National Unity Day was introduced by the Government of India in 2014 to mark the birth anniversary of Iron Man of India – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is celebrated on October 31 every year. The day was introduced by the Government of India in 2014 to mark the birth anniversary of Iron Man of India – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. This year marks the 145th birth anniversary of the freedom fighter.
Patel played a crucial role in India’s freedom movement and in the integration of India from 560 princely states. He was the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India. National Unity Day is observed to acknowledge the efforts of Patel to unite the nation.
Why is National Unity celebrated?
India is a country of diversities – religions, cultures, traditions and languages. So, it is important to maintain the nation’s unity. The day aims to spread awareness about Patel’s contribution to Indian history.
Significance of National Unity Day
The Home Ministry of India, in the official statement for National Unity Day, cited that the National Unity Day “will provide an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to the unity, integrity and security of our country.”
On Patel’s 143rd anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Statue of Unity in Gujarat. It is the world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 metres (597 feet). It is located on the Narmada River in the Kevadiya colony and faces the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
National Unity Day Pledge
In 2019, PM Modi administered the National Unity Day pledge at the Statue of Unity. The pledge is: “I solemnly pledge that I dedicate myself to preserve the unity, integrity, and security of the nation and also strive hard to spread this message among my fellow countrymen. I take this pledge in the spirit of unification of my country which was made possible by the vision and actions of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. I also solemnly resolve to make my own contribution to ensure the internal security of my country.”