National Unity Day, also known as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, is a significant annual event celebrated in India on the 31st of October. This day is dedicated to commemorating the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a prominent figure in India's history known as the "Unifier of India." Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel played a pivotal role in uniting India's 565 princely states and served as the nation's first Deputy Prime Minister.
In a country as diverse as India, unity among its people is of paramount importance. During a time when many princely states were fragmented, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel championed the vision of a united India. National Unity Day serves as a reminder of the struggles and sacrifices made by Patel and other activists to unify the nation. It reaffirms solidarity, fosters the spirit of "unity in diversity," and emphasizes the importance of maintaining national integrity.
Born on the 31st of October in 1875 in Gujarat, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel posthumously received India's highest civilian honor, the 'Bharat Ratna,' in 1991. He earned the titles "Iron Man of India" and the "Unifier of India" for his tireless efforts in integrating the nation. Interestingly, the title 'Sardar' or 'Chief' was affectionately bestowed upon him by the women of Bardoli. He served as the first Deputy Prime Minister and later as the Home Minister of Independent India. To honor his contributions, the iconic Statue of Unity was erected in Gujarat, a colossal monument dedicated to this great statesman.
Each year, the government announces a unique theme for National Unity Day, shaping the focus of the various events, talks, discussions, and campaigns associated with the celebration. This year’s theme has not been announced yet.
National Unity Day was officially introduced in 2014 by the Indian Government to honor the legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Patel was a staunch advocate of a united and strong India, and his life's work reflected this dedication. The government's decision to designate his birthday as National Unity Day underscores the importance of his contributions.
On the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the magnificent Statue of Unity, located near the Narmada River in Gujarat. Patel's famous slogan, "Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat" (One India, Supreme India), continues to inspire the nation.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, renowned as the "Iron Man of India," was not only a freedom fighter but also a visionary leader. Born on October 31, 1875, in Gujarat, Patel was a dedicated lawyer who stood for justice, equality, and unity. His contributions extended to the framing of the Indian Constitution, as he served as a key member of the Constituent Assembly and chaired the committee responsible for drafting the Constitution.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel believed fervently in the unity of India's diverse communities. After independence, he faced the challenging task of integrating the princely states into the Indian Union. His diplomatic skills and statesmanship played a pivotal role in convincing these states to join, thereby ensuring the nation's territorial integrity. Patel's unwavering efforts laid the foundation for a united and harmonious India.
National Unity Day provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the remarkable life and enduring legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It is a time to reflect on his immense contributions and to inspire future generations to uphold the values of unity and integrity. Educational institutions and organizations play a crucial role in organizing events and activities that highlight Patel's achievements, including speeches, debates, and cultural programs.
As we approach National Unity Day 2023, let us join together to honor Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and his monumental role in shaping modern India while celebrating the unity and diversity that define our great nation.