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PM Modi glorified Sardar Patel, Congress never gave him his due, say locals at Iron Man's birthplace
Nadiad: The small industrial town of Nadiad has been in the limelight for being the birthplace of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Gujarat's son of the soil. ANI travelled to Nadiad and visited the home of Sardar Patel where he was born.
People who come visiting take more interest in Sardar Patel after the recognition that Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave to him both as Gujarat chief minister and now as PM.
Local resident Manish Desai who has been looking after the house in the absence of the family members told ANI, "Earlier, only a few visitors would come on his birth anniversary and light a lamp and go away but now since the Statue of Unity has been inaugurated, the people are coming and there is a lot of interest among people to know what Sardar did for the freedom of the nation."
Locals have been upset with the injustice that the Congress party did over the years when did to the son of the soil and finally he got his due.
Harshal Patel, a local said, "The legacy of Sardar cannot be ignored. He was a great unifier. If the Congress party wanted, they could have honoured him much earlier. In 2014, we got such a government that was interested in Sardar's work as well as his contribution of not using his name. The Congress party merely wanted to use the name of Sardar Patel for their own gain."
Girish Barot said that Congress did not give Patel the honour that was due.
"He was a big contributor to the cause of India. Their properties, roads etc all in the name of the Gandhi family. What was named after Patel, nothing at all! Even the portrait of Sardar Patel in Parliament was put up by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government," he said.
It is not just his ancestral home that Nadiad is proud of association with Sardar Patel but also some heritage that the Gujarat government is now protecting that is linked to him as a barrister.
An advocate, Nirmal practising in Nadiad, said, "He was also a barrister and practised locally. Even now the papers signed by him in the district court are preserved as heritage by the Gujarat government. The entire court building is also now the heritage building. All his papers have been preserved and are our prized possession."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been given credit for building the tallest statue of the Iron Man of India inaugurated by him on October 31, 2018, and every year since then, the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel has been celebrated as the Unity Diwas.
The statue was built at a cost of about Rs 2,989 crore. Standing 182-metres high, it is currently the tallest statue in the world.
Apart from the multiple pictures of the Sardar in the House, there is a cradle which continues to be there which reportedly was used by Sardar when he was an infant.
It was Mahatma Gandhi who gave Sardar Patel the name "iron man of India" but has history done justice to him? Locals feel that the story must be told in detail and that history books have been unfair about his contribution to India's freedom.
"The time has come to take Sardar's legacy forward and that's one of the reasons that the students of today must be explained in detail who was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel what did he do, where did he come from? There has to be a detailed chapter on the Sardar books of history," another local Dhiren Desai said.
Patel will be remembered for the unification of India's over 550 princely states into a single country. He strongly voiced his views on women's empowerment. Patel was the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of India from 1947 to 1950. (ANI)