Home minister Amit Shah said the situation has changed and the world’s tallest statue on Sardar Patel was an example of the changed realities.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said attempts were made post-Independence to forget Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and his contributions, but the situation changed and the world’s tallest statue was an example of the changed realities.
Paying tribute to Patel on his 146th birth anniversary at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Kevadia, Shah said, “After independence, his contributions were never given due respect. He was neither given Bharat Ratna nor proper respect. Situation changed. He was given Bharat Ratna and this world’s tallest statue is before us to see.”
He said Kevadia was not just the name of a place, it had become a shrine — a shrine of national unity and patriotism. “This sky-high statue of Sardar Patel is giving a message to the world that India’s future is bright, that nobody can damage the unity and integrity,” the home minister was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Speaking of National Unity Day as celebrated on Patel’s birth anniversary since 2014, Shah said it had a unique importance. “Today’s National Unity Day is a day of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav… After Independence, while leaving, Britishers had conspired to divide into several pieces. Patel foiled that conspiracy and resolved to make ‘akhand Bharat’,” Shah said after presiding over the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Divas’ (National Unity Day) function at Kevadia where he also paid floral tribute to Patel’s 182-m-tall statue.
Men’s hockey team captain, Olympian Manpreet Singh, and other athletes also participated in the parade in Kevadia.
National Unity Day was introduced by the Narendra Modi-led central government in 2014.