Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
‘The Iron Man of India’

Name : Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Date of birth : 31 October 1875
Date of Death : 15 December 1950
Place of birth : Nadiad, Gujarat, India
Place of death : Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Nationality: Indian
Gender : Male
Spouse : Jhaberaba
Father : Jhaverbhai
Mother : Ladbai
Movement : Indian independence movement

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875 – 1950) was a political and social leader of India who played a major role in the country's struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation.

Sardar Patel was born on 31 October 1875 at Nadiad in Gujarat, into a family of well-to-do landlords of the Leva Patidar caste. Being the fourth son of the family he always remained neglected, but he had strong will power. Sardar Patel married at the age of 16. He desired to go to England to study law, but his family was not able to bear the expenses. So after his matriculation at the age of 22, he cleared the district pleader’s examination, which helped him practice law. In 1900 he established an independent office of district pleader in Godhra and latter moved to Borsad in Kheda district of Gujarat. His wife died in 1908 and he remained a widower. They had a son and a daughter.In 1910 he went to London to study at Middleton. After clearing the examination, he returned to India in February 1913. He started his practice at the Ahmedabad bar and soon became a renowned barrister in criminal law.

It was in 1917 that he was first drawn towards the Indian politics. It was during this time that Gandhiji entered politics. Patel came under the influence of Mohandas Gandhi and was an important organizer of several Satyagraha, or militant nonviolent campaigns, to secure justice for the peasants of Gujarat. These included the Kheda Satyagraha of 1917-1918 and the famous Bardoli Satyagraha of 1927-1928, during which he received the title of Sardar, or leader. Between 1917 and 1928 he also served in the Ahmadabad municipality.

With the fame he gained in the Bardoli Satyagraha and in the Ahmadabad municipality, Patel emerged as an important figure among the Gandhian leadership of the Indian National Congress at the end of the 1920s. He served for many years on the working committee of the Congress, was Congress president in 1931, helped organize noncooperation efforts, and was a member of the parliamentary board of the Congress. The British-run government of India imprisoned Patel numerous times during the 1930s and World War II.From 1945 Patel was virtual co-leader of the Congress with Jawaharlal Nehru. They accepted plans for the partition of India even over the objections of Gandhi. After independence, he worked for the welfare of the country with great enthusiasm. But the assassination of Gandhiji was a big blow for him. He had un undying love for Gandhiji. He considered Gandhiji as his elder brother and guru.Between 1947 and 1950 he was the deputy prime minister, minister of home affairs, minister of information and minister of states.

On his death on 15 December 1950, the whole nation was plunged into grief.

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