Written By Ananya Agarwal (Grade 8)
India is a country which exists today because of the love people had for it almost a century ago. I love my country for many reasons and one of the main reasons is how so many inspirational people have lived here and the tremendous work they have done. One of these people that I respect the most is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. If not for his hard work I don’t think there would be a nation called India.
During India’s struggle for independence, he played a key role in almost all the movements and helped the common people get their basic rights. He was jailed numerous times for his acts and once even for 16 months!
When the British had finally agreed to transfer the power to the hands of the Congress, many issues arose, the prime one being the integration of the dominions of the princely states into independent India. Some of the states immediately agreed to join India, while some wanted complete independence or now even had the option to join Pakistan. But the Congress believed that to build a successful, democratic nation they needed all the states to be united and put Sardar Vallabhbhai to this job.
Patel was a great orator. He invoked the patriotism of monarchs and told them to think about what their unification would mean to future generations. He managed to persuade 565 states even with the growing opposition from their subjects. While he tried to get them to unite through his speeches and lobbying he didn’t rule out force. He gave the princes a deadline of 15th August 1947 to sign the instrument of accession document. Even after this, three states refused this agreement, out of which one was his hometown Junagadh itself.
He won over Junagadh by following widespread protests and later being forced to send the Indian Army to march into the state with no other solution.
Getting Hyderabad was more difficult, and it was very important also as it was one of the biggest states and had a very strategic location for trade. The Nizam kept on rejecting the deals, leaving Congress with no option but to take military action. Patel ordered the Indian army to invade Hyderabad and this was known as Operation Polo. Many people were killed but in the end, Hyderabad was secured and was a part of Independent India.
Sardar Valbhbhai means a lot to me and has never failed to inspire me. If not for him and the other freedom fighters we might not have been the successful country we are today. I think it is because of them that every citizen dreams of adding something meaningful to the country and making it proud for the entire world.
Featured Image Courtesy – Jagran