On Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 142nd Birth Anniversary, PM Modi Flags Off 'Run For Unity'

| October 31 , 2017 , 10:20 IST

On the 142nd birth anniversary of the first Deputy Prime Minister of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday flagged off a 'Run for Unity' at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in Delhi, accompanied by sports stars Dipa Karmakar, Sardara Singh, Suresh Raina and Karnam Malleswari.

Born on October 31, 1875, Patel was known as the 'Iron Man' of India, and played an important role in the development of India both before and after independence. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1991 for his services to the nation, and in 2014 the Modi government designated Patel's birth anniversary as National Unity Day.

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Flagging off the Run for Unity, PM Modi alleged that previous governments ignored the contributions made by Sardar Patel.

"Patel's legacy was ignored by governments. The role of Sardar Patel was not introduced to the new generation of the country. Either an attempt was made to erase their contribution from history or an attempt was made to minimize it," said PM Modi addressing a massive gathering at the Dhyan Chand Stadium.

"Whether a political party accepts him grandfather or not, the country's youth will not allow him to be forgotten. The country's first President, Rajendra Prasad, also expressed his pain at an attempt to forget Sardar," he said.

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"We remember Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary. We are proud of his contribution to India before we attained freedom and during the early years after we independence," PM Modi said.

"We are home to so many cultures, languages, lifestyles. India is a country full of diversity, Unity in Diversity is our specialty. People tried to ensure the contribution of Sardar Patel is forgotten. However, the youth of India respects him and his contribution towards the building of our nation. India is proud of our diversity," he said.

On the occasion of National Unity Day (Rashtriya Ekta Diwas) Prime Minister Modi also made the countrymen take an oath of unity, aimed at protecting and preserving the diversity of the nation.