The 'Iron Man' of India

By on November 21, 2018
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The 'Iron Man' of India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers a special tribute to the country’s first deputy prime minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who unified India and was responsible for building India’s great co-operative sector

The first half of 1947 was a critical period in India’s history. The end of colonial rule was certain and so was India’s partition, but what was uncertain was whether there would be more than one division. Prices were rising, food shortages were common but over and above everything else, the unity of India was under severe strain.

It was in these circumstances that the States Department came into being in June 1947. Among the chief aims of this Department was to give impetus and top priority to negotiations vis-à-vis India’s relationship with the over 550 Princely states, which were as diverse as they could get, be it in size, population, terrain or economic situation. No wonder Mahatma Gandhi remarked, “The problem of the states is so difficult that YOU alone can solve it.”

In vintage Sardar Patel style, he went about his work with precision, firmness and administrative efficiency. Time was less and the task was herculean… but this was no ordinary person, it was Sardar Patel, who was determined not to let his nation down. One by one, he and his team negotiated with the Princely states and ensured that they all became a part of free India.

It was due to the round-the-clock effort of Sardar Patel that the map of India is what it is today!


Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.

Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

 

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