The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu has said that the Statue of Unity is a befitting memorial to Sardar Patel, whose vision, courage and determination led to the integration of 565 princely States and paved the way for building a modern India.
Speaking after visiting the 182-metre tall statue at Kevadia in Gujarat on Sunday, the Vice President said “my heart is filled with emotions and pride. Now we have a great structure that symbolises the great legacy of Sardar Patel”. Naidu lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking up the initiative to build the State of Unity and added that he had always felt that due recognition was not given to Sardar Patel in the past.
The visit gave him a feeling of ‘completeness’ and a sense of ‘unity of mind and soul’.
The splendid statue represents the vision and resolve of SardarVallabhbhai Patel towards achieving political integration of a ‘Unified India’. He said that the historic statue stands as a reminder of the struggles the Sardar had undergone in unifying India.
He said the ‘Statue of Unity’ would create greater awareness among the people on Sardar Patel’s monumental contribution to nation-building. Given its significance, the amount spent on erecting the statue was a “priceless investment”, he added.
Naidu said that all Indians, particularly the youth should visit the statue o to draw inspiration and know the history. It was the responsibility of every citizen who owes allegiance to the Constitution of India to do everything to uphold the unity of our country, he added.
Talking about the humble beginnings of Patel who hailed from a farmer’s family, Naidu said that Patel with his hallmark qualities such as determination, hardwork and resolve led several peasant movements against British, beginning with the farmers agitation during KhedaSatyagrah.
The Vice President said it was a matter of pride for all of us that a Farmer was the architect of unified modern India. He said that it was a great achievement that our country won the freedom from colonial rulers after a long and hard fought freedom struggle under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.
It is indeed a matter of pride for Gujarat that both the architect of India’s freedom and architect of a unified India hailed from this State, he said.
The Vice President said that the people of India would forever remain grateful to Sardar Patel for consolidating India with a steely resolve. For this one act of courage and determination Sardar Patel is rightly called the Iron Man of India, he added.