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Lessons that can be learned from the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

GS Paper 4

Syllabus: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers


Source: Indian Express 

Direction: Certain examples and instances from the life of Sardar Patel can add value to your GS4 answers. Do note them down in your notes.

 Context: On Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s 72nd death anniversary, let us understand his contribution towards nation-building and certain ethical values from his personal life.

 About Sardar Patel:

  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel was an Indian attorney and statesman. He was a dedicated patriot, a great administrator, and a loyal servant of the nation.
  • For his fearless approach to consolidating India’s political map, he has been dubbed the “Iron Man of India.” For establishing contemporary All-India Services, he is also known as the “Patron Saint” of India’s civil services.

 Ethical Values from the life of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel:

Political Views:

  • As a fiery champion of fundamental rights and liberty, he was convinced that these values were essential prerequisites for the development of an individual and a nation.
  • He always raised his voice on issues against exploitation and criticized the high-handedness of authority, the exploitative revenue policy of the Government, and maladministration in the Princely states.
  • He was attracted by Gandhian policies of non-violence, spirituality, discipline, and moral strength
  • He actively participated in the all-India freedom struggle and in movements against the exploitative policies of the British.

On Secularism:

  • Patel was a firm believer in Hindu-Muslim harmony. He said in his presidential address in Karachi in 1931 that as a Hindu, he would give the Muslims a Swadeshi fountain pen and invite them to write down their requests, which he would accept without condition or revision.
  • According to him the only way to build Hindu-Muslim unity is via trust and equality

Sardar Patel’s views on China:

  • On November 7, 1950, Patel wrote a letter to Nehru detailing his apprehensions about Chinese designs on Tibet and on India itself.
  • History has borne out that Patel’s estimate of China was astute and prescient.

Sardar Patel’s vision for civil services:
This we had covered in detail earlier here.

Quotes by Sardar Patel:

Women in one way are extremely courageous. Men do not endure the miseries to the extent women do. So long as women are not sufficiently educated and inculcated with national spirit, till then there will be no prosperity.