Sardar Patel Early days:
Sardar Patel Was one of the famous Indian freedom fighters. He was the prominent leader of the Indian National Congress and founded the father of the Republic of India. His efforts united India, so the People called him the ‘Iron man of India’.
Sardar Patel was born on October 31, 1875, in a farmer’s family in Nadiad, Gujarat. His father, Zav bhai, had served in the army of Jhansi Ki Rani. His mother, Ladbai, is a deeply religious woman. Since his childhood days, he has had superior organizational skills. As a profession, he was a Lawyer and advocate in many local complicated cases and exposed his skills in overthrowing the accusations of the opponent lawyers. Once in high school at Petlad, he coordinated the campaign for a poor teacher he thought deserved a seat on the local municipal committee. He grabbed his fellow students to campaign in favour of the poor teacher. They impressively handled the campaign that the teacher was elected over the wealthy local businessman. This made him a local hero; he completed his matriculation in 1897 from Nadiad High School.
Sardar Patel Family
Sardar Patel married Zaverbai in 1891; the couple had two children and a daughter. The daughter Maniben was born in 1904, son Dayabhai was born in 1906. In 1909 his wife Zaverbai had cancer. She underwent a major surgical operation conducted in Bombay. However, her health continued declining, and she died the same year. Patel did not think about remarriage; he was against remarrying and instead raised his children with the help of his family.
Sardar Patel sailed for England in August 1910 to study law. He passed the Barrister in 1913 and returned to India to practice in Ahmedabad. He joined the Gujarat Bar club and continued a luxurious life during the practice period.
Mahatma Gandhi Influence
During part of the freedom movement, Gandhiji started coming to the Gujarat clubs to give lectures. During his speech in the Bar, he stressed the importance of the new concept of ‘Satyagraha’, which means the actual force. This speech impressed Vallabhbhai, and he wanted to follow his life in his footsteps. In the coming years, he enunciated every luxury of life and became a patriotic freedom fighter. Afterwards, Gandhiji and Patel’s relationship turned into a Guru and disciple relationship, infusing the freedom fighters against the policies of the British administration in India.
Impressed by the lectures of Gandhiji, Sardar Patel adopted the weapon of Satyagraha and started implementing it in Gujarat. In 1918 the farmers of Kaira lost their crops to heavy rains and floods. Their lives turned miserable, were unable to pay taxes to the Government. Every farmer’s family starved for days. Even though the Government disregarded the pain and forced the farmers to collect land revenue. Then Sardar Patel leads a peaceful movement against the Government by paying No tax to the Government. The Government held out and began confiscating land and cattle. Vallabh Bhai Patel, wearing a dhoti, kurta, and cap, urged the farmers not to buckle.
The farmers’ unity and Vallabhbhai Patel’s Satyagraha let down the Government. Then the British returned the confiscated property to the farmers. This Kaira Movement became famous in the Indian freedom struggle, and Sardar Vallabhai Patel became the National leader.
Another significant movement in the life of Sardar Patel was the Bardoti movement. In 1928, Sardar Vallabhai Patel started the Bardoti movement against the Government in favour of the Bardoli farmers. Before the movement, the British Government increased the land tax, which put a burden on the residents of Bardoti. Patel urged the farmers not to pay the taxes to the Government and argued the hike was unjust. He called the farmers to follow the Satyagraha against the imposing of tax. The speeches and the strong advocacy made the farmers refuse to pay the tax hike. The Government took action on some farmers. However, the remaining substantial number of farmers did not leave Satyagraha. The irritated Government confiscated the farmer’s land, cattle, and crops and even arrested hundreds of farmers. Some make away from Bardoli to escape the atrocities of the Government.
Then the freedom fighter made the farmers not sell milk, vegetables, and necessities to anyone. He was assigned a chit by the local Satyagraha committee to support the farmers. Finally, the Government agreed to enquire into the tax hike and returned the confiscated items to the farmers. This famous Bardoti movement made him a national Hero. Then impressed, Mahatma Gandhi gave him the title of ‘Sardar’, who is a true leader.
Vallabhbhai Patel and other freedom fighters participated in Dandi salt satyagraha, which Mahatma Gandhiji led. During the Salt Satyagraha, Patel went to every village to organize food for the marchers and other needs. His stirring speeches inspired the freedom fighters and caused his arrest and sentence to Jail. It was the first time he went to Jail.
Quit India Movement:
Sardar Patel took active participation in the Quit India movement. He intended firmly that civil disobedience would compel the British to leave the Nation. With the force of Gandhiji and Patel, the All India Congress Committee launched mass civil disobedience called the Quit India Movement. This Quit India Movement started on August 7, 1942, shattering the British. His powerful speeches electrified the nationalists; People also refused to pay taxes to the Government. Patel was arrested two days later, on August 9, and was released after three years on June 15, 1945. Finally British decided to leave India and transfer the power to India on August 15, 1947.
Sardar Patel Efforts Uniting India:
Sardar Patel was the first Home Minister of free India. He supported the partition of India due to the communal violence and Muslim separatist movement led by Mohammad Jinnah. At the time of Independence, India was divided into three parts. The first part was the Nation under the control of the British. The second was the Princely states, which wanted their Independence. The third one was the territories colonized by France and Portugal. He began logging the princes and monarchs, finally uniting all parts of the Indian Union. But Junagadh and Hyderabad state made some disturbance to his process. They wanted to join their environments in Pakistan. But Patel forced Junagadh Nawab to join the Indian Union and succeeded. Indian army participated in making Hyderabad part of Union India.
Sardar Patel Final Days:
He was very popular as a freedom fighter by two names: the ‘ Iron man of India’ and the Bismarck of India. His leadership activities lead thousands of people to participate in the freedom movement. He completed the challenging task of merging the princely states and colonized territories into the Indian Union. A hectic schedule made him sick; his health gradually started declining; with the doctor’s advice, he went to Bombay, now Mumbai, and breathed last on December 15, 1950, at Birla House, Bombay. His death news made the people of India lament. He was the Ironman of India.