National Unity Day is celebrated in India every year on October 31. It was introduced by the Government of India in 2014. The day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, an Indian freedom fighter and independent India’s first deputy prime minister and home minister who had a major role in the political integration of India.
He was instrumental in making a united India from the 565 semi-autonomous princely states and British-era colonial provinces. For his efforts towards a united India, Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary is now celebrated as National Unity Day in the country.
How is Unity Day Celebrated
National Unity Day India is celebrated every year on 31st October by dedicating the day to the work of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and organizing a variety of different events and many military shows happening across India. Unity Day is commemorated by organising the Run For Unity (nationwide marathon) to spread awareness about the need for unity in our country. It also involves many famous sports persons, military officials and celebrities joining in.
This day is also celebrated in different schools by organizing events for students like the National Unity Day essay competition, Acts/skits which show the importance of unity in our country or showcasing the crucial contributions of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel through interactive quizzes, presentations, showing the film ‘Sardar’ to all the students.
The Rashtriya Ekta Diwas Parade is organized on Unity Day at Kevadia, Gujarat, and the event is attended by the Prime Minister on the Statue of Unity. The government also established the technology demonstration site in Kevadia, where the military showcases new technology.
The National Unity Day 2018 was celebrated with the establishment of the Statue of Unity. The Statue of Unity is the world’s tallest statue. The Statue of Unity is a humongous statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on 31st October 2018 as a tribute to him. The National Unity Dayis a symbol of unity amongst Indians. It is celebrated across the country with similar themes, events and programs occurring in schools, universities and offices.
National Unity Day History:
In 2014, Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day was introduced by the government of India. The official statement for Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was provided by the home ministry of the country. It cites that the National Unity Day “will provide an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to the unity, integrity and security of our country.”
For his efforts towards a united India, Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary is now celebrated as National Unity Day. This is also known as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas. To celebrate the day, the ‘Unifier of India’ was honored with the Statue of Unity which is actually the world’s tallest statue! Dedicated to Sardar Patel, the statue is approximately 597 feet in height. Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi inaugurated the event on October 31, 2018.
On October 31, 2019, an event called ‘Run for Unity’ was also held to spread awareness about Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s contribution to Indian history. To commemorate his 144th birth anniversary, thousands of people participated in the run which began from the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi. The almost one-mile run took place at the India Gate C-Hexagon-Shah Jahan Road. Today, Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is remembered as the unsung efforts of the ‘Iron Man’, who shaped the country and the idea of Hindus and Muslims residing in the same country together.
National Unity Day (RASHTRIYA EKTA DIWAS) Activities:
1. Run for unity
Since 2019, thousands of people ran for unity in honor of Sardar Patel and his vision for a unified India. If you can’t make it to a run in the city, gather friends and family to go for a jog near your street. Even if you’re Indian living overseas, it’s the perfect time to not only get some exercise but to gather people of all different religions and cultural beliefs and run in unity. The essence of the run is the message.
2. Read up on the history of India
India has a rich and interesting history which is important to have at least some knowledge about. India’s Independence in 1947 was a vital point in the world’s history, as the British officially left. Not only this, when the British withdrew, India was partitioned into two independent countries – India and Pakistan. The time was both a proud and also challenging time for Indians, which caused deep divides between people and families. Make sure to brush up on some important historical facts.
3. Celebrate unity
If you’re Indian, invite friends or family over and celebrate all there is to love about India. If you’re not Indian and have Indian friends, perhaps today is a great time to wish them well on the day and spread a message about the meaning of unity and patriotism.
Why is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Significant in Indian History?
He is known as the iron man of India and also considered the Bismarck (he is regarded as a critical figure in the unification of Germany) of India for his efforts to unite India. He was a crucial figure in the independence of India and was given the title of ‘Sardar’ by Mahatma Gandhi and was called ‘Sardar’ by women while he was leading the Bardoli Satyagraha.
He was a vital member of the Indian National Congress and presided over the Indian National Congress Session of Karachi in 1931. He was also considered better-suited for the post of Congress president than Nehru by many INC members. A lawyer by profession, he also shared the same dream of making India’s educational facilities better like Abul Kalam Azad. One of his best abilities was his oration skills, and the control he had over any crowd was genuinely remarkable.
National Unity Day 2021 Theme and Pledge of Unity Day:
National Unity Day 2021 does not have any theme until now, but the Government of India has dedicated a different theme every year. The theme for National Unity Day 2016 was “Integration of India”.
In 2019, Unity Day was celebrated with the theme “To bring the nation together, united in times of strife and rising extremism”. In 2020, the theme was, “Unity in diversity is better than unity in similarities”. Every year the National Unity Day is observed by reciting the Unity Pledge.
National Unity Day: Unity Pledge
I solemnly pledge that I dedicate myself to preserve the unity, integrity and security of the nation and also strive hard to spread the message among my fellow countrymen. I take this pledge in the spirit of the unification of my country, which was made successful by the vision and actions of Sardar Vallabhai Patel. I also solemnly resolve to make my own contribution to ensure the internal security of my own country.