It is the prime responsibility of every citizen to feel that his country is free and to defend its freedom is his duty. The most influential person for me is the great freedom fighter ‘Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel’, who was born in 1875. His contributions are really inspirational and without him we will not be able to live in an independent India. Today I am going to talk about 3 contributions Sardar Patel made for my country. No. 1 Contribution for Farmers
No.2 Contribution for Indian freedom struggle
No.3 Contribution for Integrating numerous princely states
According to yousigma.com biography of Vallabh bhai Patel. In 1918 heavy rains destroyed the crops in Kaira district and the farmers were distressed. The British Government demanded revenue tax, despite crops failure. Vallabh bhai Patel was young fearless talented lawyer, who planned mass campaigns with farmers and landowners, against decision of the Government. The struggle was successful and those taxes were not collected. In 1928, Bardoli Taluka people suffered from the flood and the famine; besides that the British Government raised the revenue tax by 30%. Vallabh bhai Patel appealed to reduce the taxes, but the Government frightened farmers and forcefully took taxes from them. Vallabh bhai Patel acquired the title of ‘Sardar (chief)’, when he successfully engineered and led a civil disobedient movement of the farmers, to defeat the repressive measure of the Government. In my hometown Anand, Sardar Patel helped dairy farmers break free from exploitation of the middle man, by supporting them to establish Amul dairy co-operative industry. Today Amul dairy is the biggest milk-product industry in India. According to research paper by Chandrakant Devappa, Mahatma Gandhi, father of the nation was Sardar Patel’s political mentor.
Sardar Patel organized and led several satyagraha during freedom struggle. In his speech, Sardar Patel declared ‘Swaraj (independence) is our goal’. British Government considered him as threat and his lectures anti-government, so he was imprisoned several times. In 1937, Sardar Patel was made the Chairman of the Congress Parliamentary Board. He played an important role in Indian politics, organized Parliamentary activities of Congress to get fundamental rights. 1942, the Congress started ‘Quit India Movement’ for British to leave India. The British Government jailed all the important leaders of Congress, including Sardar Patel. On the 15th August 1947 India got Independence and Sardar Patel became the first Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Home Affairs and Ministry of State. Sardar had visualized a strong India, based on the principles of equality, secularism and fundamental rights. His motivation, dedication, loyalty, strength and never ending winning spirit helped in achieving freedom, for which all Indian are grateful to him. According to India TV politics, Sardar Patel was the man of principles. At the time of Independence, India was divided into 3 parts, 1st territories under British Government, 2nd territories under hereditary rulers and 3rd region colonized by France and Portugal.
Even Mahatma Gandhi believed that, it was only Sardar Patel who could take up the challenge of unifying hundreds of princely states. Sardar Patel said, ‘if we unite, we can soon make this country prosperous. Come and join us, co-operate with us.’ But the rulers of Junagadh and Hyderabad were not ready to merge. People of the state who wished to join India rebelled against ruler and set up a People’s Government with the help of Sardar Patel. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru did not listen to Sardar Patel’s advice for Jammu and Kashmir and the nation is still paying the price for it. The spectacular success of Sardar Patel in unifying 565 states of India, gave him the title of ‘Iron Man’. A man with steel like determination and a rock-like courage. In Conclusion, Vallabh bhai Patel was a great Indian leader, who never took any credit of his contributions. He was also known as the ‘Sardar of Bardoli, The Lion of Gujarat, the Man of Steel, and the Architect of India. I salute this great leader.