National Day of Unity 2021: Commemorating the legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

The National Day of Unity or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is observed annually on 31 October to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhb...

The National Day of Unity or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is observed annually on 31 October to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. This year marks the 146th birth anniversary of Patel, who was the first Home Minister of India and played a crucial role in the integration of princely states into the Union of India.

National Unity Day is marked to create awareness about the contribution of Patel to Indian history and honour his legacy.

When was Rashtriya Ekta Diwas first celebrated?

The Centre, in 2014, declared 31 October as National Unity Day to honour Patel and his legacy. The home ministry had said that the day would serve as a “reminder of the strength” of the country as well as highlight the resilience of the Indian state against the dangers posed against its “security, unity, and integrity”.

To honour memory of the Iron Man of India, a colossal statue of the freedom fighter was unveiled in 2018 near Vadodara, Gujarat, on the banks of the Narmada river.

The 182-metre-tall statue, the tallest in the world, is a major tourist attraction, with various attractions such as jungle safari, river rafting, night tourism and theme-based gardens. The site has received over 50 lakh visitors since its inauguration.

Celebrations this year:

So far, no theme has been declared for this year’s celebrations, according to NDTV. Every year, webinars, seminars and other events are organised to commemorate the legacy of Patel and his contribution to the nation.

Legacy of Patel:

A staunch adversary of the British, like many Patel too had joined the freedom struggle to help India gain independence from its colonial yoke. After the independence of India in 1947, he became the first home minister of the country.

Patel was one of the chief architects of the Union of India, having been given the responsibility of integrating the princely states. He drafted an instrument of accession, along with VP Menon, for the rulers of the 562 princely states to sign.

For the states which resisted joining India such as Hyderabad, Junagadh and Jodhpur, Patel employed a combination of military force and political skill to integrate them into the Union of India.

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India World News: National Day of Unity 2021: Commemorating the legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
National Day of Unity 2021: Commemorating the legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
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