Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Biography
Sardar Vallabh Bhai 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 31 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 organised 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 the 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 the President of India National Congress in 1931. He was at the forefront of the Congress’ all India election campaign in 1934 and 1937 and was a prominent leader in organising 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 organised 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 15 December 1950. He was a man of courage and determination and in the true sense the ‘Iron Man of India’.
Facts and Information about Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel
|Born||October 31, 1875 (Nadiad)|
|Died||December 15, 1950 (Bombay)|
|Elder Brothers||Somabhai, Narsibhai and Vithalbhai Patel.|
|Leaving Home||After contracting Bubonic Plague, he started leaving alone in Nadiad and recuperated slowly.|
|Wife’s Cancer||Patel’s wife was a patient of cancer. She died during a major surgical operation.|
|Early Political Career||In September 1917, Patel delivered an encouraging speech in Borsad to motivate Indians to sign Gandhi’s petition demanding Swaraj.
Patel also rose against the forced servitude of Indians to Europeans. He organised relief efforts at the time of plague and famine in the Kheda district.
Vallabhbhai Patel initiated a village-to-village tour to involve maximum people in the statewide revolt to refuse the payment of taxes.
Patel supported Gandhi’s Non-cooperation Movement and toured the state to recruit more than 300,000 members and raise over Rs. 15 lakh in funds.
Satyagraha was led by Patel in Nagpur in the absence of Gandhi in 1923 against a law that restricted the hoisting of the Indian flag.
|The Sardar||Patel became popular as Sardar among his colleagues and followers after the triumph in Bardoli.
Patel became the Congress president for the Karachi session of 1931.
|Quit India Movement||On the outbreak of World War II, Patel supported Nehru’s decision to withdraw the Congress from central and provincial legislatures.
In 1940 he was jailed for 9 months .
In 1942 he rejected the proposals of the Cripps’ mission.
|Integration after Independence||In the 1946 election for the Congress presidency, Patel stepped down in favour of Nehru.
As the first Home Minister, Patel’s role was significant in integration of several princely states into the Indian federation.
Vallabhbhai Patel believed that the partition of India could resolve the rising Muslim separatist movement led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Patel represented India on the Partition Council and chose the Indian council of ministers with Nehru.
|Leading India||Patel took the decision to appoint Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar as the chairman of the drafting committee and the other leaders for the process of writing the constitution.
Patel was the chairman of the committees that was responsible for fundamental rights, tribal and excluded areas, minorities and provincial constitutions.
When the Pakistani invasion of Kashmir began in September 1947, Patel immediately wanted to send troops into Kashmir. But agreeing with Nehru and Mountbatten, he waited till Kashmir’s monarch had acceded to India. Patel then oversaw India’s military operations to secure Srinagar, the Baramulla Pass and the forces retrieved much territory from the invaders.
|Gandhi’s death and relations with Nehru||Patel was a loyal follower of Gandhi.
Nehru and Patel argued over national issues. Nehru was opposed by Patel over his Kashmir policy. According to Patel, Nehru was not justified in sidelining his home ministry’s officials.
|Institutions||Several institutes have been named after him, such as:
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture & Technology, Meerut
Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat
Sardar Patel University, Gujarat
Sardar Patel Institute of Technology, Vasad
Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, New Delhi
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Technology, Vasad
|Monuments||Sardar Patel Memorial Trust
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial, Ahmedabad
Sardar Sarovar Dam, Gujarat
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad
|Films on Sardar Patel||Arun Sadekar played the part of Patel in Hey Ram, a movie by Kamal Haasan in 2000.
In 1993, the biopic Sardar was produced and directed by Ketan Mehta, featuring Paresh Rawal as Patel, describing Patel’s leadership, the partition of India and Patel’s relationship with Gandhi and Nehru.
Saeed Jaffrey portrayed Patel in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi in 1982.
|Mention in literature||Shashi Tharoor in his novel The Great Indian Novel has made use of satire to present the character of Vidur Hastinapuri, which is based on Patel as well as Vidura, a mythological character.|
|Documentary||A documentary on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was made under the direction of Kantilal Rathod in 1976.|
|Books||To know more about Patel you may read: Life and Work of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Editor Parshottam Das Saggi, Foreword by C. Rajagopalachari. Overseas Publishing House, Bombay.|