Mumbai: The central government will commemorate Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's birth anniversary Oct 31 as "National Integration Day", Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar announced here Wednesday.
The central government will create awareness about the contribution of Sardar Patel during India's Independence movement and towards national integration, he said.
"Awareness about Sardar Patel's contribution is very low...which is very unfortunate. Recently, I came to know that in the history book of Class X, there is mention of Sardar Patel only once," Javadekar told reporters.
Sardar Patel, known as the "Iron Man of India", was instrumental in the merger of over 500 princely states to create a modern India, just after Independence between 1947-1949, the minister said.
Javadekar said the central government will make the "National Integration Day" or "Rashtriya Ekta Divas" as a popular mass movement with voluntary participation from all sections of the society.
As part of the action plan, he said a 'Run For Unity' will be organised in towns and villages all over India Oct 31 morning.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will himself participate in the event and also broadcast a short radio address on the occasion.
Police and members of other organisations like National Cadet Corps (NCC), National Social Service (NSS), Scouts and Guides, Home Guards would perform march-past in all district headquarters for which necessary instructions have already been issued to the concerned departments.
Details about how people can register for the "Run For Unity" will be communicated through the website and advertisements in a couple of days.
Sardar Patel was born Oct 31, 1875, at Karamsand in Gujarat. A barrister with a successful law practice, he joined the Indian national movement under Mahatma Gandhi and grew up to become one of its tallest leaders.
He played key role in organising peasants' movements in Kheda, Borsad and Bardoli in Gujarat and promoting the 'Quit India Movement' against the British regime.