Sardar Patel – one of the greatest personalities both during pre-independent as well as the post independent era.   His most notable contributions were the unification of the numerous princely states with the Indian union and the integration of Hyderabad (this happened when Nehru was on an European tour and Sardar was given the role of Acting Prime Minister).


However it is a pity that his contributions have been purposely sidelined to make the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty prosper.  Gandhiji succumbed to the influence of the rich & powerful Motilal Nehru and persuaded Patel to make way for Jawaharlal Nehru as the first prime minister of India.  If only this man was our first Prime Minister, the progress of this nation would have been a different story altogether.


What Patel did as the Home Minister was much more than what  Nehru did as the Prime Minister.  Such  was the power, character and  efficiency Sardar Patel.  But our history books hardly tell us about this person while they devote hundreds of pages for Nehru, Indira, Rajiv & Sonia.  The new generation hardly identifies him.   That’s how our nation repaid Patel for his contributions.


But the same is not the case with Modi’s Gujarat.  There are numerous statues and pictures of Sardar Patel in every nook & corner of the state.  Sardar Patel Memorial Museum at Shahibaug, Ahmedabad is too a great place to learn and remember this great person.


Last week, in a function organised to mark the 10th year of BJP rule in the state, Chief Minister Narendra Modiji announced the proposal of erecting a grand statue of Patel at the Sadhu Bet riverbed of Narmada, about  3 k.m from the Sardar Sarovar dam.


STATUE OF UNITY –  That’s how this statue will be named.  Perhaps the best tribute to the man who united the 550 odd princely states with Indian Union.


At an imposing 182 meters height, something really befitting the stature of the Iron Man of India.


For comparison, this will be twice the height of ‘Statue of Liberty’ and four times the  height of the ‘Christ the Redeemer’ at Rio.


Visitors would have to reach the site in boats.   There would be a high tech museum chronicling 90 years history of India’s freedom fighters (1857-1947).  It will also be developed as a Research & Academic centre for preserving the unity and integrity of India, its culture & richness.  Also would be a centre for research on agriculture, which was so dear to Sardar Patel.


In short, this will not just be an imposing statue just in terms of its sheer height, but a befitting tribute to all great sons of India.


Hats off to Modiji for lavishing such a wonderful tribute to Sardar Patel.