Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first Home Minister, played a vital role in convincing several princely states to join India. His work in bringing the nation together earned him the nickname “Iron Man of India.” In 2014, his birthday, October 31, was declared National Unity Day, or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, to honor his legacy. This day celebrates India’s unity and pays tribute to Patel’s efforts to keep the country united.
Historical Background of the Day
In the year 2014, the Government of India decided to observe the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ (National Unity Day) on October 31st every year. With the idea that this occasion will provide an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to the unity, integrity, and security of our country.
The Home Ministry said, “This day will be marked as a reminder of the strength of our nation and will highlight the resilience of our country towards dangers posed against our security, unity, and integrity.”
In his memory, the Statue of Unity, a colossal symbol of India’s unity, stands tall on the banks of the Narmada river in Vadodara, Gujarat. The statue was unveiled in 2018. This year, we will celebrate Vallabhbhai Patel’s 146th birth anniversary.
Vallabhbhai Patel actively participated in the Indian freedom movement to resist British colonial rule. His unwavering commitment and ideals played a pivotal role in uniting the nation and establishing the cornerstone of a resilient India.
Vallabhbhai Patel’s vision for India was one of a united and prosperous nation where all citizens could live in harmony. He believed that unity was essential for India’s progress and development. His legacy continues to inspire Indians today, and National Unity Day is a reminder of his commitment to the nation.
In commemoration of his enduring legacy, numerous events, webinars, and seminars are conducted throughout the country on this significant day. These gatherings serve as platforms for discussions on unity, diversity, and the vision of a strong, united India that Patel ardently championed. They highlight the importance of his contributions in shaping the country’s future and fostering a spirit of togetherness among its people. National Unity Day continues to inspire the nation to stand united and uphold the values that Vallabhbhai Patel stood for.
Special Events This Year
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has paid tribute to Sardar Patel on his Jayanti. Mr Modi said that with his indomitable spirit, visionary statesmanship, and extraordinary dedication, Sardar Patel shaped the destiny of our nation.
In an X post, the Prime Minister said:
“On the Jayanti of Sardar Patel, we remember his indomitable spirit, visionary statesmanship, and the extraordinary dedication with which he shaped the destiny of our nation. His commitment to national integration continues to guide us. We are forever indebted to his service.”
On the Jayanti of Sardar Patel, we remember his indomitable spirit, visionary statesmanship and the extraordinary dedication with which he shaped the destiny of our nation. His commitment to national integration continues to guide us. We are forever indebted to his service.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 31, 2023
On this occasion, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) is organising the Run for Unity in Delhi from Rajghat to Lal Quila in Delhi at 8.30 am. Around 600 citizens, including Divyangjans, will participate in the Run for National Unity. The Department, through its various organizations such as ISLRTC, NIEPMD, and NIEPID, will be organizing various programs such as the Run for Unity, pledge-taking ceremonies, various competitions such as Rangoli, essay writing, debates, etc. on this occasion.