“Our mutual conflicts and internecine quarrels and jealousies have in the past been the cause of our downfall and our falling victims to foreign domination a number of times. We cannot afford to fall into those errors or traps again.” –Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the maker of political-geographical unity of India that it never had in its entire history. For this mammoth achievement, he is truly called the Maker of United India. In his persona Sardar Patel possessed so many characteristics of which commitment to discipline, firm determination, management and taking quick and appropriate decision were the foremost. These characteristics made him a unique leader, organizer and administrator. In his exceptional way of working Sardar Patel was matchless and he still is unparallel. If it was not so, the task of merger of more than 550 scattered princely states into the Indian Union in a short period of just a few weeks soon after its independence from the English in 1947 was rather difficult. In other words, the work of India’s unity was not so easy. It was also not easy to handle the situation, which emerged due to the partition of the country into two –India and Pakistan, particularly pertaining to exchange of population [lacs in number], communal upsurge and crackdown in administration. Anti-social and anti-national elements were active both, internally and externally to disintegrate the nation, and protecting India from them was a mammoth task. But, it was the firm determination of the Great Sardar for which he used to say himself that “we are not going to let the grass grow under our feet” and it was the charisma of his multifaceted personality that India could survive through the toughest phase in its socio-political history. India could be united and rebuilding work of the nation could be started and, thus, a new chapter in golden letters could be added in its glorious history. Undoubtedly, the role and contribution of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the process of integration and rebuilding of India immediately after the freedom and in the first three-four years of its independence remained outstanding and unprecedented. For this gigantic job, Sardar Patel will be remembered by Indians for hundreds and thousands of years. He will always remain alive in the pages of Indian history and his compatriots will definitely be proud of their Sardar –Vallabhbhai Patel.
Along with this, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel deserves appreciation and respect of international community, people around the world, besides India, for the legacy he left through his ideas and works for one and all on this planet. What legacy has he left for his successive generations, is a question that could naturally emerge in one’s mind.
In answer, first of all, his practical approach in the implementation of Ahimsa-centred Gandhian way to establish justice is worth a mention. It was Sardar Patel who accorded the best and the most practical dimension to the Gandhian method through a dozen Satyagrahs, from the Non-Cooperation  to the Quit India Movement . In this regard Sardar’s organizational ability, planning and strategy remained unique; it is still matchless and exemplary for the whole world, for those in particular who wish to carry out activities through the Gandhian way or the method.
Secondly, value-based views and works of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel are no less important. Especially, his stress on value-based politics and society, and work accomplished by him accordingly are subject of analysis. Sardar Patel in his entire public life remained committed to values at all levels and in all walks of life. Particularly, in political sphere he never seemed lacking behind morality and ethics. Rather, the manner in which he came forward to protect autonomy of democratic values, for their honour/respect and maturity that is extraordinary and ideal. He was of the firm opinion that “democracy and democratic institutions can function efficiently only where the unit to which these are applied can subsist in a fairly autonomous existence.” These views of Sardar Patel are exemplary and significant for people of nations of the world where democracies are in function. Further, it is the legacy of the Sardar he left for all those who are concerned with democratic values and wish for matured and real democracy.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel wished for a prosperous and unified world. He particularly wished for a strong and prosperous India to defend the whole of humanity. He was of the opinion that Hindustan, taking it as its foremost responsibility should contribute towards the development of the whole world. It was in this very context that he played an important role for India’s association with international organizations like the Commonwealth and the United Nations Organization and desired them to work according to the spirit they possessed.
It is an irony that people are not much familiar of ideas and work of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Why? I do not want to go in details pertaining to this reality. However, I urge all –Indians and people around the world to analyze Sardar’s thoughts and brood over their timelessness. If it is done, I am sure they will find them worth consideration in current perspective, exemplary and significant.
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