Bengaluru: Today is the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, often known as the Iron Man of India. He was India’s first deputy Prime Minister and home minister. 

If today, we boast of India as a union of states, the credit should go to Patel, for he strove indefatigably to annex princely states and make them a part and parcel of India. 

We are all privy to the information that it was Patel who convinced refusing and rebelling kings to join India. But most of us need not be aware of how Patel played a pivotal role in integrating Lakshadweep archipelago as well.

Once India earned Her independence from the clutches of the British on August 15, 1947, our neighbours Pakistan set its yes on the beautiful islands. In fact, the Pakistan navy made several attempts to plunder the islands. Sensing massive danger, it was Patel who instructed the India navy to take control of the situation. He sent naval ships and successfully thwarted all attempts by the enemy nation. 

There is another man who name merits a mention here and that his Patel’s secretary VP Menon who executed all tasks assigned to him meticulously and efficiently. 

Lakshadweep is only an example. Be it Jodhpur, Junagadh or Hyderabad, it was Patel who went the extra mile to ensure the smooth integration with the newly-formed India. 

Again, we must reiterate that if there is any person who can be credited for the integration of India, it was Sardar. 

Article 1 of the Constitution which states that “India, that is, Bharat, shall be a Union of States” is his effort. 

Lastly, let’s take a look at his exhortation for a unified India. 

He had said, “We have to shed mutual bickering, shed the difference of being high or low and develop the sense of equality…We have to live like the children of the same father”.