Had Sardar Patel been India’s 1st PM, many problems would not have occurred: Shah


NEW DELHI: Union home minister Amit Shah said on Monday that if Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had been made India’s first Prime Minister, instead of Jawaharlal Nehru, the country would possibly have not faced so many problems.

Addressing students and teachers of Sardar Patel Vidyalaya here on the 147th birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, India’s first home minister, Shah first expressed his condolences to the families of those who died in Gujarat’s Morbi bridge collapse on Sunday night.

The home minister said students and children should read up on Sardar Patel to know about his vision for a united India with deep roots for democracy. “Sardar Patel was not only a man of imagination but he worked very hard to implement his vision… He was a karmayogi.”

“A man who is remembered long after his death can only be called great, that was Sardar… There is public opinion in the country that if Sardar was made the first Prime Minister of India, the country would not have faced so many problems that it is facing today,” he said.

Shah also recalled Sardar Patel’s role in bringing together and merging more than 500 princely states to the Union of India after Independence. “Even during that time, there were efforts by some forces to keep India divided. We have seen how Sardar Patel brought Junagarh, Jammu and Kashmir and Hyderabad under the fold of the Union of India through his far-sightedness and political acumen,” he said.

Noting that basic education should be imparted to everyone in local languages, Shah urged students to keep their native languages and dialects alive. He also said that teachers should impart elementary education to children in their mother tongue while research and technical education must be imparted in the local language.   

Earlier in the day, flagging off a run to commemorate the 147th birth anniversary of India’s first home minister here, the Union home minister said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had realised the dream of a strong and united India with his far-sightedness, despite attempts by some forces to keep the country divided. He also said in the next 25 years, India will be able to realise the dream of the country’s freedom fighters of making it a strong and prosperous country and celebrate its 100th year of Independence.

The “Run for Unity”, which began from the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here, saw the participation of a large number of people, including sports personalities, sports enthusiasts and personnel of Central police forces.

The Centre has been observing October 31 as Rashtriya Ekta Divas, or National Unity Day, since 2014 to foster and reinforce its dedication to preserve and strengthen the unity, integrity and the security of the nation.



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