Born as Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel, Sardar Patel came into this world on October 31, 1875, in Nadiad, Gujarat. Known as the ‘Iron-Man of India’, he played a major role in India’s freedom struggle. He was responsible to bring the 562 princely states into the fold of the Union of India.
To recognize his efforts as a freedom fighter and pay tribute to his contributions, the government of India announced his birth anniversary as National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas in 2014. The day is celebrated all across India to remember the unsung hero and his life in uniting the nation as one.
Sardar Patel had worked tirelessly to bring an end to imperialism and promote unity with the spirit of nationalism. He managed to serve as a political leader in the Indian National Congress for quite some time and was appointed the first Deputy Prime Minister of India for three years following India’s independence in 1947. He was also appointed as the Home Minister, minister of states, and minister of information.
On the occasion of his 146th birth anniversary, let us walk you through his life history and his contribution and achievements as an excellent statesman.
Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Timeline
- Sardar Patel had five siblings and he was born to Jhaverbhai Patel and Ladba in 1875.
- He completed his matriculation at the age of 22.
- He enrolled in schools at Nadiad, Petlad, and Borsad and went on to study law in England where he completed his exams within two years.
- He got married to Jhaverba and had two kids, a daughter, Maniben in 1903, and a son, Dahyabhai in 1905.
- He got settled in Godhra where he was called at the bar.
- In the year 1917, he gave a speech asking people to sign the petition for Swaraj or self-rule by Gandhi.
- After his meeting with Gandhiji in 1917, he made up his mind to participate in the freedom struggle of India.
- He visited the villages of Gujarat and asked the peasants to refuse to pay taxes. He was also a staunch supporter of Gandhi’s civil disobedience movement.
- He worked tirelessly towards casteism, untouchability, and women empowerment in Gujarat.
- He served as the municipal President of Ahmedabad in 1922 during which he worked minutely on the Hindu-Muslim issues.
- He actively participated and provided relief during the 1927 Kheda District torrential rains.
- He led the Satyagraha movement in Nagpur in 1923, after Gandhi’s arrest.
- Patel was first referred to as ‘Sardar’ by the women, after the victory of the Indian National Congress in Bardoli.
- He passed the resolution of ‘Fundamental Rights and Economic Policy in the year 1931.
- Patel was arrested during the Dandi March of Mahatma Gandhi. This intensified the movement.
- In 1938, he opposed President, Subhash Chandra Bose’s action in refusing the civil disobedience rule, which made Bose file resignation later on.
- Patel was arrested in the year 1940 for nine months.
- He created the country’s All India Services, calling it the country’s ‘steel frame’ and thus was called the father of modern All India Services.
- Patel was so fond of Gandhi that he was the last person to converse with him minutes before his assassination.
- He was awarded honorary doctorates of law by various universities including Banaras Hindu University, Nagpur University, University of Allahabad, Osmania University, and Punjab University.
- He made a cover page appearance on Time magazine in the year 1947.
- In the year 1949, he was involved in a flight mishap, where he was traveling from Delhi to Jaipur along with his daughter and the Maharaja of Patiala. The flight crashed due to fuel insufficiency and everyone was safely evacuated.
- He never got married again after losing his wife Jhaverba at the age of just 33.
- Patel died of a massive heart attack which was his second attack, in the year 1950 at the Birla House in Mumbai.
- To pay tribute to Patel, Nehru declared a week-long mourning in the country.
- There is a national memorial by his name, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel National Memorial in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
- His statue of unity unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was built at the cost of Rs 2989 Cr.
- He was honored with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, posthumously in the year 1991.