Rashtriya Ekta Diwas

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Rashtriya Ekta Diwas
SignificanceCelebrating the birthday of Vallabhbhai Patel
Date31 October
FrequencyAnnual

Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) was introduced by the Government of India and inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014. The intent is to pay tribute to Vallabhbhai Patel, who was instrumental in keeping India united. It is to be celebrated on 31 October every year as an annual commemoration of the birthday of the Iron Man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding leaders of Republic of India.

The official statement for Rashtriya Ekta Diwas by the Home Ministry of India cites that the National Unity Day "will provide an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to the unity, integrity and security of our country."[1]

National Unity Day celebrates the birthday of Patel because, during his term as Home Minister of India, he is credited for the integration of over 550 independent princely states into India from 1947-49 by Independence Act (1947). He is known as the "Bismarck[a] of India".[2][3]

The celebration is complemented with the speech of Prime Minister of India followed by the "Run for Unity".[4]

The theme for 2016 celebrations was "Integration of India".[5]

In 2018 the holiday was celebrated in Gujarat with the dedication of the Statue of Unity, which honors and depicts Patel. It is the largest statue in existence.[6]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ Otto von Bismarck was known for the 1871 unification of Germany.
Notes
  1. ^ "Observance of the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas on 31st October", pib.nic.in, New Delhi: National Informatics Centre, Press Information Bureau, 24 October 2014
  2. ^ "Most schools may skip Ekta Diwas for Diwali break", The Times of India, 26 October 2014
  3. ^ "Government to observe Sardar Patel birth anniversary in big way", IANS Live, 26 October 2014
  4. ^ "Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tribute to India's 'Iron Man' on his 141st birth anniversary", The Financial Express, 31 October 2016
  5. ^ "Nation observes Rashtriya Ekta Diwas on birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel", Business Standard, 31 October 2016
  6. ^ "India unveils world's tallest statue". BBC News. 2018-10-31. Retrieved 2018-10-31.