NEW DELHI: October 31st is annually observed as National Unity Day of the country saying a lot. It reminds us of our commitment to the integration of the nation and also the proverb ‘United we stand and divided we fall. The significance of the day was first realized by Narendra Modi-led Government by announcing Rashtriya Ekta Diwas in recognition of Sardar Patel’s efforts in unifying the princely states, cooperative movements and connecting countrymen during the freedom movement.
Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel popularly known as ‘Sardar Patel’ was born on 31 October 1875 at Nadiad, a city in the state of Gujarat. He breathed his last on 15 December 1950 in Mumbai. The true statesman of the country served as the First Deputy Prime Minister from 1947 to 1950.
The government of India issued a commemorative postal stamp in 2016 on this day depicting his image and a Statue of Unity. Declaring his birth anniversary as National Unity Day in 2014, the Home Ministry said, “This day will be marked as a reminder of the strength of our nation and will highlight the resilience of our country towards dangers posed against our security, unity, and integrity”.
On the day, a pledge is read out in government offices: “I solemnly pledge that I dedicate myself to preserve the unity, integrity and security of the nation and also strive hard to spread this message among my fellow countrymen. I take this pledge in the spirit of unification of my country which was made possible by the vision and actions of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. I also solemnly resolve to make my own contribution to ensure the internal security of my country.
Bharat Ratna Sardar Patel also known as the “Iron Man of India” played a crucial role in integrating as many as 560 princely states into the Union of India. Thanks to his vision and the small initiative taken years ago, India is known as the biggest milk producer in the world today.