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Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

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Vallabhai Patel
1st Deputy Prime Minister of India
In office
15 August 1947 – 15 December 1950
MonarchGeorge VI
PresidentRajendra Prasad
Governor GeneralLouis Mountbatten
C. Rajagopalachari
Preceded byPosition established
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
15 August 1947 – 15 December 1950
Prime MinisterJawaharlal Nehru
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byC. Rajagopalachari
1st Commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces
In office
15 August 1947 – 15 December 1950
MonarchGeorge VI
PresidentRajendra Prasad
Governor GeneralLouis Mountbatten
C. Rajagopalachari
Prime MinisterJawaharlal Nehru
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byPosition abolished (merged to the President of India)
Personal details
Vallabhai Jhaverbhai Patel

(1875-10-31)31 October 1875
Nadiad, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died15 December 1950(1950-12-15) (aged 75)
Bombay, Bombay State, India
Cause of deathHeart attack
Political partyIndian National Congress
Spouse(s)Jhaverben Patel (1880 — 11 January 1909)
ChildrenManiben Patel
Dahyabhai Patel
MotherLaad Bai (1847 — 11 October 1932)
FatherJhaverbhai Patel (1829 — March 1914)
Alma materMiddle Temple
Awards Bharat Ratna (1991) (posthumously)

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (31 October 1875 — 15 December 1950) was a lawyer and influential political leader in the Indian independence movement. After independence, he played an important role in the integration of over 552 princely states into the Indian Union In which Goa, Dim,Daman,And some other continental rigions were still in other's hand which were become part of india later on. India is union of states 562 in which 10 continental rigion were joined after sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's death and after independence of india.He was a fighter.He had not any fears of monarch, prince , RSS ,or other groups like Hindu mahasabha, Hindutv Group or Other .. He was deeply influenced by Gandhi’s ideology and principles, having worked very closely with the leader. He was the first Home Minister of Independent India and his uncompromising efforts towards consolidation of the country earned him the title "Iron Man of India". ' Sardar ' was a title earned by them after doing bardoli's successful Movement(Satyagrah) and it was given by freedom fighter ladies of that time of freedom struggle of India.They have done many movements like bardoli, borsad,kheda in which mahatma lead these movements.

Childhood[change | change source]

Vallabhai Patel was born on October 31, 1875 in Nadiad village of modern day Gujarat to Jhaverbai and Ladbai. He belongs to rich class agriculturist Patidar (leva patidar patel) community and Vallabhbhai’s father had served in the army of the Queen of Jhansi, and his mother was a very spiritual woman.

Starting his academic career in a Gujarati medium school, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel later shifted to an English medium school. In 1897, Vallabhbhai passed his high school and started preparing for law examination. He went to pursue a degree in law and travelled to England in 1910. He completed his law degree in 1913 from Inns of Court and came back to India to start his law practice in Godhra, Gujarat. For his legal proficiency, Vallabhbhai was offered many lucrative posts by the British Government but he rejected all. He was a staunch opponent of the British government and its laws and therefore decided not to work for the British.

In 1891, he married Javerbehen and the couple had two children. His daughter, Maniben Patel (1903-1990), was an activist while his son, Dahyabhai Patel (1905-1973) was a member of the parliament of India.

Patel shifted his practice to Ahmedabad. He became a member of the Gujarat Club where he attended a lecture by Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi’s words deeply affected Vallabhai and he soon adopted Gandhi’s principles to become a staunch follower of the charismatic leader. That is how deeply Gandhi’s words had affected him. He didn’t know that he would change India and start a successful career.

Role in the Indian National Movement[change | change source]

In 1917, Sardar Vallabhbhai was elected as the Secretary of the Gujarat Sabha, the Gujarat wing of the Indian National Congress. In 1918, he led a massive "No Tax Campaign" that urged the farmers not to pay taxes after the British insisted on tax after the floods in Kaira . The peaceful movement forced the British authorities to return the land taken away from the farmers. His effort to bring together the farmers of his area brought him the title of 'Sardar'. He actively supported the non-cooperation Movement launched by Gandhi. Patel toured the nation with him, recruited 300,000 members and helped collect over Rs.1.5 million.

In 1928, the farmers of being lost again faced a problem of "tax-hike". After prolonged summons, when the farmers refused to pay the extra tax, the government seized their lands in retaliation. The agitation took on for more than six months. After several rounds of negotiations by Patel, the lands were returned to farmers after a deal was struck between the government and farmers’ representatives. :]

In 1930, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was among the leaders who were imprisoned for participating in the famous Salt Satyagraha movement initiated by Mahatma Gandhi. His inspiring speeches during the "Salt Movement" transformed the outlook of numerous people, who later played a major role in making the movement successful. He led the Satyagraha movement across Gujarat when Gandhi was under imprisonment, upon request from the congress members.

Sardar Patel was freed in 1931, following an agreement signed between Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India. The treaty was popularly known as the Gandhi-Irwin Pact. The same year, Patel was elected as the President of Indian National Congress in its Karachi session where the party deliberated its future path. Congress committed itself towards the defense of fundamental and human rights. It was in this session that the dream of a secular nation was conceived.

During the legislative elections of 1934, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel campaigned for the Indian National Congress. Though he did not contest, Sardar Patel helped his fellow party mates during the election.

In the 1942 Quit India Movement, Patel continued his unwavering support to Gandhi when several contemporary leaders criticized the latter’s decision. He continued travelling throughout the country propagating the agenda of the movement in a series of heart-felt speeches. He was arrested again in 1942 and was imprisoned in the Ahmednagar fort till 1945 along with other Congress leaders.

Sardar Patel’s journey often saw a number of confrontations with other important leaders of the congress. He voiced his annoyance at Jawaharlal Nehru openly when the latter adopted socialism in 1936. Patel was also wary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and considered him to be "keen on more power within the party”.

Sardar Patel & the Partition of India[change | change source]

The separatist movement lead by Muslim League leader Mohammed Ali Jinnah led to a series of violent Hindu-Muslim riots across the country just before the independence. In Sardar Patel’s opinion, the open communal conflicts incited by the riots had the potential to establish a weak Government at the Centre post-independence which will be disastrous for consolidating a democratic nation. Patel went on to work on a solution with V.P. Menon, a civil servant during December 1946 and accepted his suggestion of creating a separate dominion based on religious inclination of states. He represented India in the Partition Council.

Contributions to Post-independence India[change | change source]

After India achieved independence, Patel became the first Home Minister and also the Deputy Prime Minister. Patel played a very crucial role in post-independence India by successfully integrating around 565 princely states under the Indian Dominion. The British Government had presented these rulers with two alternatives - they could join India or Pakistan, or they could stay independent. This clause magnified the difficulty of the process to mammoth proportions. Congress entrusted this intimidating task to Sardar Patel who started lobbying for integration on August 6, 1947. He was successful in integrating all of them barring Jammu and Kashmir, Junagarh and Hyderabad. He eventually dealt with the situation with his sharp political acumen and secured their accession. The India that we see today was a result of the efforts put in by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Patel was a leading member of the Constituent Assembly of India and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was appointed on his recommendation. He was the key force in establishing the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service. He took a personal interest in initiating a restoration endeavor of the Somnath Temple in Saurashtra, Gujarat. Patel dealt ruthlessly with Pakistan’s efforts to invade Kashmir in September 1947. He oversaw the immediate expansion of the army and marked improvement of other infrastructural aspects. He often disagreed with Nehru’s policies, especially about his dealings with Pakistan regarding the refugee issues. He organized multiple refugee camps in Punjab and Delhi, and later in West Bengal.

Influence of Gandhi[change | change source]

Gandhi had profound effect on Patel’s politics and thoughts. He pledged unwavering support to the Mahatma and stood by his principles. While leaders including Chakravarthy Rajagopalachari and Maulana Azad criticized Mahatma Gandhi's idea that the civil disobedience movement would compel the British to leave the nation, Patel extended his support to Gandhi. Despite the unwillingness of the Congress High Command, Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel strongly forced the All India Congress Committee to ratify the civil disobedience movement and launch it without delaying further. Upon Gandhi’s request he gave up his candidacy for the post of the Prime Minister of India. He suffered a major heart attack after Gandhiji’s death.  Although he recovered, he attributed it to having lamented silently for the loss of his mentor.

Death of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel[change | change source]

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's health started declining in 1950. He realized that he was not going to live much longer. On November 2, 1950, his health became even worse and he had to stay in bed. He died because of a heart attack on December 15, 1950.

Honours after death[change | change source]

  • 1991 - He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.
  • 2014 - His birthday, October 31, was declared Rashtriya Ekta Divas.
  • 2018 - The Statue of Unity dedicated to Patel is unveiled as the world's tallest statue.

[1] Archived 2020-11-30 at the Wayback Machine