Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel: Know about the Iron Man of India

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 4, 2022, 6:53

15th December is the death anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the "Iron Man of India." He was an Indian lawyer and politician and one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress. During the first three years of India's independence, he served as Deputy Prime Minister, Home Minister, Minister of Information, and Minister of State. 

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel oversaw the integration of more than 500 princely states before and after India became independent of British rule. He was one of the crucial figures who contributed to India's freedom movement.

Since 2014, 31st October (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's birth date) has been celebrated as "National Unity Day". On 31st October 2018, the world's tallest statue, the Statue of Unity, was dedicated to him.

The Education of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

He attended an elementary school in Karamasad and a high school in Petlad. He passed the 10th class exam at the age of 22.

  • In August 1910, he moved to London for further research and completed a 36-month advocacy course in just 30 months.
  • He returned to India in 1913, settled in Ahmedabad, and became a criminal lawyer. Patel was the first Indian municipal committee member of Ahmedabad from 1917 to 1924 and was president of the municipality from 1924 to 1928.
  • In 1918, Sardar Patel opposed the Bombay government's decision to recoup taxes even after poor harvest seasons with the help of farmers in Kairana (Gujarat). In 1928, he successfully led the downfall of Zamindars in Bardori against tax hikes.
  • After successfully leading Bardoli, he was awarded the title of "Sardar," which means "leader."

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's contribution to the Indian Independence Movement

  • During the 1930 Salt Satyagraha, Patel was sentenced to three months in prison. In March 1931, he chaired the Karachi session of the Indian National Congress.
  • Vallabhbhai Patel participated in Gandhi's disobedience movement, was arrested in 1940, and put in jail for nine months.
  • During the Quit India movement (1942), Sardar Patel was arrested and imprisoned at the Ahmed Nagar fort from 1942 to 1945.
  • He led the Parliamentary Party in the 1937 election and was a strong candidate for the Speaker of Parliament in 1937. 

The Death of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sardar Patel died of a major heart attack on 15th December 1950 at the Birla House in Bombay (now Mumbai). After his death (1991), he was awarded the highest civilian honour in India, the Bharat Ratna.

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FAQs about Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

  • Who was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel?

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the "Iron Man of India" or the "Unifier of the Nation." He was an Indian lawyer and politician and one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress. Here are a few details:

  • Full name: Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel
  • Date of Birth and Place of Birth: 31st October 1875, Nadiad, Gujarat, India
  • Death: 15th December 1950,  Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (75 years old)
  • Education: Lawyer (UK)
  • Roles: First Deputy Prime Minister of India (15th August 1947-15th December 1950) and the Home Minister of India (15th August 1947 - 15th December 1950)
  • Where is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport located?

The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport serves two cities, Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, in Gujarat, India, and is located in Hansol, 9 km north of the centre of Ahmedabad.

  • When is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Jayanti celebrated?

In 2014, the government declared 31st October (his birth date) as National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas to honour Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

  • Where is the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel?

In honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in the world, was unveiled in 2018. It is located on the banks of the Narmada River in Gujarat.