Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Biography
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Known as the “Iron Man of India”, Vallabhbhai Patel was born in Gujarat. He was the fourth of the six children of his father, Jhaveribhai. Patel is credited for being almost single-handedly responsible for unifying India on the eve of independence.
He completed his matriculation at the age of 22 due to the poor financial condition of family. Patel had a desire to study to become a lawyer. So he started to work and save funds. He went to England to study law. He passed examinations within two years and travelled back to India. Patel started practicing as a barrister in Ahmadabad. In 1917, Patel elected as the sanitation commissioner of Ahmadabad. He displayed extraordinary devotion to duty and personal courage in fighting an outbreak of plague and led a successful agitation for the removal of an unpopular British municipal commissioner. Inspired by the words of Gandhi, Patel started active participation in the Indian independence movement.
In 1920, Patel was nominated and elected as the President of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee where he served in the same post till 1945. In 1923 Patel acquired country-wide recognition after his successful leadership in the satyagraha in Nagpur against a law banning the raising of the Indian flag. In 1928 he led a successful campaign against the hike in the land revenue in Bardoli of Surat district. It was after this campaign that Vallabhbhai was given the popular title sardar. He played a vital role in the decision making process of All India Congress Committee. 1942 Vallabhbhai Patel was arrested for three years during Quit India Movement.
After India’s Independence 1947, Patel became India’s first Home Minister and Minister of Information and Broadcasting. At the time of independence, India was divided into many parts mainly territories rules by hereditary rulers. It is due to Patel’s relentless effort that results in successfully unification of more than 500 states with India.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel breathed his last on December 15, 1950 in Delhi after a massive heart attack.
In 1991, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was awarded posthumously with India’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna.