Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang on Commemoration of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas - 31 October 2022

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Embassy of India

Commemoration of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas
October 31, 2022

Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to welcome all of you to the event today celebrating the life and legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Iron Man of India. 

I am particularly happy to see so many young faces in the audience. The legacy of the Sardar is not just about the past but is something that is most relevant for the future generations.

In 1959, President Rajendra Prasad ji wrote in his diary – “That there is today a India to think and talk about, is very largely due to Sardar Patel’s statesmanship and firm administration”. 

This really sums up the central contribution of Sardar Patel to the making of India as a nation.

While several facets of the memorable life of this remarkable son of India is worth remembering and celebrating, 3 deserve particular attention – his role as a freedom fighter, his contribution as a unifier of India, and his legacy as an administrator par excellence.

He was amongst our tallest leaders of the freedom movement and fought alongside Mahatma Gandhi as his most trusted lieutenant. His role in the Bardoli Satyagraha earned him the title ‘Sardar’.

It is often mistakenly believed that it was the British who united India from the many states and kingdoms that existed earlier. Nothing could be farther from the truth. 

As a matter of fact, when the British left India they left behind no less than 565 Princely States and Territories. The task of stitching this motley fabric of India into one nation fell to Sardar Patel as our first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. It is to his credit and outstanding statesmanship that he was able to unify the country and gave us ‘Ek Bharat’.

Sardar was also a farsighted administrator and founded the Civil Services structure of India which was to prove critical in governing India as one country despite its staggering diversity. 


I have just returned from Kevadia in Gujarat where Sardar Patel has been immortalized in the form of the majestic State of Unity. It is a matter of pride that the life and legacy of this great Son of India is finally being recognized so that the future generations can also learn from this true Bharat Ratna.

On this day, let us pledge to follow the ideals of Sardar and build his ‘Ek Bharat’ into ‘Shreshtha Bharat’.

Thank you.