On the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's birth anniversary, here are some facts about the man popularly known as 'Iron man' of India.

On the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's birth anniversary, here are some facts about the man popularly known as 'Iron man' of India.One of the most influential personalities to have fought for Independence, Sardar Patel was born in Nadiad, Gujarat. 

Hailing from a farmer's family, Patel lived a simple life and was known for his wisdom and diplomatic skills. Although his official birthday is still unknown, Patel wrote his date of birth to be October 31 on his matriculation examination paper, hence, the day is celebrated as his birth anniversary and is also observed as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day.

>> Vallabhbhai Patel was born on October 31, 1875 in Nadiad, a small village in Gujarat. Interestingly, the official date of birth of Vallabhbhai Patel was never officially recorded. Patel entered 31 October as his date of birth on his matriculation examination papers.

>> Vallabhbhai's family was not well to do. He wanted to become a barrister but he did not have the financial means to even join a college India. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel borrowed books from a lawyer of his acquaintance and studied at home and then went to give his law exam. Occasionally he also attended courts of law and listened attentively to the arguments of lawyer to gain first hand knowledge.

>> He got married to Jhaveraba. In 1904, his daughter Maniben was born and a year after his daughter, his son Dahyabhai was born. His wife died when he was in his early thirties. Jhaveraba had to undergo a major surgical operation for cancer. Her health suddenly worsened and, despite successful emergency surgery, she died in the hospital. Patel was in a court cross examining his witness when he got the news in a note. According to onlookers, Patel read the note, pocketed it and continued to intensely cross-examine the witness and won the case. He broke the news to others only after the proceedings had ended. He never married after that.

>> In 1917, Patel contested and won elections to become the sanitation commissioner of Ahmedabad. Vallabhbhai successfully led peasants revolt in Kheda which turned him into a national hero.

>> Vallabhbhai Patel had a great attachment with Mahatma Gandhi. He gave up his lucrative legal career and entered public services. He supported Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement, and as president of the Gujarat Congress, helped in organising bonfires of British goods in Ahmedabad. Infact, their relationship is very close after Gandhiji’s death his health also started deteriorating and with in two months he suffered a massive heart attack.

>> He was elected Ahmedabad's municipal president in 1922, 1924 and 1927. During his terms, Ahmedabad was extended a major supply of electricity and underwent major education reforms. Drainage and sanitation systems were extended over all the city.

>> In 1928, when Bardoli Taluka in Gujarat suffered from floods and famine, Patel appealed to the Governor to reduce the taxes which was vehemently refused. Sardar Patel organised the farmers revolt against governement. The government tried to repress the revolt but failed. The leadership, struggle and after the victory in Bardoli caused intense excitement across India to such an extent that Patel was addressed by his colleagues and followers as Sardar.

>> Patel was a true friend. When bubonic plague broke out in Gujarat in the 1930s, Patel went to take care of his friend who was infected, despite being advised not to. This resulted in him contracting the disease himself. He took refuge at a dilapidated temple in Nadiad until he recovered.

>> Patel opposed the existence of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh(RSS) because according to him, it could lead to an communal poison.

>> He was posthumously conferred with Bharat Ratna in 1991 for his services to the nation.

>>Patel practised law at Godhra, Borsad and Anand in Gujarat, after passing the bar examination; he borrowed books from senior lawyers.

>>At 36, Patel travelled to England and enrolled in the Middle Temple Inn, a school for barrister. He finished a 36-month course within just 30 months and topped the final examination despite having no previous college experience.

>>Patel joined Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement and travelled around West India to recruit 3,00,000 members. He also collected more than Rs 1.5 million for party fund.

>> When Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned, Patel was asked to lead the Satyagraha movement in Nagpur in 1923 against the British law of banning the hoisting of the Indian Flag.

>>As India's first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Patel played a key role in the integration of the princely states.

>>Sardar Patel was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress (INC). After Independence, he became India's first Deputy Prime Minister. On the first anniversary of Independence, Patel was appointed as the Home Minister of India.


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