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THIS DAY IN HISTORY

31 - October - 1875

Sardar Vallabhbhai Zaverbhai Patel, 'Iron man of India', was born at Nadiad, Gujarat.

  • Sardar Patel was born Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel in 1875, at Nadiad, Gujarat, British India, in a middle-class agricultural family of Lewa Patidar community.
  • In 1917, Patel was elected the sanitation commissioner of Ahmedabad.
  • Patel motivated the people of Borsad in September 1917 to join Gandhi’s demand for independence. Patel joined the Indian National Congress’ Gujarat Sabha as secretary and helped in Gandhi’s campaigns.
  • Kheda district faced a plague epidemic in 1917, followed by a famine in 1918. Despite crop failures, the British government refused to exempt the land revenue. Patel led the agitation of the farmers and Zamindars to get tax exemption.
  • In 1920, Patel was elected President of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (the post he served till 1945). Leaving his successful legal practice, he joined Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920.
  • In 1923, while Gandhi was in prison, Patel led the Satyagraha Movement in Nagpur, when the British banned hoisting of Indian flag. He succeeded in obtaining the consent to hoist the flag publicly, and also got the prisoners released (arrested for hoisting the flag).
  • From 1924-1928, Patel was chosen the President of the municipal committee of Ahmedabad. During these years, he implemented several sanitation, water supply, administration and town planning programs.
  • Patel was the first Deputy Prime Minister and the first Home Minister of Independent India.
  • He led the task of forging a united India, successfully integrating into the newly independent nation those British colonial provinces that had been "allocated" to India.
  • Besides those provinces that had been under direct British rule, approximately 565 self-governing princely states had been released from British suzerainty by the Indian Independence Act of 1947.
  • He is also remembered as the "patron saint of India's civil servants" for having established the modern all-India services system.
  • He is also called the "Unifier of India". The Statue of Unity, the world's tallest statue, was dedicated to him on 31 October 2018 which is approximately 182 metres (597 ft) in height.

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