Sardar Valabhbhai Patel
|Birth place||Nadiad, Bombay Presidency|
|Date of death||15 December 1950|
|Death place||Bombay State|
|Father||Zaverbhai Galabai Patel|
|Date of birth||31 October 1875|
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is widely recognized as India’s Iron Man, who played a significant role in shaping the India that exists in the modern age. A staunch lawyer, a devout Gandhian, a freedom fighter, a rationalist to the core- Patel was more than anything else devoted to his nation and its people. In spite of being subjected to a lot of injustices in his personal life, he remained stoic and steadfast throughout all his missions- exemplifying the virtues of a karmayogi. He was part of a trinity of men who were at the helm of affairs as India gained its independence in 1947, the other two men being Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi. Very often, Patel's contributions to independent India are not given their due. This article explores his legacy across different spheres.
Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel was an Indian barrister and statesman, one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress and one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India. He was a social leader who played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation. In India and elsewhere, he was often addressed as Sardar, which means Chief in Hindi, Urdu and Persian.Vallabhbhai Patel was raised in the countryside of Gujarat. He was employed in successful practice as a lawyer. Patel subsequently organised peasants from Kheda, Borsad, and Bardoli in Gujarat in non-violent civil disobedience against oppressive policies imposed by the British Raj and subsequently , Patel became one of the most influential leaders in Gujarat. He rose to the leadership of the Indian National Congress and was at the forefront of rebellions and political events, organising the party for elections in 1934 and 1937, and promoting the Quit India movement. When the country got its independence on the 15 of August 1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of independent India and Sardar Patel became the Deputy Prime Minister. He was also in charge of Home Affairs, Information & Broadcasting and the Ministry of States .As the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India, Patel organised relief for refugees in Punjab and Delhi, and led efforts to restore peace across the nation. Sardar Patel took charge of the task to forge a united India from the British colonial provinces allocated to India and more than five hundred self-governing princely states, released from British suzerainty by the Indian Independence Act 1947. His patriotism was doubtless and his nationalism , beyond dispute. He was far-sighted and he knew that the future of India lay in the consolidation of these states. He appealed to the rulers to maintain the unity of the country. [ref]
Dr. Rajendra Prasad noted in his diary on May 13, 1959, “That there is today an India to think and talk about is very largely due to Sardar Patel statesman ship and firm administration . Sardar Patel was a man of remarkable foresight. Way back in (7th of November 1950), Sardar Patel wrote a letter to Jawaharlal Nehru and declared that China was not to be trusted. About twelve years after his death China attacked India.The General of Bardoli, the Lion of Gujarat, India’s Man of Steel, the Sardar of the country’s fight for freedom, the Mighty Architect of the integration of India, the Sardar Patel of rock like will power, passed away at the age of seventy-five on December 1950. Often known as the “Iron Man of India” or “Bismarck of India”, he is also remembered as the “Patron Saint” of India’s civil servants for establishing modern all-India Administrative Services. [ref]
Early life Childhood and Youth
Vallabhbhai Patel was born to a Patidar gurjar farmer family of Gujarat. His native place was Karamsad. His date of birth was never officially recorded—Patel entered 31 October, 1875 as his date of birth on his matriculation examination papers. His father Zaverbhai Galabai Patel was a petty landowner. His mother, Ladbai was an extraordinarily capable lady, who narrated numerous mythologically significant tales to her kids, stories that help mould a personality who would define his nation’s history in a decisive way. Patel’s father had participated in the 1857 revolt, and his birth incidentally coincided with a period of nationalist ferment.
Somabhai, Narsibhai and Vithalbhai Patel (also a future political leader) were his elder brothers .He had a younger brother, Kashibhai, and a sister, Dahiba. When he was eighteen years old, Patel’s marriage was arranged with Jhaverba, with whom he had 2 children Maniben, born in April, 1904, and a son, Dahyabhai, born in November, 1906. Vallabhbhai was a precocious student, who studied and blossomed intellectually without much support. He completed his primary schooling in Karamsad. As a child, he often accompanied his father to the fields. This experience made him all the more rooted to the realities of rural India, and defined his line of thinking in the decades to come. In the sixth standard, he organized a strike in his school to protest against the harassment suffered by a fellow student. This small protest amply highlighted the leadership qualities and organizational abilities Vallabhbhai possessed. He passed his matriculation from the Nadiad High School in 1897.
Fame as a Pleader
Patel passed his matriculation at the age of 22 . Although Patel wanted to go to England to study further but Vallabhbhai Patel allowed his elder brother Vitthalbhai Patel to go to to study in England before him. In 1905, he was on the brink of achieving his goal, but in a baffling turn of events, his passport reached his elder brother Vitthalbhai’s house. Incidentally (and unsurprisingly), Vitthal too had an ambition to travel to England. Submitting to the custom of honouring an elder brother, Vallabhbhai surrendered all his documents (and dreams) and relinquished his dream, at least temporarily This was the first of many instances in his life when Patel was compelled to make a sacrifice, in spite of his merit.. Despite many challenges soon he became an advocate with a good reputation as a fierce and skilled lawyer. Vallabhbhai Patel practised law in Godhra, Borsad and Anand . Patel was the first chairman and founder of the E.M.H.S. “Edward Memorial High School” Borsad which is at presently known as Jhaverbhai Dajibhai Patel High School . Patel shifted to Godhra in 1900 and got employed as a Pleader in the District court, earning decent monthly revenue. His no-nonsense attitude didn’t make him very popular initially, but this was Patel’s innate nature- he never compromised on his values. He moved to Borsad in 1902, and established himself as a successful criminal lawyer. Often pitted against the police, his reputation only grew over time, as Patel set his sights on gathering finances to fulfill his ultimate ambition: becoming a barrister in England.
In 1909, tragedy struck Patel’s life, as he lost his wife Javerbai and when Sardar Patel received the news of his wife’s death while prosecuting a witness in court. He was seemingly unaffected by the news and continued the case which he ultimately won. He was only thirty-three at the time, with two young kids: Maniben and Dahyabai. He handled the situation with great fortitude, and didn’t give up on his dreams. At the age of 36 he journeyed to England and enrolled at the Middle Temple Inn in London. Finishing a 36-month course in 30 months, Patel topped his class despite having no previous college background. Returning to India, in 1913 Vallabhbhai Patel settled in the city of Ahmedabad and became one of the city’s most successful barristers. . Patel nurtured ambitions to expand his practice and accumulate great wealth and to provide his children with modern education. [ref]
Entry into politics
In 1915, an IAS officer JA Shillidy was appointed Municipal Commissioner of Ahmedabad, and became a quasi-autocrat. He completely overhauled established guidelines. The Gujarat Club persuaded Vallabhbhai Patel to join it, and he got elected as a councilor on 5 January 1917. From there on, his life changed completely, as he immersed himself in service. While his legal practice continued from one end, his political career neatly took shape.[ref]
Almost parallely, Mahatma Gandhi had returned to India after his laudatory efforts in South Africa. His speeches in the Gujarat Sabha initially didn’t leave much of an impression on Patel, but Gandhi’s movement in Champaran changed his views about the man completely. Gandhi's full-blooded campaign to contest the injustice being meted out towards the indigo planters gathered nation-wide currency. Patel had found someone to look up to, and regular interactions at the Sabarmati Ashram consolidated an association that would last their lifetimes.
Patel gave a speech in Borsad in September 1917, encouraging Indians nationwide to sign Gandhi's petition demanding Swaraj—(independence) Meeting Gandhi a month later at the Gujarat Political Conference in Godhra, Patel Became the secretary of the Gujarat Sabha—a public body which would become the Gujarati arm of the Indian National Congress—at Mahatma Gandhi’, encouragement. Patel now energetically fought against veth—(the forced servitude of Indians to Europeans)—and organised relief efforts in the wake of plague and famine in Kheda. The Kheda peasants’ plea for exemption from taxation had been turned down by British authorities. Gandhi endorsed waging a struggle there, but could not lead it himself due to his activities in Champaran. When Gandhi asked for a Gujarati activist to devote himself completely to the assignment, Sardar Patel volunteered, much to Gandhi's delight. [ref]
Patel - Major Satyagrahas
Satyagraha in Gujarat
Vallabhbhai Patel emerged as a hero to Gujaratis and was admired across India. Supported by Congress volunteers Narhari Parikh, Mohanlal Pandya and Abbas Tyabji, Vallabhbhai Patel began a village by-village tour in the Kheda district, documenting grievances and asking villagers for their support for a statewide revolt by refusing the payment of taxes.Patel emphasised potential hardships with the need for complete unity and non-violence despite any provocation. He received enthusiastic responses from virtually every village. When the revolt was launched and revenue refused, the government sent police and intimidation squads to seize property, including confiscating barn animals and whole farms. Patel organised a network of volunteers to work with individual villages—helping them hide valuables and protect themselves during raids. Thousands of activists and farmers were arrested, but Patel was not. The revolt began evoking sympathy and admiration across India, including with pro-British Indian politicians. The government agreed to negotiate with Sardar Patel and decided to suspend the payment of revenue for the year, even scaling back the rate. In 1920, Patel was elected president of the newly formed Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee—he would serve as its president till 1945.[ref]
Vallabhbhai Patel supported Mahatma Gandhi's Non-cooperation movement and toured the state to recruit more than 300,000 members and raised over Rs, 1.5 million in funds. Helping organise bonfires of British goods in Ahmedabad, Vallabhbhai Patel threw in all his English-style clothes. With his daughter Mani and son Dahya, he switched completely to wearing khadi. He worked extensively in the following years in Gujarat against alcoholism, untouchability and caste discrimination, as well as for the empowerment of women. In the Congress, he was a resolute supporter of Mahatma Gandhi against his Swarajist critics.
Sardar Patel was elected Ahmedabad’s municipal president in 1922, 1924 and 1927—during his terms, Ahmedabad was extended a major supply of electricity and the school system underwent major reforms. Drainage and sanitation systems were extended over all the city. He fought for the recognition and payment of teachers employed in schools established by nationalists (out of British control) and even took on sensitive Hindu-Muslim Issues. Patel personally led relief efforts in the aftermath of the intense torrential rainfall in 1927, which had caused major floods in the city and in the Kheda district and great destruction of life and property. He established refuge centres across the district, raised volunteers, arranged for supply of food, medicines and clothing, as well as emergency funds from the government and public. [ref]
Kheda Satyagraha, 1917
Patel’s home district Kheda had witnessed a scourge of plague in 1899, that had devastated large sections of society and killed thousands of people. Incomes had depleted, and the district as a whole wen through a decade of turmoil. Kheda had just about come on its feet in 1917, when terrific floods ravaged the district, submerging whole crops. The villagers were in duress and urged the colonial authorities to postpone revenue collection. Their requests, however, landed on deaf ears, as the authorities demanded timely revenue payments.
Gandhi, fresh from his triumph in Champaran, was apprised of this situation and decided to test his creed of satyagraha once again. Gandhi, however, had returned from South Africa only a couple of years back and was somewhat estranged from the pulse of his soil. He realized the need for a grassroots warrior who could connect with people readily and organize a mass movement. Moreover, he needed this person to work full-time on this project. Patel was the natural answer, and this marked the beginning of an association that transformed the course of Indian history.[ref]
Patel used his organizational abilities and oratory skills masterfully to weld different communities together for this cause. He also coordinated with business barons to fund such an initiative. The government was ruthless, as it callously went on seizing land and cattle for most of 1918. The protests didn’t relent, and pressure kept mounting on the authorities. Finally, in June 1918, the government agreed to a compromise- revenue payments were made optional, postponed for those not having the capacity to pay. This was a significant victory for Patel, and Gandhi realized that he now had an asset to bank upon.
The Recruitment Saga
Gandhi spent the rest of the year exhorting people from across the country to fight the war on the British side. He set up training camps to facilitate the same, and Patel was his aide through this process. The rationale behind mobilizing these forces was to ensure that Indians were well-armed and learnt the art of defending themselves under adversity. This move didn’t generate much traction, and in fact invited hostility from different quarters, even from within the Congress. Yet, Patel remained steadfast in supporting Gandhiji through this task.
Rowlatt Satyagraha 1919 and the Non Cooperation Movement
In March 1919, the government passed the Rowlatt Act, that gave authorities the right to detail any alleged offender for two years without trial. This Act roused the populace against the colonial regime, and Gandhi was once again called upon to steer the ship. However, his travels across the country had hampered his health, and he was suffering from dysentery. Thus, once again, the mandate of organizing this movement fell on Patel’s shoulder. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre further stirred common people to join the movement and demand freedom. Mahatma Gandhi’s stature grew after the success of the Rowlatt Satyagraha, and he gradually became omnipotent in the Congress. Gandhi’s near-dictatorial control over the party was largely a consequence of his right-hand man Patel’s efforts on the ground, especially while he was unwell.
In February 1922, when angry satyagrahis burnt down a police station in Chauri Chaura (now in Uttar Pradesh), Gandhi instantly called off the movement. Once again, the rank and file of the Congress and many other groups that had enthusiastically participated under the banner of 'Swaraj' were left disenchanted. In fact, Gandhi's failure to provide 'Swaraj in One year' had escalated disillusionment in Gandhian ideals.
The Gandhi-Patel relationship was an extraordinarily layered one. Patel remained ever loyal to Gandhi almost throughout, staying by his side even when all his otherwise ardent followers deserted him. He never really challenged Gandhi's decisions and publicly always appeared as his right-hand man. This did not necessarily mean that he agreed with him on every issue: he was vocal in his objection to Gandhi's belief in the disbandment of armed forces in an independent country. Both only shared a difference of 6 years, and so could relate with each other.
Nagpur Flag Satyagraha, 1923
This was a movement sparked off by the arrests of the illustrious Subhadra Kumari Chauhan during a protest in Jabalpur when people jointly opposed the British regulation against hoisting the Indian flag. The Nagpur District Congress took cognizance of the situation, and launched a Satyagraha to oppose the high-handedness of the British. Patel was called upon, and as usual, he used his organizational abilities and guided the protesters using all his experience. A litany of arrests followed, and many satyagrahis were beaten to death, but Patel continued his negotiations with the District Commissioner, and they reached a settlement in September 1923. This movement gave greater popularity to the tricolour flag, and also raised Patel’s stature at a national level. With Mahatma Gandhi in jail, this movement ignited a lot of hope as Patel re-assured the populace about the efficacy of non-cooperation.
The Flag Satyagraha was the hoisting of the flag as a defiance against British-imposed restrictions on civil freedom and also the legitimacy of British rule in India altogether. Nationalists wet, encouraged to violate the law and hoist the flag without resisting arrest or retaliating against police. The flag Satyagraha of Nagpur and Jabalpur, occurred over several months in 1923. The arrest of nationalist protests demanding the right to hoist the flag caused an outcry across India especially as Gandhi had recently been arrested. Nationalist leaders such as Vallabhbhai Patel, Jamnalal Bajaj, Chakravarty Rajagopalachari, Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Vinoba Bhave organised the revolt and thousands of people from different regions travelled to Nagpur and other parts of the Central Provinces (now in Maharashtraand Madhya Pradesh) to participate in civil disobedience. In the end, the British negotiated an agreement with Patel and other Congress leaders permitting the protestors to conduct their march unhindered and obtaining the release of all those arrested. [ref]
By this time, the Congress had undergone another split, with C.R. Das and Motilal Nehru forming the Swaraj Party and contesting elections for legislative councils. They wished to continue the non-cooperation movement from within legislative bodies, and to an extent, achieved their ambition. However, soon after Das’s death in 1925, the party under Motilal Nehru merged with the Congress. In 1927, Patel played a massive role in the relief measures after a flood devastated large parts of Ahmedabad.
Borsad satyagraha was over a punitive tax of over Rs 2.40 lakh imposed on the villages of (Gujarat) to pay for additional police forces to protect against two dacoits of that area – Babar Deva and Ali. In! . When Mahatma Gandhi was in jail, Sardar Patel and his allies uncovered evidence suggesting that the police were in league with local dacoits in the Borsad taluka even as the government prepared to levy a major tax for fighting dacoity in the area. More than 6,000 villagers assembled to hear Patel speak and supported the proposed agitation against the tax, which was deemed immoral and unnecessary. Patel organized hundreds of Congressmen, sent instructions and received information from across the district. Every village in the taluka resisted payment of the tax, and through cohesion, also prevented the seizure of property and lands. After a protracted struggle, the government withdrew the tax. Historians believe that one of Patel’s key achievements was the building of cohesion and trust amongst the different castes and communities which were divided on socio-economic lines.[ref]
After the successful kheda Satyagraha Nagpur and borsad Satyagraha in 1928 sardar Patel took up cudgels on behalf of the farmers in Bardoli once again who opposed an arbitrary increase in land taxes . IN April 1928, Vallabhbhai Patel returned to the independence struggle from his municipal duties in Ahmedabad when Bardoli was suffering from a serious predicament of a famine and steep tax hike. The Gujarati activists Narhari Parikh, Ravi Shimnkar Vyas, and Mohanlal Pandya talked to village chieftains and farmers, and solicited the help of Gujarat’s most prominent freedom fighter, Vallabhohat Patel. Patel had previously guided Gujarat’s farmers during the Kheda struggle, and had served recently as Ahmedabad’s municipal president, as He was widely respected by common Gujaratis across the state
After cross examination and talking to village representatives on emphasizing the potential hardships and need for non violence and cohesion Patel initiated the struggle that was the complete denial of taxes. By first writing a letter to the governor of Bombay asking him to reduce the taxes for the year because of the calamities but the governor ignored the letter and reciprocated by announcing the date of collection. Patel then instructed all the farmers of Bardoli taluka to refuse payment of their taxes. Aided by Parikh, Vyas and Pandya, he divided Bardoli into several zones—each with a leader and volunteers specifically assigned. Patel also placed some Gujarati activists close to the government, to act as informers on the movements of government officials. Above all, Patel instructed the farmers to remain completely non-violent, and not respond physically to any incitements or aggressive actions from officials. He reassured them that the struggle would not end until not only the cancellation of all taxes for the year, but also when all the seized property and lands were returned to their rightful owners. [ref]
The farmers received complete support from their compatriots in Gujarat. So the British Government declared that it would crush the revolt as the Government began to auction the houses and the lands of the Villagers , But not a single man from Gujrat or any other parts of India came forward to buy them. As Patel had appointed volunteers in every village to keep watch, as soon as they sighted the officials who were coming to auction the property, the volunteer would sound their bugle, and the farmers would leave the village and hide in the jungles. and the officials would find the entire village empty. They could never find out who owned a particular house .There was also one village recorded that paid the tax. A complete social boycott was organized against them, wherein relatives broke their ties to families in the village. Other ways social boycott was enforced against landowners who broke with the tax strike or purchased seized land. Members of the legislative councils of Bombay and ‘ actoss India were angered by the terrible treatment of the of the government and soon Indian members resigned their offices and Express open support for the farmers
Along with this Patel also organised volunteers, camps and an information network across affected areas. The revenue refusal was stronger than in Kheda and many sympathy satyagrahas were undertaken across Gujarat. Despite arrests, seizures of property and lands, the struggle intensified. The situation when reached a height so in the August of 1928 the government decided to come into an agreement which was finally signed through sympathetic intermediaries( Parsi members of the Bombay Government) , as they negotiated a settlement repealing the tax hike, reinstating village officials who had resigned in protest and the return of seized property and lands. In order to maintain things under the control the government had to set up the Maxweell_ Broomfield commision to look into the matter. So the momentum from Bardoli victory aided in the resurrection of the freedom struggle nationwide . And it was after Bardoli satyagraha only that Patel became one of the India's most important leaders . It was during the struggle and after the victory in Bardoli that Patel was increasingly addressed by his colleagues and followers as Sardar. And from this time Sardar Patel became the lord( General) of Bardoli and the lion of Gujarat. [ref]
Integration of Indian States
Sardar Patel handled the integration of the princely states with his diplomatic skills and foresightedness, The problem of amalgamating 562 independent states with a democratic self-governing India was difficult and delicate. But it was essential to save India from balkanization, once the Paramountcy of British crown would lapse.
Sardar Patel took charge of the state department in July 1947. He sensed the urgent and imperative need of the integration of princely states. He followed an iron handed policy. He made it clear that he did not recognize the right of any state to remain independent and in isolation, within India. Patel also appealed to the patriotic and national sentiments of the Princes and invited them to join the forming of a democratic constitution in the national interest. He, by his tactics, broke the union of separatist princes. By August 15, 1947 all except Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir acceded to India. He thereafter carried out a three fold process of assimilation, centralization and unification of states. The states were amalgamated to form a union and that union was merged with the Union of India.
He handled the Junagadh and Hyderabad crisis as a seasoned statesman. Nawab of Junagarh wanted to accede to Pakistan. When the people revolted, Patel intervened. Indian Government took over the administration. Patel merged it with India by holding a plebiscite.Patel with an iron fisted hand subdued the Nizam. When the Nizam boasted anti-India feelings and let loose blood both by the Razakars, Patel decided upon police action. He ordered the army to March into Hyderabad. The Nizam surrendered and Hyderabad was acceded to India. Thus Sardar Patel ensured, by his calculated methods, the absorption of a multitude of princely states into the Indian Union. Without a civil war, he secured the solidarity of the nation.
During his lifetime, Vallabhbhai Patel received criticism of an alleged bias against Muslims during the time of partition. He was criticised by Maulana Azad and others for readily plumping for partition. According to Ram Chandra Guha Jawaharlal Nehru wanted the government to make the Muslims stay back and feel secure in India, during the Partition, while Sardar Patel was inclined to place that responsibility on the individuals themselves. Patel also told Jawaharlal Nehru that the minority also had to remove the doubts that were entertained about their loyalty based on their past association with the demand of Pakistan. However Sardar Patel successfully prevented attacks upon a train of Muslim refugees leaving India. In September 1947 he was said to have had ten thousand Muslims sheltered safely in the Red Fort and had free kitchens opened for them during the communal Violence. Patel was also said to be more forgiving of indian Nationalism and harsher on Pakistan [ref]
Sardar Patel is credited for being almost single handedly responsible for unifying India on the eve of independence.Till date, he is regarded as the most successful Home Minister. He won the admiration of many Indians for speaking frankly on the issues of Hindu-Muslim relations and not shying from using military force to integrate India. His skills of leadership and practical judgement were hailed by British statesmen like Lord Wavell, Cripps, Pethick Lawrence and Mountbatten.
For many decades after his death, there was a perceived lack of effort from the Government of India, the national media and the Congress party regarding the commemoration of Patel’s life and work. However, Sardar Patel is lionised as a hero in Gujarat and his family home in Karamsad is still preserved in his memory. Sardar Patel was officially awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour posthumously in 1991. Patel’s birthday, 31 October, is celebrated nationally in India as Sardar Jayanti. The Sardar Patel National Memorial was established in 1980 at the Moti Shahi Mahal in Ahmedabad. It comprises a museum a gallery of portraits and historical pictures and library, which stores important documents and book associated with Sardar Patel and his life.
Along with this Patel Has also appeared on the cover page of TIME Magazine in its January 1947 publication. Sardar Patel is the namewke of many public institutions in India. A major initiative to build dams, canals and hydroelectric power plants on the Narmada river valley to provide a tri-state area with drinking water, electricity and increase agricultural production was named the Sardar Sarovar. Sardar Patel is also the namesake of the Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology in Surat, the Sardar Patel University, Sardar Patel High School and the Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, which are among the nation’s premier institutions. India’s national police training academy is also named after him. The international airport of Ahmedabad is named after Sardar Patel. A national cricket stadium in Navrangpura, Ahmedabad used for national matches and events, is also named after him. The chief outer ring road encircling Ahmedabad is named Sardar Patel . [ref]
Statue of Unity
October 31st, 2018, marked the inauguration of the world’s tallest statue – the Statue of Unity, against the backdrop of the dramatic Satpura and Vindhyachal hills in Kevadia, Gujarat. The 182-metre (600 feet aprox.) statue is dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the architect of independent India.
The statue has been built as a tribute to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first home minister of independent India. He was responsible for uniting all 562 princely states of the country to build the Republic of India.
The colossal monument towers over the River Narmada, a tribute to India ‘from the people of Gujarat’ to the leader who placed people’s welfare first. The Statue of Unity overlooks the vast surrounds and the river basin of the Narmada River and the sprawling Sardar Sarovar dam. It stands on the Sadhu Bet hillock, connected by a 300-metre bridge, which offers access from the mainland to the statue.[ref]
As a part of an outreach programme for the project, the state government had asked Indian farmers to donate their used farming equipment to collect iron needed for the statue of Sardar Patel. Eventually, about 5000 tonnes of iron is believed to be collected. Details of the construction and history of the leader can be seen in an in-house museum, inside the statue.