The tallest Statue in the world. The pride of Bharat. The Man who Unified Bharat. The Statue of Unity. All wonderful ways to describe the latest wonder in Bharat. But in my opinion these descriptions are not enough to describe the most beautiful aspect of this statue – the contribution of the Farmers of Bharat.
Probably many may not remember this – when Shri Narendra Modi took over as the newly appointed chairman of BJP’s Campaign Committee in 2013, he reached out to the farmers for building the Statue of Unity. He said “I need your help, I need the help of farmers. I am talking about this idea you for the first time in public. You may think Modi is asking for money but no, I am asking for emotional attachment; an attachment that will last for years. I expect something from you. Sardar Patel was Loh Purush (Iron Man) and I want iron pieces from your villages.” Modi then made clear that it is not any piece of iron that he is seeking but a piece of iron from the farm equipment that has been used by the farmer in a village. This was collected from all over the country during the period 31st October 2013 to 26th January 2014. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the son of the soil, son of a humble farmer.
In his blog on “Remembering Loh Purush and Kisan Putra Sardar Patel on his birth anniversary”, Shri Modi had written, “Sardar Patel is the architect of modern India. Overcoming various obstacles he integrated the entire nation and today, if we can celebrate our unity, it is due to the efforts of Sardar Patel. Yet, it is equally true that there are forces within our country that are threatened by this unity. They have used guns and bombs to scare and mislead the people. From the nation of Lord Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, let us send a strong message to these elements that their ways of violence will not work. They should alter their path, join the mainstream and work for the development of our nation so that the dreams of stalwarts like Sardar Patel are fulfilled.”
Sardar Patel was called Loh Purush or Iron Man of India, because he stood strong and did not bow in to any kind of pressure in the way of Uniting Bharat. He was uncompromising in his quest for integrating the Nation. Usually when a great work is done, one relaxes after it is done. But Sardar Patel realized that there was real work to be done after getting Independence and he lost no time in getting the States to integrate within the Indian Union. He was totally dispassionate and completely sincere about it and it is reported that when he passed away, his daughter met Nehru to submit the remaining funds of the Congress Party (reportedly Rs.35 lakhs), which were in his custody at the time of death. The foundations of modern Bharat are strong because of such honest people who built it.
Coming back to the Statue of Unity, it is very note-worthy that through the contribution of iron by our farmers, one also pays homage & respect to our Farmers who are part of the strong foundation of Bharat. Even though today lesser land is under agriculture or under rural areas than before, a vast majority of our population live in the villages. It is a fact that in difficult times, it has been the farmer who has volunteered his services in the battlefield too. Implements which have been used to grow crops for us, which have discovered treasures from the soil, are part of the Statue of Unity. What better way to Unite us in our quest for becoming a Hardworking, Progressive Nation!
If one were to look at our scriptures, it is Shani Maharaj (Saturn) who rules the metal Iron. Shani Maharaj is the Lord who pays us back as per our Karma. He is also the one who makes us walk through the trial of Fire, reducing our Ego. He makes us realize the value of Detachment and makes us Humble. And he is also the one who grants us Shree or auspiciousness and success, the moment we become genuinely humble. While we reach greater heights as a nation, may we remain rooted in our consciousness and values of ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah’, ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’, ‘Sarve Santu Niramayah’, ‘Vasudeva Kutumbakam’ and ‘Satyameva Jayate’.