Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first Home Minister, played a crucial role in persuading many princely states to join the Union of India.
Because of his efforts towards national integration, Vallabhbhai Patel is often referred to as the “Iron Man of India ”. To honour his legacy, the government in 2014 declared October 31, his birth anniversary, as the National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.
Since 2014, the government has been organising events and programmes on October 31 to honour Vallabhbhai Patel’s contributions. Declaring his birth anniversary as National Unity Day in 2014, 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 joined the Indian freedom movement to oppose British rule. His beliefs brought the nation together and laid the foundation of a strong India. Various events, webinars and seminars are organised across the country on this day.
No theme has been declared for this year’s National Unity Day celebrations so far.