following Gandhi-Irwin Pact.
- In the 1942 Quit India Movement, Patel continued his unwavering support to Gandhi when several contemporary leaders criticized the latter’s decision.
Contributions to Post-independence India
- First Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
- Played a very crucial role in post-independence India by successfully integrating around 562 princely states under the Indian Dominion.
- Was successful in integrating all of them barring Jammu and Kashmir, Junagarh and Hyderabad.
- Key force in establishing the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service.
- Dealt with the Pakistan’s efforts to invade Kashmir in September 1947.
- Organized multiple refugee camps in Punjab and Delhi, and later in West Bengal.