Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang on National Unity Day - 31 October 2023

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Good Evening and Namaskar, 

Dear Teachers, Students, Embassy colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We gather here today to commemorate the exceptional legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a visionary leader whose contributions to our great nation transcend a single dimension. 

Sardar Patel, affectionately known as the 'Iron Man of India,' is celebrated for his multi-faceted contributions, leaving an indelible mark on our history as the chief architect of our unity, a visionary statesman, a dedicated freedom fighter, and a relentless nation-builder. 

His role in integrating princely states into a united India stands as an awe-inspiring accomplishment. 

At the dawn of our independence, Sardar Patel undertook an extraordinary mission. He worked tirelessly to unify more than 500 princely states, each with its own ruler, into the independent and sovereign nation we know today. It was a monumental task, and his dedication and vision played a pivotal role in shaping the India we see today.

His vision was clear: "No distinctions of caste and creed should hamper us. All are the sons and daughters of India. We should all love our country and build our destiny on mutual love and help." Sardar Patel's words resonate with us, reminding us that regardless of our diverse backgrounds, we are first and foremost Indians. 

National Unity Day, celebrated since 2014 on his birth anniversary, is a testament to our shared identity as a united and harmonious nation, a legacy that we must cherish and uphold.

National Unity Day, serves as a reminder of the significance of unity in our diverse nation. It is a day when we pay tribute to Sardar Patel's extraordinary achievements. 

In the world we live in today, we often witness conflicts and divisions. Take recent examples around us. The principles of unity and integration that Sardar Patel upheld remain more relevant than ever. His legacy teaches us the importance of working together, respecting our diversity, and overcoming differences for the greater good. As we confront the challenges of our times, we must remember that our unity is our strength.

Sardar Patel's arduous task of uniting India serves as a timeless example of the strength that comes from collective action. As we face contemporary challenges both at home and abroad, his legacy teaches us that by standing united and working together, we can weather any storm and safely reach our destination.

On this National Unity Day, let us renew our commitment to preserving the unity and diversity of our great nation. 

Let us draw inspiration from his determination and dedication to the idea of a united India. 

Just as he accomplished the seemingly impossible task of integrating our nation, let us resolve to overcome any challenges that come our way, united and determined.

Let us remember Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's legacy and the ideals he upheld. His words serve as a guiding light for us: "Every citizen of India must remember that... he is an Indian and he has every right in this country, but with certain duties." Let us embrace our duties and celebrate our unity with pride.

Thank you, and Jai Hind!