On October 31, 2019 the National Unity Day, also known as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was observed, marking the 144th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first deputy prime minister of India. Also familiarly known as the “Iron Man of India”, Patel’s dream of scrapping Article 370 and full integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India came to effect on his 144th birthday as a tribute to him. The national unity day has been observed since 2014 and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
i.Events conducted: Various programmes were organised in several states. They are as follows:
- Shri Amit Shah flagged off “Run for Unity” from New Delhi’s Major Dhyanchand National Stadium while it was flagged off by Chief Minister of UP, Shri Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow. This “Run for Unity” is nationwide marathon, where various people of different cultures united together for a run as a tribute to Patel. Similarly, the event was organised in Punjab and Haryana, Tamil Nadu etc.
- In Uttar Pradesh (UP), Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya participated in a Kavi Sammelan organised in Meerut (UP).
- Public feast, fruit distribution, blood donation, cleanliness drives and seminars were conducted.
- Walkathon was organised for Doordarshan and Aakashvani employees at Chandigarh.
- ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas Parade’ was conducted in Gujarat by personnel of Gujarat Police and central armed forces after which, Pm Modi inaugurated “technology demonstration site’ in Kevadiya town of Gujarat.
ii.Leaders’ tribute: PM Modi paid floral tribute to the statue of Unity in Kevadia, Gujarat, while President Ram Nath Kovind, Home Minister Amit Shah, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri paid tributes to Sardar Patel at his statue at Patel Chowk in Delhi.
iii.Shri Modi was presented with a memento, a replica of national police memorial replica to mark and honour the sacrifice and contribution of the brave police personnel of the country. It was presented by the wife of one of the 42 Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF) jawans killed in the pulwama terrorist attack of 2019.
About Statue of Unity:
- It is the world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 metres.
- Inaugurated: 31 October 2018.
- Location: It is located on a river island facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada.
- Cost of building: Rs 3000 crores.
- Designed by: Ram Vanji Sutar.