Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

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Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, often referred to as the “Iron Man of India”, was a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement and one of the founders of the modern Indian Republic. He played an important role in the integration of the princely states into the newly independent nation.


Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel (or Sardar Patel) was born on October 31, 1875 in Nadiad, Gujarat. He completed his primary education in Gujarat itself. He was a lawyer by profession.

Patel got married when he was about 17 years old. He married Jhaverba Patel in 1893. They had a daughter, Maniben Patel, in 1904 and a son, Dahyabhai Patel, in 1905. Zhaverba died at the young age of 29 in 1909, when her children were only 5 and 3 years old.

Kheda Satyagraha – Kheda Satyagraha, 1918

Kheda Satyagraha was a non-violent movement against the British government started by Gandhiji in Kheda district. In this movement, Gandhiji had appointed Sardar Patel as his deputy. After this movement, Vallabhbhai Patel gained fame as a farmer leader.

President of the Ahmedabad Municipal Board, 1924

In 1924, Patel was elected President of the Ahmedabad Municipal Board. After assuming office, the drainage, sanitation, hygiene and water distribution systems of Ahmedabad were revamped.

Bardoli Satyagraha – Bardoli Satyagraha of 1928

This movement by the farmers of Gujarat was led by Vallabhbhai Patel. The then government had increased taxes by 22%, which this movement opposed. His role in the Bardoli Satyagraha of 1928 took him to a new peak of national pride. It was only after this movement that he got the title of “Sardar”.

President of the Indian National Congress, 1931

In 1931, the historic Karachi session of Congress was presided over by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The goal of ‘Complete Swaraj’ was reiterated in this session. Additionally, two resolutions were adopted, one on fundamental rights and the other on the national economic programme, which made the session particularly memorable.

Contribution of Sardar Patel after independence

On August 15, 1947, Sardar Patel took oath as the first Deputy Prime Minister.

He also took charge as the first Home Minister of independent India and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He remained on these posts till December 15, 1950. His achievements during this period were –

Merger of Princely States into India – Political integration of the country

When the country became independent, there were 17 British-ruled territories and more than 560 princely states in India. The British gave these princely states the freedom to remain with India or Pakistan. Apart from this, he also had the option of remaining independent. In such a situation, merging these princely states with India was a very difficult task. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel demonstrated efficient leadership by V.P. This work was accomplished with the help of Menon. During this period, Sardar Patel had to take tough decisions, due to which he came to be called “Iron Man”.

Death and legacy

Sardar Patel died on December 15, 1950 at the age of 75. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is remembered as a steadfast politician who played an important role in shaping the modern Indian nation.

In his honour, the “Statue of Unity”, the tallest statue in the world, was built in Gujarat. It stands as a symbol of his contribution to the unity and integrity of India.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s unwavering commitment to Indian independence and his extraordinary leadership in post-independence India have given a new direction to the history of the country. He is remembered as one of the founders and principal architects of the Indian Republic.

In the year 1991, the Government of India honored him with ‘Bharat Ratna’ in recognition of his contribution. National Unity Day: 31 October is celebrated in his honour.

List of Deputy Prime Ministers

Deputy Prime Ministers of India Tenure Prime Minister
Sardar Patel 1947–1950 Jawaharlal Nehru
Morarji Desai 1967–1969 Indira Gandhi
Charan Singh and Jagjivan Ram (jointly) 1979–1979 Morarji Desai
Y. B. Chavan 1979–1980 Chaudhary Charan Singh
Devi Lal 1989–1990 V.P. Singh
Devi Lal 1990–1991 Chandra Shekhar
L. K. Advani 2002–2004 Atal Bihari Vajpayee

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