National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is celebrated every year on October 31 in India to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first home minister of independent India. He is widely regarded as the chief architect of the integration of India, as he successfully persuaded 565 princely states to join the Indian Union after the end of British rule.
The central government announced in 2014 that October 31 will be observed as National Unity Day to reaffirm the nation’s commitment to its unity, integrity, and security, which were the core values of Sardar Patel’s vision and actions. He played a vital role in the freedom struggle and the India-Pakistan War of 1947, and earned the nickname “Iron Man of India” for his firmness and courage.
On National Unity Day, various events and activities are organised across the country to pay homage to Sardar Patel and his legacy. A common feature is the reading of a pledge in government offices, which states:
“I solemnly pledge that I dedicate myself to preserve the unity, integrity, and security of the nation and also strive hard to spread this message among my fellow countrymen. I take this pledge in the spirit of unification of my country which was made possible by the vision and actions of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. I also solemnly resolve to make my own contribution to ensure the internal security of my country.”
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