Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel also known as the Iron Man of India was an ideal personality. He was fearless, courageous and an intense person who played an integral part in the freedom movement. Today, India celebrates his birthday as we remember and feel proud of the man’s achievements. Sardar Patel was born in Nadiad (Part of Bombay presidency, now part of Gujarat) in a Gurjar farming family. He was the fourth child to Zaverbhai Patel and Ladba Devi.
On his birthday, let’s look at 10 things that made him who he is:
1. Known as the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a lawyer by profession and was given the title of Sardar, meaning chief.
2. He was India’s first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
3. Patel finished his high school at the age of 22. His family thought of him as unambitious and thought he would settle for a common-job.
4. He cleared the state board’s law examination with no formal education and only with borrowed books and notes.
5. When he went to England to further study law, he aced the Barrister-at-law examination in the university.
6. After he returned to India, he started his legal practice in Ahmedabad. He refused high-level white collar jobs by the British on multiple occasions.
7. He contracted the Bubonic Plague when it swept through Gujarat and survived it. The plague killed 12 million people across India and China.
8. During the Congress elections in 1946, he was supported by 13 states out of the sixteen to become their president. He was very popular and could have been India’s first Prime Minister. He stepped down due to Gandhi’s request.
9. He is credited for the political integration of over 500 princely states into Independent India. And therefore, his birthday is celebrated as Rashtriya Ekta Divas.
10. He was posthumously conferred the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off a marathon in New Delhi, called the 'Run for Unity', on his birth anniversary today. More than 20000 people participated in the event.