Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, fondly remembered as the Iron Man of India, played an important role in freeing the country from the clutches of the British government.
Vallabh Bhai Patel was given the title of Sardar because of the outstanding leadership qualities he portrayed. He led various movements and united people for common cause.
Patel was deeply influenced by the Gandhian ideologies and followed the path of non-violence. He supported various freedom movements including the Non-Cooperation Movement, Satyagrah Movement and Civil Disobedience Movement. He did not only participate in these movements but also brought large number of people together to participate in the same.
He was a born leader and his dedication towards what he believed strongly was quite evident. These qualities helped him acquire the position of the Secretary of the Gujarat wing of the Indian National Congress in the year 1917.
Unhappy with the tyranny of the British, he led a No Tax Campaign against the government. He asked the farmers not to pay taxes as the government demanded taxes from them post the Kaira floods.
The British government finally returned the farmers’ land it had seized. The successful completion of this movement also gave him the title of Sardar.
While everyone in Vallabh Bhai Patel’s family and friend’s circle regarded him as an unambitious child, he secretly nurtured the dream of becoming a barrister. After completing his matriculation, he furthered his dream by studying law. He stayed away from his family and studied dedicatedly to achieve his goal. Patel soon became a lawyer and began practicing law.
However, this was not it. He wanted to climb up the ladder of success. He had plans to travel to England and study law further to become a barrister. Everything went as per plan and his papers arrived. However, Patel’s elder brother somehow convinced him to let him go for further studies instead. The two had same initials and hence his brother could use the same documents to travel and study in England. Patel could not deny his brother’s request and allowed him to go in his place.
He continued to practice law in the country and applied for the course in London yet again and finally went to chase his dream at the age of 36. It was a 36 months long course but Patel completed it within 30 months. He topped in his class and returned to India as a barrister. It was a moment of pride for him and his family. He settled in Ahmadabad after his return and practiced law in the city. He became one of the most successful barristers in Ahmadabad. Patel wanted to earn good for his family as he wished to provide top class education to his children. He continually worked in this direction.
His aura was so strong that he was able to unite the people against the common cause without much bloodshed. This is the reason why he came to be known as the Iron Man of India.
He was a strong contender for the post of first Prime Minister of the Independent India. However, on Gandhiji’s request he left his candidacy for the post giving way to Jawahar Lal Nehru to hold the position. However, Patel was never happy with the way Nehru was handling his responsibility as a Prime Minister. It is said that on the day of Gandhiji’s assassination, Patel met him in the evening.
He went to Gandhiji to discuss how he was dissatisfied with Nehru’s ways of handling things. He even told Gandhiji that he would resign from his post as the Deputy Prime Minister if Nehru did not mend his ways. However, Gandhiji convinced Patel otherwise and asked him to promise that he wouldn’t take any such decision. It was their last meeting but Patel kept the promise given to Gandhiji.
The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi inaugurated a colossal statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat on 31st October 2018. It is named the “Statue of Unity” and is located on a river island facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam, 100 Kms southeast of Vadodara.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a man of distinguished resolve and determination. He also had a foresight which is only a trait of good political leaders. Without his contributions, the India that we have today would have been a distant dream.
Some of the famous positive attitude quotes by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel:
- Manpower without unity is not a strength unless it is harmonized and united properly then it becomes a spiritual power.
- My only desire is that India should be a good producer and no one should be hungry, shedding tears for food in the country.
- It is the prime responsibility of every citizen to feel that his country is free and to defend its freedom is his duty. Every Indian should now forget that he is a Rajput, a Sikh or a Jat. He must remember that he is an Indian and he has every right in his country but with certain duties.
- A war based Satyagraha is always of two kinds. One is the war we wage against injustice and the other we fight against our own weakness.
- The main task before India today is to consolidate herself into a well-knit and united power.
- The negligence of a few could easily send a ship to the bottom but if it has the wholehearted co-operation of all on board, it can be safely brought to port.
- There is something unique in this soil, which despite many obstacles has always remained the abode of great souls.
- It is my nature to be a friend of the friendless.
- Faith is of no avail in absence of strength, both are essential to accomplish any great work.
- Even if we lose the wealth of thousands and our life is sacrificed, we should keep smiling and be cheerful keeping our faith in God and Truth.