"Manpower without unity is not a strength unless it is harmonized and united properly, then it becomes a spiritual power." - Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Surrounded by the highest chains of snow-capped crisp white colored Himalayas which extend forever into space, the gentle streak of the thick golden sand of the Thar Desert, the jewel of India comprises the seven sisters in the Northeast. Home to around 17.7% of the world population, this is India, a kaleidoscope of cultures that encompasses umpteen versions in music, food and beliefs, and above all it's the birthplace of our Iron Man.
National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is observed every year on October 31, on the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Last year on the occasion of National Unity Day, the Prime Minister dedicated 'the decision to withdraw Article 370 in the state of Jammu and Kashmir' to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first deputy Prime Minister of India. He is rightfully labelled as the Iron Man of India because with great wisdom and political foresight, he consolidated over 500 princely kingdoms with Indian Union. In 2018, on the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the statue of unity was inaugurated to pay tribute to his tireless efforts in keeping India unified post-independence. He was one of the most prestigious leaders of the world who became immortal by unifying a scattered nation without any massacre.
In times when the world is in a topsy-turvy situation because of the corona virus crisis, we must all unite and fight together beside our government to avoid a major human crisis with severe health and socio economic problems. In a diverse country like India communal violence is not a new phenomenon, but, if the countrymen are armoured with national unity and solidarity, we can propel our country towards a better future.
National unity, equality and integrity are indispensable to upgrade a country. National unity can remove any crisis, economic inadequacy, illiteracy and poverty. On this 145th birth anniversary of Patel, let us all stand together and fight the evils of casteism, corruption, dowry harassment, untouchability and beyond everything the corona crisis. Let us stand as one and stand bravely when it comes to fighting against any challenges just like our Iron Man- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel did.
'Rashtriya Ekta Diwas'
Brig (Dr) JS Rajpurohit
Good morning ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed a privilege for me to address all of you on the occasion of Indian Unity Day; (Rashtriya Ekta Diwas) 2020. I sincerely thank Dr P S Lorin Principal, Mr Kvulo Lorin, Director, and Dr Hewasa Lorin, the Vice Principal for inviting me to speak to you all on such an important day. Inviting a soldier for such an occasion makes it special as the Indian Armed Forces are the strongest binding factor for all of us as we all love uniform and the pride and patriotism is highest when we make our nation safe and secure together by helping our soldiers.
I congratulate each and every participant who were part of different activities of the college and a special kudos to the winners of various competitions. So much has already been spoken about the Unity Day and I shall go beyond what has already been shared with you all. In present times the Unity Day was institutionalized 2014. Sardar Patel, our first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister is the architect of what Indian political and geographical contours are today. He was vital to unification and integration of Indian Princely States into nascent India that achieved its liberation from British rule in 1947. His untiring efforts led to all 560 states merge into Federation of India and so he is rightly named as “Iron Man of India”. He is the one who flashed the idea of Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat (United India is strongest India) and to recall his unfathomable achievements; his birth anniversary i.e. 31 October is celebrated as Unity Day. The world’s tallest statue was unveiled on his birth centenary in 2016 on the banks of River Narmada in Gujrat.
Let me take you all on a tour of ancient India that is epitome of unity. India is the only and the largest land mass as one unit and is called as Indian Sub-continent. Our Vedic culture refers to India as Jambu Dweep, Bharat Varsh and Nabhi Varsh. There are two aspects of Unity of India that I observe; one is physical unity of its geographical extent and the second and more important is the cultural unity. Geographically, Indian sub-continent of today is as large as Bharat Bhumi of Chanakya days. The Mauryan empire in 332 BCE had over 5.1 million sq km of land mass around Indo-Gangetic plains. The areas included Hindukush mountain range and West of River Indus that is present day Afghanistan and extended to Bangladesh in the East and up to Sri Lanka in the South. South Asia today covers 5.2 million sq km and includes Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Ashoka Empire did not have any modern gadgets and technology like today but they had mastered the art of unity. That is the sense of unity that we inherit and its for us all to continue to be the greatest nation in future as well.
Unity in ancient India extended even more with the strength of our culture. It was so strong that it united almost all the civilizations existing in that era. China, Indonesia, Vietnam and entire South East Asia, had a very strong presence of Buddhism, Hindu temple Angkor Vat in Cambodia and trade relations with Egypt, Greeks and Babylonian civilizations were major features to admire when we talk of unity of India. These are by far the highest achievements and events to be proud of.
Even today when we look into the strength of India that binds us together is the Indian culture and all of us follow similarity in all spheres of life. North East in particular is integral and special because of inherent qualities. You all saved India from the Japanese invasion in WW II. Best of environment, natural resources are here. Culture here is so unique and full of richness that makes us all proud. Best sportsmen are from here, top soldiers are from here. I was brigade commander in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and saw the region very intimately. You all are full of energy and enthusiasm to excel. The technology makes it possible for each one of you to excel in any field that you choose. Talimeren Ao, James Kithan in football, Rongsen Jonathan & Hokaito Zhimomi in cricket, Chekrovoly Swuro in archery are some of the icons of Nagaland from whom you all may draw inspiration. Captain Neikezhakuo Keguruse of 2 Raj Rif and Sep ImliakumAo of 2 NAGA Regiment were awarded the MVC in Kargil war in 1999. State Police officer Atu Zumvu, and Capt Elisen Y Jami of 12 Para SF were awarded Shaurya Chakra in 2016, Major Imliakum Keitzar of 4 Gorkha Rif was awarded Shaurya Chakra in 2019. These are super men and heroes of Nagaland that makes us all proud.
I wish you all the very best on 144th Rashtriya Ekta Diwas and look forward to interacting more on helping students in excelling in their lives. Jai Hind!
*The winning essays have been published earlier