Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel was one of the important social and political leaders of India. He played an important role in India's struggle for freedom. He is believed to be born on 31st October 1875 at Nadiad, Gujarat
and was often addressed as Sardar.
He did his matriculation at the age of 22. He seemed to be an ordinary person to everyone around him, but had strong will power. He wanted to become a barrister. At the age of 36, he went to England to fulfill his dream and joined Middle Temple Inn. He completed his 36-month course in just 30 months. After returning to India he became one of the most successful barristers of Ahmedabad.
Inspired by the work and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, he joined India's struggle for independence. He organized peasants of Kheda, Bardoli and other parts of Gujarat and launched non-violent Civil Disobedience Movement in Gujarat, against the payment of raised tax, levied by the British government. He succeeded in his goal and British government suspended the payment of revenue for that year. With this he became one of the most influential leaders in Gujarat. In 1920 he became the president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee and served in the post till 1945. He was a strong supporter of the Non -Cooperation movement of Gandhi and worked against alcoholism, Untouchability and caste discrimination in Gujarat. He was elected as the municipal president of Ahmedabad in 1922, 1924 and 1927. When Mahatma Gandhi was in prison, he led the Satyagraha in Nagpur in 1923 against the British law, banning the raising of the Indian flag
. He was elected as a President of India National Congress in 1931. He was at the forefront of the Congress's all India election campaign in 1934 and 1937 and was a prominent leader in organizing the Quit India Movement in 1942. He was arrested prior to the Quit India Movement and was released in 1945.
After India's independence, he became the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India. He organized relief camps for refugees in Punjab and Delhi. He was the man behind the consolidation of 565 semi-autonomous princely states to form a united India. Patel was very attached to Mahatma Gandhi. After Mahatma Gandhi's death his condition also started deteriorating, he suffered a major heart attack within two months of Gandhi's death. He died on 15th December 1950. He was a man of courage and determination and in the true sense the 'Iron Man of India'.
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