141st Birthday Celebration of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at India House

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Photos: Bijay Dixit

HOUSTON: “Today, India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari is under one flag… all credit goes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel” – Prime Minister Modi.

India House, Houston celebrated the 141st birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on Friday. The birthday is being celebrated as Rashtriya Ekta Divas (National Unity Day) to honor the contribution of Sardar Patel in safeguarding and protecting the territorial integrity as well as the unity and diversity of the nation. Members of the Indian Diaspora were present in large number at India House to remember the leader, popularly known as the Iron man of India.  Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was an Indian barrister, a statesman, and one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India. He played a leading role in the Indian freedom struggle and became the first deputy prime minister and home minister of Independent India.

 

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Dr. Virendra Mathur, trustee of India House welcomed everyone present to India House and provided excellent background of Vallabhbhai Patel.  Dr. Mathur stated that Vallabbhai Patel was a social leader who played a leading role in achieving India’s freedom and guided its integration into a united, independent nation.

 

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This was followed by an address by the Consulate General of India in Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray.  In his speech, Dr. Ray spoke of five major traits that set Vallabhbhai Patel apart from other politicians. The highest on the list was his commitment to the nation and his strong character. We owe to the sterling efforts by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in ensuring that a partitioned India remained a united and strong nation, said Dr. Ray. The land where an ordinary person can become first home minister, and where an ordinary poor worker can become India’s prime minister, exemplify the greatness of India, said Dr. Ray. Vallabhbhai had said “There is something unique in this soil (India), which despite many obstacles has always remained the abode of great souls”. Dr. Ray also mentioned that he owed his service to Sardar Patel. He was instrumental in introducing the civil services in the country. Though there was opposition to the civil services, Valabhbhai propounded and supported it.

A documentary on Vallabhbhai Patel was played, which was very attentively viewed by all present at India House. Aku Patel presented the books on Sardar Patel written by Dr. Chittranjan Desai to the Consulate General of India, and to the India House Library on this occasion.  

Kul Bhushan Uppal recalled Patel’s great role in India’s freedom struggle and his unique contribution in achieving the integration of different princely states in India.

The program ended with people mingling and enjoying refreshments served by India House.  Executive Director of India House thanked everyone for participating in the event.

For updated information on program and services offered at India House please visit www.indiahouseinc.org

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