New Delhi: Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah attended the program organized at Kevadiya, Gujarat today as the Chief Guest on the occasion of National Unity Day on the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He paid floral tribute at the Sardar Patel Statue also known as the Statue of Unity to the country’s first Home Minister who was also known as the ‘Iron Man’. On this occasion, a video message of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was broadcast.
In his address on the occasion, Amit Shah said we are taking forward the tradition started by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to celebrate the birthday of the country’s first Home Minister and ‘Iron Man’, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as National Unity Day. Today this National Unity Day also has a different significance because this year is the 75th year of our Independence. This National Unity Day, which comes during the festival to celebrate our 75th year of Independence, holds special significance for all of us because after independence, when the British had conspired to split the country, into India, Pakistan and more than 550 princely and there was a plan to divide the country, Sardar Sahab defeated those plans and he resolved to create a united India.
Amit Shah said that it is the 75th year of our Independence of the country and the Prime Minister has decided to celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. To celebrate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, on one hand we have many achievements, accomplishments, struggles and sacrifices since 15th August 1947 till the present and we have to resolve how to move forward with them. On the other hand, from 1857 to 1947, we fought for our independence, many battles for freedom were fought, many people sacrificed their lives, we have to pay tribute to all the freedom fighters, known or unknown, remembering them and taking inspiration from their spirit of sacrifice, the youth has to come forward in the building of the nation. He said that today it is the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel and I want to tell you that there can only one Sardar in centuries and that one Sardar keeps the flame lit for centuries. The inspiration given by Sardar Sahab has kept our country intact and his inspiration is keeping us united to take the country forward.
Union Home Minister said that Kevadiya is not only the name of a place but it has become a pilgrimage for national unity, integrity, patriotism and this colossal statue of Sardar Sahab gives the message to the world that the future of India is bright and no one can damage our unity and integrity.
Amit Shah said that Sardar Sahab’s life is an inspiration for all of us, especially children and youth. Sardar sahab was born into a poor farmer’s family and after completing education and when he was a barrister, he left his career and on the call of Gandhi ji, he joined the freedom struggle. When the country became independent, the British left India with many crisis. On one hand there was the crisis of partition, there was a question of creating a new system of governance, a new Constitution was to be written and the biggest crisis was the inclusion of more than 500 princely states in the Union of India. But Sardar Sahab completed this work despite his deteriorating health and Sardar Patel built a united India, defeating the intentions of those who thought that independent India would be divided in many parts. Sardar Sahab’s life, his personality always inspires and guides us all. It was Sardar Sahib who raised the voice of farmers in the Freedom Movement, laid the foundation of cooperatives and always led the practical side of the Freedom Movement. He never hesitated in expressing anything in an unambiguous manner. The unified form of Mother India that we are seeing today is only due to the actions of Sardar Sahab.
Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation said that when all the princely states were to be merged with the Indian Union, then Sardar Sahab was not keeping well and meetings were being held continously. Along with
bringing together different princely states with India, there was another part of the country that did not go unnoticed, ‘Lakshadweep’, Sardar Patel sent the Indian Navy to ‘Lakshadweep’ at the right time and made it an integral part of India.
Amit shah said that Sardar Sahab united India after Independence, but unfortunately attempts were made to forget Sardar Sahib. After Independence, his contribution never received due respect and place, and, neither he was honoured with the Bharat Ratna nor was he given due respect. But how long can clouds keep the sun covered? Things changed, the country changed and today Sardar Sahab has been honoured with the Bharat Ratna and the world’s tallest statue is before aall of us. This Statue of Unity is a message to the world that no one can break the unity of India, no one can disturb the integrity of India and no one can tamper with our
sovereignty. This 182 meter high Statue of Unity is almost twice that of the Statue of Liberty. When it was inaugurated by the Prime Minister and the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi, he had said at that time that the construction of the Statue of Unity will be in accordance with the way of working of Sardar Sahab. He spent his whole life in raising the voice of the farmers, many farmers’ Satyagraha movements for their rights against the British, and, due to the Bardoli Satyagraha, he received the title of Sardar. Shri Narendra Modi conceived the idea to build a colossal statue of Sardar Sahab by collecting iron from tools used by farmers across the country. The iron used in building the statue is iron made by melting the plow or any other agricultural tool of crores of farmers across the country and it is a true tribute to Sardar Sahab.
Union Home Minister said that there is a visitors’ gallery at a height of 135 metres where 200 people can enjoy a breathtaking view. The construction of the Statue was completed in just 46 months. 70,000 metric tons of cement, 6 thousand metric tons of structural steel and 18,500 metric tons of reinforcement bars were used.