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Debating Vallabhbhai Patel’s Legacy in Gujarat on His Birth Anniv

On the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary, The Quint held a discussion on his legacy.

Published
Politics
2 min read
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
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On the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 142nd birth anniversary, The Quint held a discussion in Gujarat's Vadodara on the political legacy of a man popularly known as the 'Iron Man of India' as well as the 'Unifier of India.’

One of the themes that came up for discussion was whether constructing a statue is the appropriate way to celebrate the legacy of a key figure of India's pre-Independence as well as post-Independence polity.

Watch the discussion below:

The participants, comprising professors, a student, a farmer, and a representative of the Indian Youth Congress, were clearly divided on the issue.

Upon being asked why there is a need for a statue to be built out of money meant for social welfare, Nidhi, a professor at the MS University of Vadodara, said:

The statue will tell our enemies and our detractors that India stands united in all circumstances. It will be our pride and our strength.

Twenty-one-year-old Rangam Trivedi, a student of civil engineering, echoed Nidhi's viewpoint. "Vallabhbhai Patel represents the identity of India. His statue will tell the world that India stands for unity,” he said.

Trivedi also stressed on the need to see the various economic benefits that the construction of a statue will bring, such as boosting tourism and subsequently providing employment to many.
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Meanwhile, Ritwik Joshi, national secretary of the Indian Youth Congress, laid the blame on the BJP for not doing justice to Patel's legacy. According to him, by neglecting the upkeep of the school where Patel studied, the BJP government undermined the leader's legacy.

We should popularise Patel’s ideology in today’s youth. We made efforts to try and improve the condition of the school where he studied. But there was no positive response from the Modi government at that time in Gujarat.
Ritwik Joshi, national secretary of the Indian Youth Congress

Joshi further attacked the BJP for purportedly giving the contract for the construction of the statue to a Chinese company.

Patel's statue, called the 'Statue of Unity,’ is all set to be inaugurated on his birth anniversary next year in Gujarat's Bharuch by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The statue will be 182 metres tall, which will make it the world's tallest.

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

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