National Unity Day: History, Significance, Themes

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Sep 21, 2022, 6:41

Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, or National Unity Day, is observed on 31st October every year in India to regard the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Popularly known as the "Unifier of India," Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel contributed to the unification of India's 565 princely states. National Unity Day is to honour the efforts of this great man, who was also the first Deputy Prime Minister of India.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was active in India's Independence movement and was part of the Constituent Assembly. On 31st October 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated National Unity Day to pay tribute to Sardar Patel.

National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas

National Unity Day in India is a day designated to commemorate the former Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He was an influential politician who was also instrumental in the integration of the country. Unity Day was first observed on the 139th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, 31st October 2014, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi officiated the day.

About Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel:

  • He was born in Gujarat on 31st October 1875.
  • He was posthumously awarded the highest civilian honour of 'Bharat Ratna' in 1991.
  • Sardar Patel is known as the "Iron Man of India" and the "Unifier of India" for his efforts in integrating the nation.
  • The title of 'Sardar' or 'Chief' was bestowed upon him by the women of Bardoli.
  • Vallabh Bhai Patel was the first Deputy Prime Minister and then Home Minister of Independent India.
  • To pay tribute to Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the Statue of Unity was built in Gujarat.

National Unity Day Theme 2022

The government announces a unique theme for the annual celebration of National Unity Day. All the events, talks, discussions, campaigns etc. are planned around the theme of the year. For this year, the theme has not been announced yet. However, it is expected to be announced soon. Find out the previous year's Unity Day theme below:

Event

Details

National Unity Day Theme 2022

To be announced soon

National Unity Day Theme 2021

Atmanirbhar Bharat

National Unity Day Theme 2020

Unity in diversity is better than unity in similarities

National Unity Day Theme 2019

To bring the nation together, united in times of strife and rising extremism

History of National Unity Day

In 2014, the Indian Government introduced National Unity Day to remember India's first Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Sardar Patel advocated the idea of a united and competent India and dedicated his life to this idea. He is revered as the "Iron Man of India" for his efforts in uniting the nation. Know more about the history of Unity Day in India below:

  • This day is celebrated to honour Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's paramount role in India's independence movement and integration into one nation.
  • The Government of India announced the annual national celebration of his birthday as National Unity Day in 2014.
  • On Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 143rd birth anniversary, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi inaugurated a giant Statue of Unity near the famous Narmada River in Gujarat.
  • He coined the iconic slogan of "Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat".

Significance of National Unity Day

In India, a land of diverse cultures, traditions, religions, and languages, maintaining unity among people is crucial. At a time when many princely states of India were divided, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel held on to the vision of a united India and advocated for it. Therefore, National Unity Day is celebrated to recognize the endeavours of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to unite the country. The significance of this day is as follows:

  • It aims to reaffirm the solidarity among the people of India.
  • It aims to maintain the spirit of "unity in diversity" among the people.
  • National Unity Day reminds the citizens of India of the efforts and hardships that Sardar Patel and other activists had put into the unification of India.

National Unity Day Celebration

National Unity Day is celebrated widely across the country to honour the former Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Sardar Patel, on his birth anniversary. Here is how the occasion is marked every year:

  • On the 7th edition of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, established the seaplane assistance from Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity in the Kevadia region in Gujarat.
  • In 2020, the Indian Government also launched a webinar on the 'Role of Sardar Patel in Unifying India'.
  • Also, in 2020, the Sardar Patel National Unity Awards was launched to honour people's contributions in the field of unity and integrity of India. Other programmes that include the principles of the National Unity Day include Ekta Parade and Run for Unity.

National Unity Day Speech

A pledge-taking ceremony is held in government offices and PSUs on National Unity Day. The speech that is read out is as follows:

"I solemnly pledge that I dedicate myself to preserving the unity, integrity, and security of the nation and also strive hard to spread this message among my fellow countrymen. I take this pledge in the spirit of unification of my country, which was made possible by the vision and actions of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. I also solemnly resolve to make my own contribution to ensure the internal security of my country."

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FAQs about National Unity Day

Q1. What is National Unity Day?

National Unity Day, or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, is a day marked to celebrate the "Iron Man of India," Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. He is remembered for the efforts of unifying the nation. Unity Day is celebrated on 31st October every year on Sardar Patel Jayanti (birthday).

Q2. When is National Unity Day celebrated in India?

National Unity Day is celebrated on 31st October every year to honour the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The day was officiated as National Unity Day by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel in 2014.

Q3. What is the National Unity Day theme 2022?

The theme of National Unity Day 2022 has not been announced yet. The Government of India announces a unique theme for the day every year. Last year, in 2021, the theme of Unity Day was "Atmanirbhar Bharat."

Q4. When was Unity Day in India first celebrated?

Unity Day in India was first celebrated on 31st October 2014, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement regarding the same. This day is celebrated to honour Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's exemplary work during the Indian Independence.