Arguing in the court with full zeal and fervor comes a note finally landing in the hands of the man in the front, who reads it, pauses and then puts the note in his pocket and continues with the argument until it is finished. The note carried the news of the mans wife death and the mans name was Vallabh Bhai Patel who earned the title of Sardar due to his prolific contributions in the independence movements. In todays free and constitutional India, at a juncture where one is confronted with rival questions of integrity and self-determination of minorities, it becomes crucial to revisit the legacy of a legend who has set milestones for millions to follow.
The legacy is not quantifiable by the length of the statue built in his remembrance. It is much beyond what 182 meters can fathom since the political grit and astute vision of the Iron Man of India that brought India into its pervading shape.
Born on October 31, 2019, to the Gujarati couple of Zaverbhai Patel and Ladbai, in the small town of Nadiad, Sardar Patel hailed from a farmers family. It is believed that his father had served in the army of Queen of Jhansi and he inherited the traits of fearlessness and courage from his lineage. A tough man in his approach, he was soft at heart. Having burnt the midnight oil for getting a pass and ticket to go to England and pursue his passion for studying law, he let his elder brother Vithalbhai Patel to go and study since even he had the wish of pursuing law. Catering to the familys needs and maintaining its honor and dignity were the chief hallmarks of his early life.
It is well known, then, how Patel went to England, got himself at the Middle Temple Inn at London and finished the 36-month course in 30 months to being at the top without having any prior college experience. After returning to India in 1910, he practised law at Godhra later shifted to where he was revered as one of the most successful barristers. He also played a crucial role in the Municipality administration of the city and was a member of Gujarat club where first he got a chance to meet the person with whom he had a long partnership in Indias modification towards independence. At the Mahatma Gandhi address at the club, he was moved by the gentleman words and committed himself to the cause of the relieving the distressing nation from the wrath of the colonialism.
This decision marked the beginning of an era that would turn the wheels around and change history. With his vigorous participation in the No- Tax Campaign and the Farmer Satyagraha, Patel commanded mass appeal, especially when espousing the cause of the farmers. He often remarked that My culture is agriculture. His fierce representation of the poor farmers transformed him into Sardar from Vallabhbhai, as in Gandhis absence it was Patels leadership which guided the direction of the movement.
Collecting party funds, increasing the recruitments and holding the flag hoisting in contravention of British law, Sardar confronted the Majestys administration with unwavering courage. Consolidating the partys ground support endeared him to many at the Pradesh Committees of the Congress. Even Gandhi suggested his name for the post of Congress Presidentship. During the famous Dandi March, Patel played the key role of choosing Dandi and managing the route for the march to follow. From this handful of salt that shook an entire administration to the Quit India slogan that reverberated through the country which saw widespread arrests and detentions. Sardar for his deep reverence to the cause of freedom dedicated his youth, energy, and vigor in jails and prisons fathoming the future of Golden India.
The noting aspect of his legacy was his frank views and his ability to reach a quick decision rather than vacillating in indecision. Due to his support for the partition and strict view towards Pakistan and the transfer of funds to Pakistan, many admonished his conservative viewpoints in contrast to the tardy socialist image that Nehru had built. Instead of getting into loggerheads within his own party, Sardar always kept the Nation first. It was this obedience that made him step down from the post of Prime Minister despite being chosen by a majority of the Pradesh Committees. Having the mantra of service instead of eyeing for top posts, Sardar took over as the countrys first home minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
जिनके पौरुष से संसार है चमकता, वैसे कीर्तियुक्त किरदार थे।
जिनके प्रयास से स्थापित हुई अखंडता , ऐसे लौहपुरुष सरदार थे।