[Unity is the strength of any society and it(society) is weak without it. Hence those who wish the good of the nation strongly praise unity.]
Well said by someone, unity is the reflection of strength. Today when we talk of unity, we do remember our Sardar who contributed informing a nation, India freedom was our foremost dream but uniting the 562 princely states into nation was also and done accomplished and uphill task. It looks simply but it is not as things with difference in religion cast and culture with a cluster into one nation. Lord Macaulay’s speech in the British parliament on February 2, 1835 speaks the same as to what unity in India stands for and how great Britain conquered this nation – “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquered this country unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if Indian things that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem the native self-culture and they will become what we want them a truly dominated nation.” The Britain did this successfully by dividing the nation and rule over us for almost 200 years. Even before then we were ruled for thousands and thousands of years by many; French, Portuguese, Mughals, Chandragupta Maurya and many more but today we firmly call ourselves part of one nation, India. The credit for this goes to a man who deeply went to the roots of division and gathered them under one tree.
Sardar he was of this country and architect who built this nation through his vision. Born in 1875 to Jhaverbhai and Laadbai in a farmer’s community and determined towards his goals he achieved success at every level of his life. Despite being son of a poor farmer, he became a barrister. He participated in the legal issues such as Kheda and Bardoli Satyagrahas and other such freedom struggle for which he was even put twice in imprisonment and from there was known as “SARDAR”.
On August 15, 1947, India was finally declared an Independent nation, already Pakistan took its share with the wants of more lust, but we were left with the princely states and their communal disharmony with refugee crisis. This reminds me of Lord Macaulay and statement about India in the British parliament. It was a high time to unite this country, as our back bone was already broken by Great Britain. Meanwhile Patel got the responsibility of merging the states into one nation and Gandhiji had a farm believe in Patel. Assisted by V.P. Menon, the works started to merge the nation as a part of Akhand Bharat. These princely states like Gwalior, Patiala, Bikaner and many more proactively merged with the country but states like Travancore, Hyderabad, Junagadh, Bhopal and Kashmir were hesitant to join India. Step by step these princely states joined the country either voluntarily or with force. Patel became the first Deputy Prime Minister of India and also the country’s first Home Minister. Patel was among the few who suggested that Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar should be in the Constitutional panel, and suggested law against cruelty based on casteism. Sardar also amended the Indian civil service code (Indian Civil Services Act, 1861) to India administrative services as per the bureaucratic structure of India. Today’s AMUL was yesterday’s Kiara district cooperative milk producer’s union limited and this was the idea of Patel who guided the farmers of Gujarat and exhorted them to organize the processing and sale of the milk. Patel was among the few who strongly supported the partition of India. According to him Jinnah was supported by Muslims and if partition was denied then there would be a major civil war between Hindus and Muslims. Even the 562 Princely states would have asked for independent nation status and forming of a nation would not have been possible.
After the death of Gandhiji the responsibility of the country was on the shoulders of Nehru and Patel and both played their role effectively. Patel just got less than 4 years to serve this nation as a union cabinet minister before he died in 1950, but even in those years, he worked eagerly and endlessly. The Iron man of this nation who stood firmly for this country, one of the most important pillars of this country, the one who formed a nation out of nations left us on December 15, 1950. Even China did not dare to antagonize India when Patel was alive, indeed it took china 12 years to declare war against India after Patel’s death.
Today, when we look back at 1947 the time when both the Nation were liberated, we do look at them with wide difference. India is stepping towards it progress and on the other hand Pakistan is still struggling for the survival of its democracy. India is one of those prominent countries which could have been easily divided on the ground of sensitive issues but this did not happen nor it will happen as we are tied with one knot, the knot of unity.
On Patel’s 143rd birth anniversary what else can we give to him rather than building the world’s tallest statue? Sometimes we do forget that this republic of India would not have been the world’s largest democracy without that sardar. Today if in our country we have 29 states and seven union territories then this would not have been possible without the Sardana and if we rank ourselves as the seventh largest economy and in terms of area if we rank 7th then it is only because of that Sardar. For me even that statue is a small contribution compared with what Patel gave to us, but today he can see his own nation from 182 meters of his height for which he contributed day and night. From Indira Col (Jammu and Kashmir) to Cap Comorin (Kanyakumari) and from Kibithu (Arunachala Pradesh) to Sir Creek (Gujarat): if we call ourselves Indian then it is only because of that sardar. If sardar Vallabhbhai Patel along with V.P. Menon had not merged this country into one nation then certainly today we would have been divided into numerous state to move from one state another, to get water from the rivers flowing or the dams through these 562 states we would have had to take permission. Pakistan and china were eagerly waiting and are still waiting as to when this country was split and then they will satisfy their infinite greed. Even when U.S.S.R, was split it looked small, indeed without is union it is just powerless, imagine this with India. When britishers divided the nation, the division was on the basis of India and Pakistan, the princely were given option to join either of the both or to remain united but, it was because of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel contribution that we are living as one nation. If India being a nation with immense number of religions, caste, creeds and languages is incredible in its form than it is because of that Ironman. Sardar said, “We have to shed mutual bickering, shed the difference of being high or low and developed the sense of equality. We have to live like that children of the same father.” This show that sardar was a mere nurture of his countrymen. Even after 68 years of his death the iron man still alive in the house of every Indian. It is high time every Indian united not only through a nation but through their hearts; this was what Sardar dreamed of.
Sardar Patel was not only the architect of this country but also the engineer who built this nation with inclusion of a variety of flavors. Today, before calling ourselves as a Hindu, Muslim, Christian we do call ourselves first Indians. Might be there are thousands of differences with our costumes, culture and food habits but still we live like as if we are family. Internally however there might be difference but when an invader tries to invade us, we foil the the plans with a sole voice calling ourselves Indians. All this was possible because of our iron man, who made us so bold with our belief that we think unity as our strength.
In coming years India will definitely climb the step of superpower and one of the reasons behind us being a superpower would be its unity. “Manpower without unity is not a strength unless it is harmonized and united properly, then it becomes a spiritual power” was the belief which sardar Patel nurtured.
By VISHAL KUMAR SINGH