Sardar Vallabhai Patel is called the ‘Iron man of India’ for his courage and willpower. He was born in a farmer’s family in 1875 in Gujarat which was then a part of Bombay State. His father’s name was Jawar Bhai.
He had his school education at Baroda and during his school career, he was a brilliant student. He was bold and fearless from his childhood. After finishing his school education, he joined college and finally passed his law degree with credit.
He started his practice as an advocate at Ahmedabad and earned fame as well as fortune. He started leading a luxurious life. During this period he came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi and on his motivation gave up his practice and joined the Civil Disobedience Movement. He continued to be a staunch Congress worker and leader in all other movements undertaken by Congress.
Most famous of the movements led by Sardar Vallabhai Patel was the Bardoli Farmers Movement, which he very successfully conducted. It was a no-tax campaign and the Bombay Government had to yield to the demands of the Bardoli farmers. He was one of the top leaders in Congress like Gandhiji and Nehru and no policy decision was taken without consulting him. Though he hailed from Gujarat he was and All India leader from the beginning and had a powerful voice in Congress.
After independence he became the Deputy Prime Minister of India, the first to occupy that distinguished post. Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister.
In 1947 when we got Independence, there were a number of Princely States in India and the unity of India depended on their accession to Indian Union. There was some difficulty in respect of some Princely States like Hyderabad and Travancore. With tact and willpower of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, it became easy to get all Princely States merged with the Indian Union. By consolidating all Princely States, Sardar vallabhai Patel proved that he is really and Iron Man of India. But for him, the Police Action against the Nizam of Hyderabad would not have been taken. On account of his efforts, we had a United India before we became a Republic in 1950.
The Iron man on India breathed his last on 15th December 1951 at Bombay, leaving the new nation firm and on good foundation. Many are of the opinion that if only had Patel lived longer India would have become stronger than what it is today.