Sardar Patel Memorial Society (SPMS) UK in coordination with High Commission of India, London celebrated the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ on 31st October 2018 while the world’s tallest ‘statue of unity’ – was officially inaugurated in India by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The event was attended besides Mr C.B. Patel, Chairman, SPMS, Dr. Rami Ranger, Vice Chairman SPMS, by the Deputy High Commissioner, Shri Charanjeet Singh, Mr A S Rajan , Minister of coordination, Mr. Virendra Sharma, MP, Lord Meghnad Desai, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Mr Manoj Ladwa, Mayors of Brent, Greenwich & Harrow with councillors and a large number of Indian Diaspora community leaders.
The celebration started with a luncheon reception (courtesy of Arun Luthra – Ragamama) with mouth-watering food.
Mr Alpesh Patel, The Master of ceremonies started the proceedings after lunch with the British & Indian National Anthems followed by garlanding & floral tributes to Sardar Patel by the dignitaries present.
Dr Rami Ranger – Convenor / vice-chairman of SPMS, welcomed all present with a brief history of Sardar Patel’s achievements and how he united India as the Iron Man of India.
C B Patel, the Chairman of SPMS highlighted the humble origins of Sardar Patel.
“Sardar left Rs 233 in his bank balance, said Mr. Patel, “No property, no other financial asset; none of his children’s relations were elevated to the positions of profit or power; he was marginalised from highest offices more than once and yet, his legacy is visible, vibrant and ever-lasting.”
Sardar Patel Memorial Society (SPMS), UK was founded in 1985 and has remained active since with the help of contributions from volunteers. Mr Patel added, “If we forget our history then we cannot create history!”
Lord Gadhia in his keynote speech highlighted the controversy in his three-fold justification of the significance of the statue. He explained how the statue is built out of scrap iron that is collected from farmers across the country who have donated one of their used agricultural tools. According to him, “This statue will not just help in generating tourism but is a step in extending India’s soft powers in the world!”
- E. Charanjeet Singh, the deputy high commissioner of India in the UK took a step further from delivering his speech and getting the guests to take a pledge termed as the “Rashtriya Ekta Divas Shapath.”
After the video presentation on the life of Sardar, Manoj Ladwa of IndiaInc conveyed a special message from the Prime Minister of India.
The speakers lauded the role played by Sardar Patel in unifying the country after Independence and his role as a freedom fighter before that. But for him, India would not have been the one we are witnessing now. His firm belief in non-violence, steely resolve in unity of India and farsightedness make him a unique leader. India owes much to the ‘Iron man of India’. The participants took a pledge to safeguard the unity of the country on the ‘Day of Unity’.
A special commemorative souvenir was launched on the life of Sardar Patel – with contribution from expert people and journalists from all over the country.
Krishna Pujara – Secretary General of SPMS thanked everyone for their support – including the caterers Ragamama, Alpesh Patel, Mr A Rajan& Cordination Team, Mr C B Patel, Dr Rami Ranger, Atul Pathak, Ravi Gidar, Mr PG Patel, Jitubhai Patel, Kanti Nagda, Deepak Patel, Himanshu Darji, Himesh Patel, Photographer Mr CK Naidu, Dhruv Gadhvi , Zee TV and well-wishers.
Further information on SPMS available by email : firstname.lastname@example.org