Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel wasan Indian barrister and statesman, one of the important social and political leaders of the Indian National Congress and one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India.Therefore he is also regarded as the "Bismarck of India" and "Iron Man of India". In India and across the world, he was often addressed as Sardar, which means Chief in Hindi, Urdu, and Persian.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was born on 31st October, 1875, in a small village in Nadiad, Gujarat.His father Jhaverbhai Patel was a simple farmer and mother Laad Bai was a simple lady.From his childhood itself, Patel was a very hard-working individual. He used to help his father in farming and studied in a school at N. K. High school, Petlad. He passed his high-school examination in 1896. Throughout school he was a very wise and intelligent student. Vallabhbhai wanted to become a barrister. To realize this ambition he had to go to England. But he did not have the financial means to even join a college India. In those days a candidate could study in private and sit for an examination in Law. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel borrowed books from a lawyer of his acquaintance and studied at home. Occasionally he attended courts of law and listened attentively to the arguments of lawyer. Vallabhbhai passed the Law examination with flying colors.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel started his Law practice in Godhra. Soon his practice flourished. He got married to Jhaberaba. In 1904, he got a baby daughter Maniben, and in 1905 his son Dahyabhai was born. Vallabhbhai sent his elder brother Vitthalbhai, who himself was a lawyer, to England for higher studies in Law. Patel was only thirty-three years old when his wife died. He did not wish to marry again. After his brother's return, Vallabhbhai went to England. He studied with single-minded devotion and stood first in the Barrister-at-Law Examination.
Sardar Patel returned to India in 1913 and started his practice in Ahmedabad.He became aware of the local life, activities and people's problems. He became an extremely popular person and he got elected in the Municipal Corporation in 1917. Around 1915, he came across Mahatma Gandhi. The Swadeshi Movement was at its peak. Gandhiji gave a lecture at a place in Ahmedabad where Patel heard him and was very impressed and started actively participating in the freedom movement. The British government's atrocities were increasing. The government declared to confiscate all the lands of farmers. He forced the British government to amend the rules. He brought together the farmers and encouraged them and hence got the title of 'Sardar' and thus became famous.
Sardar Patel was deeply impressed by Gandhiji's success in Champaran Satyagraha. In 1918, there was a drought in the Kheda division of Gujarat. Peasants asked for relief from the high rate of taxes but the British government refused. Gandhiji took up peasants cause but could not devote his full time in Kheda. He was looking for someone who could lead the struggle in his absence. At this point Sardar Patel volunteered to come forward and lead the struggle. He gave up his lucrative legal practice and entered public life.
Vallabhbhai successfully led peasant’s revolt in Kheda and the revolt ended in 1919 when the British government agreed to suspend collection of revenue and roll back the rates. Kheda Satyagraha turned Vallabhbhai Patel into a national hero. Vallabhbhai supported Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement, and as president of the Gujarat Congress, helped in organizing bonfires of British goods in Ahmedabad. He gave up his English clothes and started wearing Khadi. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was elected Ahmedabad's municipal president in 1922, 1924 and 1927. During his terms, Ahmedabad was extended a major supply of electricity and underwent major education reforms. Drainage and sanitation systems were extended over the entire city.
In 1928, the farmers of Bardoli faced a similar problem of "tax-hike". After prolonged summons, when the farmers refused to pay the extra tax, the government in retaliation seized their lands. Vallabhbhai Patel. The agitation took on for more than six months and after a deal struck between the government and farmer's representatives, the lands were returned.
Disobedience Movement in 1930. After the signing of Gandhi-Irwin pact in 1931, Sardar Patel was released and he was elected Congress president for its 1931 session in Karachi. Upon the failure of the Round Table Conference in London, Gandhiji and Sardar Patel were arrested in January 1932 and imprisoned in the Yeravada Central Jail. During this term of imprisonment, Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi grew close to one another, and the two developed a close bond of affection, trust, and frankness without reserve. Sardar Patel was finally released in July 1934.
In 1934, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel led the all-India election campaign for the Indian National Congress. Though he did not contest a seat for himself, Sardar Patel helped his fellow party mates during the election.
Sardar Patel was annoyed at Jawaharlal Nehru for the latter's declarations of the adoption of socialism in 1936. Patel also considered Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose a "keen of more power within the party.
In August 1942, the Congress launched the Quit India Movement. The government jailed all the important leaders of the Congress, including Vallabhai Patel. All the leaders were released after three years. After achieving independence on 15th of August 1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of independent India and Sardar Patel became the Deputy Prime Minister. He was in charge of Home Affairs, Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of States.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel invoked the patriotism of India's monarchs, asking them to join in the freedom of their nation and act as responsible rulers who cared about the future of their people. His country and freedom were as dear to him as his own life. He persuaded the princes of 565 states of the impossibility of independence from the Indian republic, especially in the presence of growing opposition from their subjects. With great wisdom and political foresight, he consolidated the small kingdoms. The public was with him. He tackled the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of Junagarh who initially did not want to join India. Sardar Patel's untiring efforts towards the unity of the country brought success.
For his services to the nation Sardar Patel was conferred with Bharat Ratna in 1991.After suffering a massive heart attack, Sardar Patel diedin Bombay on the morning of the 15th of December 1950.