Sardar Patel anniversary may overshadow Indira's martyrdom

Sardar Patel anniversary may overshadow Indira's martyrdom

The Modi government’s plan to commemorate Sardar Patel's birth anniversary may eclipse former prime minister Indira Gandhi's martyrdom on October 31.

The Centre has decided to convert the Vallabhbhai Patel birth anniversary – born on October 31, 1875 at Karamsand in Gujarat – into a major event by celebrating it as “Rashtriya Ekta Divas” or “National Integration Day”. 

A “Run For Unity” will also be organized to spread awareness about the contribution of Patel, fondly remembered as the ‘Iron Man’, towards the country’s independence movement and national integration since he was instrumental in the merger of princely states.

The University Grants Commission has directed universities to observe his anniversary as National Unity Day and asked students to take a pledge committing themselves to the unity of the country.

 The Centre has also given the task of taking this event across the nation to the BJP. Two days ago, BJP chief Amit Shah organised a coordination meeting of party leaders and central ministers to put in place a mechanism for the end-of-the-month programme.

A minister present in the meeting said that it was an informal get together of ministers for planning to execute the function on a grand scale as in the case of the other social events handled previously by the NDA government, including Jan Dhan Yojna and Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. 

He said that Union home ministry will be the nodal point for executing the programme.
It has been decided that PM Modi will participate in the event in Delhi and other ministers will spread out in the states to simultaneously celebrate former home minister Sarder Patel’s birth anniversary. A short broadcast of Modi’s speech will also be aired.

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