Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel lived his inspirational life from 31st October 1875 to 15th December 1950. Typically known as “Sardar” among his followers, which means “Chief” in the Hindi language, He became the first deputy Prime Minister of India in 1947 and served the country till 1950. The man represented India in various movements against British rule. Every Indian respected him as one of the freedom fighters who had the high spirit to move the Britishers out. Patel played a very significant role in India’s independence.
Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel was born in Nadiad, Gujarat. His community belonged to the Leva Patel Patidar. He went to Nadiad, Borsad, and Petlad to attend school. At the age of 22, Patel passed his matriculation. Although he was famous throughout the entire world, he faced opposition in his own family. The elders regarded him as an unambitious man.
Despite this opposition, he went further and became a reputable lawyer in his time. He believed in his plans that followed: becoming a lawyer, working, saving funds, travelling to England, and finally becoming a barrister.
Vallabhbhai Patel lived away from his family to make the dream come true, and he also studied by borrowing books from others. After passing the exams, he built a house in Godhra and brought his wife there. In 1903, Maniben, their daughter, was born. After two years, they welcomed their second child, Dahyabhai.
While suffering from a disease called the Bubonic plague, Patel took care of his family. He recovered himself in the temple after leaving the house. Then, he made a comeback with his zeal to study law. Godhra, Anand, and Borsad were three states where he continued his law practice.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was recognised as the first chairman of “Jhaverbhai Dajibhai Patel High School,” which was earlier known as “Edward Memorial High School.” In order to maintain the honours of his family, Patel gave his elder brother, Vithalbhai, the opportunity to move and study in England.
In 1909, Vallabhbhai’s wife was diagnosed with cancer and died while Patel was cross-examining a witness at the court. He won that case and decided not to marry again. Vallabhbhai Patel then admitted their children to an English school, began the journey to England and completed 36 months of courses in 30 without obtaining any college degree.
Vallabhbhai Patel became the most successful barrister in Ahmedabad after coming back. He was known for his European-style clothes and sporting urbane mannerisms.
The Fight for Independence
India was then fighting against the British rulers. Vallabhbhai Patel emerged as one of the dynamic figures among freedom fighters and delivered a speech in Borsad. The speech influenced several Indians to sign the Swaraj petition. When meeting with Gandhi during that time, Patel decided to commit himself entirely to the movement. That’s where his journey with Gandhiji towards Independence starts.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel travelled around the various villages to ask the people to refuse the tax. He emphasised the support for unity and non-violence to get this task done. However, several villagers were arrested. This put every Indian in a dilemma and required sympathy. Then, due to this, the British government decided to suspend the tax payment for around one year. He turned out to be a hero in Gujarat.
When the Satyagraha started and Gandhi was arrested, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the only one to lead the movement. Patel put all his effort into fighting against the law that banned the Indian flag. Several people believed that Patel was the only one that saw everyone equally. In India, where every individual is divided into their castes and communities, Vallabhbhai Patel united them as one.
Fundamental Rights and Economic Policy
In 1931, a new resolution was made on “Fundamental Rights and Economic Policy” under the leadership of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. While on the Dandi Salt March, he was arrested. Then, this act got intensified when Gandhi was also arrested. The Indian acknowledged his worth and that’s why he did everything to make the movement successful.
Both of these leaders are nothing more than elder (Gandhi) and younger (Patel) brothers.They held them back whenever they needed to. They joined their hands and brought a new unity to India. However, they have been seen arguing with each other, but it didn’t disturb the respect, trust, and affection they have for each other.
Legal Battle with Subhash Chandra Bose
When Vitalbhai Patel, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s elder brother, died in Geneva, Bose was the only one there to take care of him. Both of them developed a strong bond. Also, Vitalbhai brought three-quarters of his money to Bose to promote India’s cause in other countries. This resulted in a court case between Patel and Bose. Due to many reasons, Patel was not ready to accept this bequeathing as it did not include any proof from a doctor and witnesses to the letter, which only represented Bengal men.
The case went like this, and the judge decided to give this money to the legal heirs. Patel then transferred all the money to Vitalbhai Memorial Trust.
Quit India Campaign
It was believed that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s speech left a powerful impact on Indians’ minds and bodies. They felt so energetic and rebellious about making a free country. Patel believed that the Quit India Movement was one of the most furious revolutions since 1857. While writing to his daughter when arrested with other Congress leaders, Patel mentioned that he had peace as India was leading a step ahead in getting independence.
Britishers were all ready to give back the power to our nation. However, lots of protestors were arrested, but the fire it evoked in the hearts of Indians was not quantifiable. The whole of India became a frequent scene of protests, revolutionary activities, and strikes.
As mentioned by Sir Girija Shankar Bajpai in Patel’s Eulogy, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was one with a mixture of three aptitudes: “a great administrator, a great man, and a great patriot.” No one will surely forget his influence and the fire that awakened a new spirit among the Indians. He was one of those fierce men who knew how to secure India’s stability even after the partition. Vallabhbhai Patel never left his Indian brothers to fight alone with intruders.
Do you know
The World’s Tallest Statue, “Statue of Unity“, with a height of 182 metres, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of the 143rd anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 31, 2018, which is a tribute to the “Iron Man of India” who gave his life in the Freedom Struggle of India. The statue was built near the Narmada valley, Gujarat, India at a construction cost of around Rs. 2700 crore.