Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

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Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, full name Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel, also known as Sardar Patel (Hindi: “Leader Patel”), was an Indian lawyer and statesman who served as one of the INC’s top figures during the fight for Indian independence. He was born on October 31, 1875, in Nadiad, Gujarat, and passed away on December 15, 1950, in Bombay (now Mumbai). He held the positions of deputy prime minister, minister of home affairs, minister of information, and minister of states for the first three years following India’s declaration of independence in 1947.

Early Political Career

  • He embraced Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership after being deeply moved by the daring example he set in putting social injustices right. He won his first election to the position of Ahmedabad’s Sanitation Commissioner in 1917.
  • He served as Chairman of the Municipal Committee from 1924 to 1928. During his time with the Municipal administration, he contributed significantly to the betterment of municipal life. Improvements were made to the water supply, sanitation, and urban planning, and the Municipality evolved from being a merely auxiliary to British control into a populous organisation with its own agenda.
  • Additionally, there were tragedies like the plague in 1917 and the famine in 1918, and on both instances, Vallabhbhai made significant contributions to alleviate suffering. He was chosen as the Secretary of the Gujarat Sabha in 1917, a political organisation that helped Gandhiji tremendously in his efforts.
  • The Kheda Satyagraha, which was started in 1918 to obtain exemption from paying the land revenue assessment since the crops had failed, brought the association with Mahatma Gandhi closer.
  • Before assistance was obtained from a reluctant Colonial Government, three months of intense lobbying were required, during which time there were many arrests, seizures of commodities, chattels, and animals, as well as many acts of official cruelty.
  • Gandhiji claimed that “this campaign would not have been carried out so successfully” without Vallabhbhai’s assistance. India had years of popular upheaval from 1917 to 1922. The Rowlatt Act and more restrictions on personal freedom came after the war.
  • The Khilafat movement was then followed by atrocities and terror in the Punjab. Gandhiji and the Congress chose not to collaborate. Vallabhbhai permanently ended his medical career and dedicated himself to political and constructive activities, visiting villages, giving speeches, and planning pickets of international clothing stores and liquor stores.
  • Gandhiji claimed that “this campaign would not have been carried out so successfully” without Vallabhbhai’s assistance. India had years of popular upheaval from 1917 to 1922. The Rowlatt Act and more restrictions on personal freedom came after the war.
  • Atrocities and terror in the Punjab then followed the Khilafat movement. Gandhiji and the Congress decided against cooperating.
  • In order to devote himself to political and positive endeavours, Vallabhbhai permanently abandoned his medical practise. He visited communities, delivered lectures, and organised pickets at foreign apparel and booze businesses.
  • The agriculturists of the taluka agreed to delay payment of land revenue during a conference on February 12, 1928, led by Vallabhbhai Patel, after trying unsuccessfully to obtain redress through other channels.
  • The conflict was bleak and bitter. People were forced to confine themselves and their buffaloes for days on end due to widespread livestock and property raids. Arrests were made, and then the police and hired Pathans began to act brutally.
  • The nation as a whole was drawn into the conflict. Talatis and Patels quit their employment.
  • Unrealized government income still exist. Ultimately, the Government had to submit to public pressure; a probe was launched to determine the legitimacy of the hike, and the receipt of the additional money was delayed.
  • It was a victory for the 80,000 Bardoli peasants as well as Vallabhbhai personally, who received the title of “Sardar” from the country.

The ‘Iron Man’ of India

  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first home minister and first deputy prime minister, passed away today, 67 years ago, at the age of 75
  • Patel, also known as the “Iron Man” of India, played a crucial role in bringing the nation together by merging several minor princely republics. 

Win by one vote

  • Sardar was initially elected as a councillor for the Ahmedabad municipality on January 5, 1917.
  • At the time, he ran for the Dariyapur seat and won by by one vote. Sardar was chosen to lead the Ahmedabad municipality in 1924.

Setting up health labs

·    In 1921, India only had two public health laboratories, one each in Pune and Karachi.

·   Sardar believed there should be additional facilities like these that could monitor illness outbreaks as well as the quality of food and drinking water supplies.

·  The Dudheshwar Waterworks facility in Shahibaugh is where the third lab was established.

Corruption charges against Patel

· Sardar Patel turned to Jinnah for assistance when charges of corruption were brought against him and 18 other council members in the Ahmedabad municipality.

· A case of “misrepresentation of monies” in the amount of Rs. 1.68 lakh was filed at Ahmedabad District Court on April 28, 1922. (ADC).

· Sardar argued the case in ADC and won. But in 1923, he was brought before the Bombay High Court. Sardar Patel was successfully represented by a team of attorneys under Jinnah’s leadership.

First Gujarati typewriter

·  In 1924, Sardar ordered the first Gujarati typewriter to be assembled. In order to build the first typewriter in Gujarati, the Ahmedabad municipality approached Remington Company and offered it Rs 4,000.

Instrumental in removing “sexual disqualification” in elections

·  The district municipal Act’s “sexual disqualification” was initially proposed for removal by Sardar. Section 15(1) of this Act prohibited women from running in elections (C).

·  On February 13, 1913, the Ahmedabad Municipality General Board adopted a decision in this regard. Sardar had stated that excluding women from the elected assembly was the same as not having half of the urban population represented.

Construction of hospital

·   After asking the Nagarsheths Vadilal Sarabhai and Chunilal Chinoy for assistance in the construction of the VS Hospital, Sardar wrote to the provincial government in April 1927 requesting a grant of between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh. Patel had previously advocated for local oversight of the city civil hospital.

·   However, this suggestion was turned down. At that time, a 21-acre tract was set aside for the construction of a new hospital thanks to contributions from Vadilal Sarabhai and Chunilal Chinoy.

No name for profit

·  Sardar Patel was opposed to anyone utilising his name for financial advantage, including his own family.

· Sardar was so stringent about this that he once instructed his son Dahyabhai to avoid Delhi at all costs while he (Sardar) was present in the nation’s capital.

· “Keep your name to yourself. Don’t ask for any favours in Delhi using my name. Stay as far away from it as you can until I’m in Delhi, “To his son, Sardar had written.

Against building statues and memorials

·   Sardar Patel was adamantly opposed to erecting monuments and statues. If he were still living today, he would have objected to the state government’s plan to build a sculpture of the Iron Man costing Rs. 3,000 crore at Kevadiya, not far from the Narmada dam.

·  When finished, the “Statue of Unity” will be the tallest building of its sort in the world.

 Role in Indian National Movement

  • Around this period, the nation’s political climate was on the verge of collapse. The British Government was seeking to quiet the voice of freedom and was doing everything they could to maintain their control, whereas the Congress had accepted its aim of Purna Swaraj for the nation.
  • Gandhiji launched the well-known Salt Satyagraha after the Simon Commission boycott.
  • Despite not having broken the Salt Law, Vallabhbhai Patel was the first national leader to be detained. In reality, he was detained on March 7, 1930, a few days before Gandhiji began his march to Dandi. In June, he was released.
  • At that point, Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru, and other leaders were imprisoned, and the nation’s struggle was intensifying. A few months later, Vallabhbhai was back behind bars.
  • The 46th session of the Indian National Congress, which was called to ratify the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, which had just been completed, was presided over by Vallabhbhai in March 1931.
  • The mission was challenging since Bhagat Singh and a few others had been killed the day the Congress session began, and the younger portions of the delegation, as well as Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose, were upset about the Pact’s stipulations.
  • But the Pact was finally approved by the Congress with a unanimous vote. Political prisoners were freed, civil disobedience was put on hold, and the Congress consented to attend the Round Table Conference.
  • Round Table Conference was unsuccessful. A repressive approach was implemented when Gandhiji and other prominent leaders were detained.
  • Gandhiji and Vallabhbhai Patel shared a cell in Yeravada Jail from January 1932 to May 1933, spending the entire time there together.
  • The following year was spent by Vallabhbhai in the Nasik Jail. Despite largely opposing the Government of India Act of 1935, the Congress chose to test out those of its constitutional provisions that appeared to allow Indians some degree of self-government and to participate in the elections for Provincial legislatures that were planned under the Act.
  • Majorities in the Congress were re-elected and Congress Ministries were established in seven of the eleven Provinces. As Chairman of the Congress Parliamentary Sub-Committee, Vallabhbhai Patel oversaw and directed the operations of these Ministries.
  • But not for long, as on September 3, 1939, when Britain declared war on Germany, the Viceroy unilaterally declared India to be a British ally without consulting either the Central or Provincial Legislatures. Congress Ministries quit because they could not accept this stance.
  • Gandhiji began Individual Civil Disobedience in opposition to India’s involvement in the conflict, and the Congress leaders started to court arrest.
  • On November 17, 1940, Vallabhbhai Patel was taken into custody. On August 20, 1941, he was freed for health reasons.
  • After the infamous Quit India resolution was passed in Bombay on August 8, 1942, Vallabhbhai and the other Working Committee members were detained in the Ahmednagar Fort while Gandhiji, Kasturba, and Mahadev Desai were held in the Aga Khan’s Palace. On August 9, 1942, Vallabhbhai was arrested along with the other Working Committee members.
  • This time, the Sardar spent roughly three years in prison. Vallabhbhai Patel was one of the main Congress negotiators when, after the war, the Congress leaders were set free and the British Government chose to find a peaceful constitutional solution to the issue of India’s Independence.

1928 – Earning the title ‘Sardar’

  • In the Indian Independence Movement, the Bardoli Satyagraha in Gujarat is seen as a pivotal instance of civil disobedience and uprising.
  • Farmers in the area were having serious financial issues as a result of years of famines and floods. The Bombay Presidency Governor was requested to increase their taxes by 30% notwithstanding their petitions and appeals for a reduction.
  • The farmers now pleaded with Vallabhbhai Patel to lead them in a revolt since they were left with almost nothing to feed themselves and their family after taxes.
  • Patel first emphasised to them that failing to pay taxes could result in the confiscation of their farms and property and a jail sentence.
  • As Patel led them, the farmers of Bardoli Taduka gathered together, anticipating the worst, and prepared to combat the government’s injustice using only nonviolent means. The British Raj vowed to put down the uprising as the locals stopped paying their taxes.
  • The government quickly started auctioning off farms and homes after sending in collectors to scare and forcefully confiscate property from the peasants. However, no individual from Gujarat or anyplace else in India came to purchase the estates.
  • One town did defy the unification and pay taxes; as a result, they were shunned. Even if the confiscated properties were purchased, the labour to work them would no longer be available.
  • The Raj was forced to accept the requirements of the farmers when Indian government officials in Bombay and around India began to resign from their positions and showed open support for the farmers.

1940 – World War 2 and Quit India Movement

  • Sardar Patel urged the movement to get underway as soon as possible because he was convinced that the British would abandon India just as they had Singapore and Burma.
  • He supported an all-out insurrection that would inspire the Indian populace because he was aware that the British were not in a hurry to leave India.
  • He stated that such a rebellion would hasten the transfer of power to Indians by forcing the British to admit that they can no longer maintain colonial authority in India.
  • Between 1930 and 1945, Sardar Patel was detained about ten times as a result of his opinions and deeds.
  • Every time he was freed, sometimes in poor health, he addressed throngs of people in India, urging his people to engage in civil disobedience, large-scale rallies, and a closure of all civil services while also refusing to pay taxes.

Contribution to Congress Party

  • While Gandhiji provided the Congress with a plan for widespread action, it was Vallabhbhai who established the Party apparatus to carry out that plan.
  • No one had adequately considered the necessity for an effective organisation before to him, but during his campaigns, Vallabhbhai became aware of this need and committed his organisational skills and energy to bolstering the Party’s power so that it could now fight in an organised and successful manner.
  • He had full control over the Party organisation. Thus, Vallabhbhai Patel was a key architect and defender of India’s independence, and his role to solidifying that independence is still unmatched.

Role After Partition

·  With remarkable bravery and foresight, he resolved the partition-related issues, established law and order, and handled the rehabilitation of thousands of refugees.

·  In order to give our new democracy a firm administrative foundation, he reorganised our Services, which had become depleted with the departure of the British. He also created a new Indian Administrative Service.

Contributions in Post-Independence India

  • He handled the rehabilitation of thousands of refugees, created law and order, and did it with extraordinary daring and foresight.
  • He reorganised our Services, which had become impoverished with the departure of the British, in order to provide our new democracy with a strong administrative base. A new Indian Administrative Service was also established by him.
  • The United States’ integration could be considered Vallabhbhai Patel’s greatest accomplishment. But it’s possible that this wasn’t accomplished swiftly and simply for him.
  • He oversaw efforts to restore order and peace to a nation decimated by sectarian warfare unmatched in its history as Minister of Home Affairs. With the merciless efficiency of a brilliant administrator, he completed this assignment.

1947 – The Political Integration of India

  • In the region they had conquered for nearly 200 years, the British left behind India, Pakistan, and more than 562 princely kingdoms.
  • All princely states had the choice of affiliating with India, Pakistan, or keeping their independence.
  • While the majority of states, including Bikaner and Baroda, took their time to join the Indian Union. While Manipur and Kashmir were undecided for months, Junagadh—now in Gujarat—acquired Pakistan.
  • The heart of India’s Hyderabad State (present-day Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra) sought to declare independence after Travancore (now in Kerala) did so.
  • 559 of the 562 princely nations were persuaded to join the Union of India by Sardar Patel.
  • He accomplished this feat with pure persuasion and statesmanship—a magnificent feat accomplished without any violence and without precedent in recorded history.
  • Only three states, Hyderabad, Jammu & Kashmir, and Junagadh, refused to join the Union of India.

Statue of Unity

  • The Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in the world, is a deserving monument to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, known as the Iron Man of India.
  • The impressive statue is perched atop Sadhu Bet Island on the Narmada River, overlooking the Sardar Sarovar Dam. With a height of 182 m, the monument towers far beyond China’s Spring Buddha Temple (153 m).
  • Interesting fact: On his 143rd birthday, the man who unified India received the enormous monument as a present.

History of the Statue of Unity

  • On October 7, 2010, Shri Narendra Modi unveiled the project as he prepared to begin his tenth year as Gujarat’s chief minister. To carry out the project, the Gujarati government built a special purpose vehicle.
  • The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust was given to the vehicle (SVPRET). Additionally, a campaign to promote the project’s development was launched by the Statue of Unity Movement.
  • Mr. Modi lay the state’s cornerstone on October 31st, 2013. On December 15, 2013, a marathon with the slogan “Run for Unity” was also held in support of the initiative.
  • After that, on October 27, 2014, Larsen & Toubro received the project. The statue’s construction got under way on October 31st, 2014. In the end, the building was finished in the middle of October 2018.

Interesting Facts

  • Farmers who donated their old farming equipment provided the iron that was utilised to build the statue.
  • 109 metric tonnes of the 135 metric tonnes of gathered scarp iron were used to build the foundation.
  • Ram V. Sutar, an Indian sculptor, presented the Statue of Unity’s design. After researching several Patel statues found throughout India, a group of historians, academics, and artists came to an agreement on the design.
  • Over 250 engineers and 3000 artisans put forth tremendous effort to create the statue that we see today.
  • The exterior façade is covered in 1850 tonnes of bronze cladding and 1700 tonnes of bronze plates.
  • A larger version of the statue is present at Ahmedabad International Airport. Three prototypes of the design were initially made.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel FAQs

Q1 From Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, what can we learn?

A1 Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel demonstrated the process. We should learn how to become stronger through time and how to constantly remain a unit. Sardar Patel accomplished the noble deed of reunifying India after partition by drawing on Kautilya’s knowledge and Shivaji Maharaj’s valour.

Q2 Who is the Indian leader referred to as the Iron Man?

A2 The Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is the nation’s head of state.

Q3 What traits do you admire most about Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel?

A3 The passion for the country, leadership abilities, simplicity, honesty, integrity, down-to-earth personality, practical approach to handling complex problems, worldly wisdom, discipline, and organising skills are just a few of Sardar Patel’s many admirable traits that will always serve as an inspiration.

Q4 Who is the world’s Iron Man?

A4 The Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is a well-known figure.

Q5 Who was Sardar in his personal life?

A5 He was an Indian barrister, and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress who played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation.

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