National Unity Day 2020: History and significance around Sardar Vallabhai Patel's birth anniversary

National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is celebrated on October 31 every year since 2014. This day marks the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel who played a significant role to unify India.

The Home Ministry says that the day "will provide an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to the unity, integrity and security of our country."

The man who was popularly known as the Iron Man of India was a member of the Indian National Congress. He fought against the British during India's freedom movement.

Patel became the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of Independent India.

He played a major role in integrating the princely states into the Indian Union after the partition of 1947.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018 unveiled the 182-metre high ‘Statue of Unity‘ in honour of country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and dedicated it to the nation.

In 2019, PM Modi administered a pledge for this day that reads - "The pledge is: "I solemnly pledge that I dedicate myself to preserve the unity, integrity, and security of the nation and also strive hard to spread this message among my fellow countrymen. I take this pledge in the spirit of unification of my country which was made possible by the vision and actions of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. I also solemnly resolve to make my own contribution to ensure the internal security of my country."

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Free Press Journal