Run For Unity: Unity Pledge, National Unity Day
It is another momentous day, the flagging off of National Unity Day i.e Rashtriya Ekta Divas with a run to commemorate the birthday of a noble hero – Sardar Vallabhai Patel. Who better an icon for the unity day and the unity pledge than the man known as “Iron Man Of India”. Modi flagged off the run with a beautiful speech about the importance of Vallabhai Patel and his contribution to India.
Why the unity day?
For a nation with a population of 1.2 billion, 29 states, more than 4000 languages and umpteen cultures and diversities, a single idealogy was never the easiest thing. For a nation which promoted tolerance, secularism all through its life cycle the phrase “Unity in Diversity” is the most relevant and the most sensible one too. As a nation, we promote this idea not only within but also to the external world where tolerance alone can make and mark a huge difference.
So, why do we need a day to celebrate unity? Why do we need a day to celebrate independence? Why a day for being the republic? Why Gandhi’s bday or anybody else’s? It is to mark the contribution of some of the most elegant leaders the world has ever seen. It is not just to mark the contribution of someone, it is to spread the values they stood for, what they meant and what it means. The idea of unity will never be obsolete for a country like India and the Run For Unity was just a start.
What does it mean?
It means that the strongest political leaders gathered together to mark the run, to spread a message, they all got together with a pledge to strive to unite the nation, beyond all the differences each one may project, the final goal has and will always be the image of the country over anything else.
History dates back to the 1600’s when the idea of divide and rule was in its inception. It reached its biggest success in a huge country like India under the chains of the English rule. The single most effective strategy they followed was divide and rule – divide people on the lines of their differences and pit one against each other and make the best of the situation. You may use any word to describe the strategy followed but it proved to be a very effective one. From there, to be a single country from 500 odd warring individual states was an accomplishment to say the least. And we have become a single country of that significance now and we will continue to promote that goal and ideal and that is the meaning of the run for unity today.
“We the citizens of India make a pledge to uphold the ideals of unity, safety and make a promise that we will spread the message to our fellow Indians to breathe the morals of unity, tolerance, fraternity marking a nation of a value and a dream”
The idea of unity is not just a formality, it is a responsibility. And to take note, it is also a staunch remembrance that it is one of our fundamental duties as mentioned in the constitution to uphold these values of fraternity and the pledge was a certain necessity!
Why Vallabhai Patel
- He was the architect of Modern India
- He was a founding father of Republic India
- He organized peasants for non violent civil disobedience movement, strongly based on Gandhi’s values providing a staunch support for him
- He was the first home minister of Independent India
- He was responsible for the unification of the country, esp the princely states which wanted to maintain their own supremacy even after independence and would have chose separation from India as a whole
Who better than this man for the icon on “Unity in India”? The man who was responsible for unity, the man who strongly promoted and followed the Gandhian values and paraphrasing what our prime minister said –
“Just like the contribution of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa would have been incomplete without Vivekananda, Gandhi’s vision of unity would have been incomplete without Sardar Vallabhai Patel”
Well, who else can you think of to be a better icon for unity in India?
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