58. Mains Question- Oct 31, 2018
What are the achievements of Sardar Patel towards our country? (250 words)
- Theme of the question: contributions of Sardar Patel
- Some of major contributions that can be listed are:
- Patel’s involvement in politics grew astronomically. He fought against servitude of Indians to Europeans, organized relief efforts during plague and famine in Kheda and took a leading role in the non-violent Civil Disobedience Movement against the payment of raised tax, levied by the British. His leadership activities earned him the title of ‘Sardar’.
- He travelled village to village, garnering support from peasants and other villagers for a state-wide revolt by refusing the payment of taxes. He laid emphasis on unity and non-violent demeanor despite provocation and also briefed the villagers of the potential hardships that they might have to face in the process.
- Once a follower of Western fashion, Patel switched to khadi. He even organized several bonfires of British goods in Ahmedabad. Apart from these, Patel supported the empowerment of women and worked for abolishing alcoholism, untouchability and caste discrimination from the society.
- What is interesting to note is that Sardar Patel was successful in building unity and trust among the people, who despite falling into different caste and community and divided by socio-economic lines, were united for a cause.
- In 1928, the village of Bardoli suffered from famine and steep tax hikes. To curb the problem, Sardar Patel organized a struggle, which called for non-violent unity from the villagers and a demand for complete denial of the taxes to the Government.
- An ardent supporter of Gandhi, Vallabhbhai Patel took active participation in the Gandhi-led Quit India Movement. He believed that the mass civil disobedience would compel the British to leave the nation like in Singapore and Burma.
- At the time of independence, India was divided into three parts. The first was the one directly under control of the British Government, the second was the territories rules by hereditary rulers and third was the territory colonized by France and Portugal. Patel had realized that the dream for a unified and free India could only be achieved if the three territories were integrated as one. Blessed with practical acumen, great wisdom and political foresight, he took up the uphill task of unifying India.
- Patel’s untiring efforts and relentless appeals reaped fruitful result as he successfully persuaded 565 states, except the three states of Jammu and Kashmir, Junagadh, and Hyderabad. He used the tactics of invoking patriotism in the Indian rulers and proposed favourable terms for the merger
- The contributions mentioned above are exhaustive. One has to selectively use points in order to follow the word limit. Ex: Kheda and Bardoli Satyagraha can be mentioned together