Remembering the contribution of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in India's freedomOctober 31, 2014
Remembering the contribution of Patel in the Independence movement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Mahatma Gandhi had entrusted him with the planning of the historical Dandi march which he successfully did, before flagging off Run for Unity in Delhi.
sardar-patel-sabarmati Proposed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue along Sabarmati river File Photo RNA Research & Archives
"When we see Ramakrishna Paramhans he appears to be incomplete without Swami Vivekananda. Similarly, when we see Mahatma Gandhi, he also appears incomplete without Sardar Patel," he said. Modi also compared Patel with Chanakya, saying, "The country can never forget Sardar Patel. Centuries ago, Chanakya conducted a successful experiment of establishing a strong set up by uniting small princely states.
"Post Independence, the same great work was done by the man whose birth anniversary we are celebrating today, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel," he said.
"It is unfortunate that the man who dedicated his life for the unity of India, faced criticisms and opposition, suffered hurdles in his political career but was never deterred from his goal of uniting the country," the PM said.
Modi said Sardar Patel unified the country through his skill, vision and patriotism. Recalling his role in uniting the entire country after partition, Modi said "Sardar Patel demolished Britishers' plan to divide India in many small regions. He single handedly merged all 550 regions with the country."
Earlier welcoming the Prime Minister, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said, "Had Sardar Patel been the first Prime Minister of the country, history would have been different. This is how many people feel." He also said the celebration was not aimed at belittling the contribution of any other political leader.
Sangh has always felt that successive governments had held the contribution of Jawahar Lal Nehru and those of the Nehru-Gandhi family in higher regard over others.
As soon as he flagged off the run, participants asked the Prime Minister to lead them and he led the run for some distance.
Sports personalities Sushil Kumar, Vijender Singh, Virendra Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were among those who participated in the run.
Flanked by Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Naidu, Arun Jaitely among others, the Prime Minister administered the oath of unity to participants. Modi also offered floral tributes to the statue of Sardar Patel at Patel Chowk which was decked up for the occasion.