• The National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is observed every year on October 31, on the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is also known as the 'Iron Man of India'. The National Unity Day 2019 commemorates Patel’s 144th birth anniversary.

    PM Narendra Modi commemorated the National Unity Day by paying tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary at the Statue of Unity in Kevadia, Gujarat. The Statue of Unity, which is the world’s tallest statue, depicts Vallabhbhai Patel, who was one of India’s most prominent leaders during its freedom movement.

    On the occasion, the Prime Minister dedicated the decision to withdraw Article 370 in the state of Jammu and Kashmir to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. PM Modi recalled how Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had once said that if the issue of Kashmir had been handled by him then it would have not taken so long to resolve it. The two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh came into existence today.

    PM Modi will also be participating in the Rashtriya Ekta Divas Parade. ‘Run for Unity’ event is also being organized across the country to encourage citizens from all walks of life in India to run together. Several top political leaders will be participating in the marathon.

    National Unity Day 2019 Theme

    The main theme of National Unity Day 2019 is to bring the nation together, united in times of strife and rising extremism. The day honours Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who had played a significant role during India’s freedom struggle and later during the integration of all the princely states into the Indian Union.

    National Unity Day: All you need to know

    What is the aim of National Unity Day?

    The National Unity Day is celebrated to pay tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who had played a huge role in keeping India united post-independence.

    Who was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel?

    Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was India’s first deputy Prime Minister. He played a major role in persuading over 500 princely states to accede to the independent Indian Union. Patel was also popularly titled as the ‘Iron Man of India’, as he was able to successfully integrate all the princely states into the newly independent India, despite several hurdles. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is also known to be one of the founding fathers of the Indian Republic.

    When was the first National Unity Day observed?

    The National Unity Day was first observed in 2014 when the Narendra Modi-led NDA government came to power. The government decided to observe Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary, October 31 as the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas every year.

    When was the Statue of Unity built?

    The Statue of Unity was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, 2018, on the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The statue depicting the late freedom fighter was designed by prominent Indian sculptor Ram V Sutar.

    Where is the Statue of Unity located?

    The Statue of Unity is located on a river island, on the Narmada River, facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Kevadia district of Gujarat. The Statue created the record of being the world’s tallest statue.

    Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel: Know all about him

     Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel or the Iron Man of India was born on October 31, 1875, in Gujarat.

     He was one of the most successful lawyers in the country and he joined the Indian freedom struggle after meeting Mahatama Gandhi in 1917.

     He played a leading role in organizing non-violent protests peasant protests in Kheda, Bardoli and Borsad in Gujarat. He also worked against social taboos including untouchability and caste-based discrimination.

    • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel also supported Mahatama Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement and the Khadi movement and chose to wear only khadi clothes.

     He was appointed as the 49th President of the Indian National Congress in 1934. He had also played a major role in promoting the Quit India Movement.

     When India gained independence, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was appointed as the First Deputy Prime Minister of India and the first Home Minister.

     As the first Home Minister, he worked towards the political integration of India during partition and also oversaw the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.

     After independence, Patel was given the key duty on persuading the princely states to integrate into the Indian Union, as when the British had granted India its independence, they had given the princely states the option of either joining India or staying independent.

     Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was successful in unifying over 500 princely states with the Indian Union. The mammoth task earned him the title, ‘Iron Man of India’.

     Sardar Patel suffered a massive heart attack and passed away on December 15, 1950 in Bombay. He was honoured with the Bharat Ratna posthumously.

     The 182m-tall 'Statue of Unity' was inaugurated in 2018 to pay tribute to his efforts to keeping India unified post Independence.