Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said the country — from Kashmir to Kanyakumari — has been united due to the unforgettable contribution and determination of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Addressing an event here to commemorate India’s first home minister Sardar Patel’s 148th birth anniversary, Shah asked all citizens to take a pledge to put the nation in the top position in the world in all sectors by 2047 when it will celebrate the centenary of its Independence.
”It was because of Sardar Patel that we have today’s India. It was due to his unforgettable contribution that the whole country — from Kashmir to Kanyakumari– is united. Without Sardar Patel’s contribution and farsightedness, we would not have been here today,” he said.
The home minister said it is the result of Sardar Patel’s determination, devotion to duty towards the nation and intentions as solid as iron that today India stands with respect in front of the world after 75 years of Independence.
He said that after Independence, the British had left India fragmented. At that time, Sardar Patel carried out a huge task of creating the present-day map of Mother India by uniting more than 550 princely states in a matter of a few days, he said.
Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given due respect to Sardar Patel by building the world’s tallest statue at Kevadiya in Gujarat.
On the occasion, Shah flagged off a ‘Run for Unity’ which began from the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in the national capital.
He said 7,700 people, including sports personalities, sports enthusiasts and personnel of the central police forces, took part in the run. Shah also administered a unity pledge to the participants.
The flagging-off ceremony also saw the presence of Union ministers Anurag Thakur, Meenakashi Lekhi, Nityanand Rai, Ajay Kumar Mishra, Nisith Pramanik, besides Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena and others.
The Central government has been observing October 31 as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ or National Unity Day since 2014 to foster and reinforce its dedication to preserving and strengthening the unity, integrity and security of the nation.
Patel was born on October 31, 1875, at Nadiad in Gujarat.
As India’s first home minister and deputy prime minister, Patel is credited with the merger of over 550 princely states into the Union of India.
As part of the celebrations, various programmes are organised across the country, recalling Sardar Patel’s contribution towards unifying India.