|Demand of the question|
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Discuss contribution of Sardar Patel to the Indian Freedom struggle.
Conclusion. Way forward.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a a prominent figure in the Indian Freedom Struggle, who later became India’s first Deputy Prime Minister and first Home Minister. He is known for his contribution in integrating 565 princely states into a newly independent India. Sardar Patel who is popularly known as the Iron Man of India made many important contributions to Indian freedom struggle and modern India.
Contribution of Sardar Patel in Indian freedom struggle and modern India:
- In 1918, Vallabhbhai took the responsibility of leading the farmers of Gujarat. He started the Kheda satyagraha that demanded the suspension of the revenue collection from farmers as there was a drought.
- In 1920, the Congress started the non-cooperation struggle and Vallabhbhai gave up his practice. He setup the Gujarat Vidyapeeth where children could study instead of attending Government schools.
- In 1928 he successfully organized the landowners of Bardoli against British tax increases. It was after this that Vallabhbhai was given the title of Sardar (Leader).
- In 1931 he served as President of the Indian National Congress in its Karachi session which changed the nature of movement from a political struggle and added to it new socio-economic dimensions. As part of congress, he was part of the No changers faction and emphasised on the crucial role of constructive work in village regeneration and carrying the message of nationalism to the masses.
- He was also the chairman of the congress parliamentary sub-committee which had complete control over congress ministries during 28 months of their rule under 1935 act.
- He played a crucial role in the torturous negotiations with the British for freedom and Partition of the country.
- Vallabhbhai Patel was one of the first Congress leaders to accept the partition of India as a solution to the rising Muslim separatist movement led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He had been outraged by Jinnah’s Direct Action campaign, which had provoked communal violence across India, and by the viceroy’s vetoes of his home department’s plans to stop the violence on the grounds of constitutionality.
- Constituent Assembly-Patel was part of constituent assembly to frame constitution of India. He was instrumental in collecting eminent people across country and also persuade Ambedkar to become member of drafting committee. Patel was the chairman of the committees responsible for minorities, tribal and excluded areas, fundamental rights, and provincial constitutions.
- In 1947 when India got freedom, Sardar Patel became the Deputy Prime Minister. He was in charge of Home Affairs, Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of States. He was given the task of integrating the 562 Princely States into the union. He skilfully achieved this and took strong steps like sending the army to Junagadh and Hyderabad to force them to align with free India. It is because of these strong steps he is called Iron Man of India.
- It was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel‘s vision that the Civil Service should strengthen cohesion and national unity. He wanted a strong and vibrant federal administrative system in which the All India Services would play an important role.
Patel was a selfless leader, who placed the country’s interests above everything else and shaped India’s destiny with single-minded devotion. The invaluable contribution of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in building a modern and unified India needs to be remembered by every Indian as the country marches ahead as one of the largest economies in the world.