Union Home Minister Amit Shah has written to all states and Union territories, asking them to observe National Unity Day — which falls on October 31 — also the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, with “enthusiasm and fervour” following the dilution of Article 370 of the Constitution.
In a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Shah wrote on Sunday, “The celebration of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas has a special significance this year, as it marks the completion of the task of making Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh an integral part of India by abrogating Article 370. In a true sense, this represents the realisation of the dream of Sardar Patel for an integrated India.”
The Home Ministry has asked for a series of special events to be organised across the country on Thursday. Chief among these will be the first National Unity Day parade at Kevadiya in Gujarat, at the site of the Statue of Unity — the 182-m-tall statute of Patel, inaugurated last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Police forces of each state, Union Territory and Central Armed Police Forces will participate in the parade.
In addition, all district administrations have been directed to organise a ‘Run for Unity’ and pay tributes to Patel.
Shah’s letter also includes a copy of Patel’s portrait, which is to be framed in all police stations for Thursday’s tribute. It would bear the inscription — “No one would be permitted to damage the security, unity, and integrity of India.”
The letter stated, “I would request that his portrait, along with his message, may be displayed in all police stations and police offices of the country, to inspire people and police personnel alike.”
All state and Central government offices will be required to read out a pledge — “I solemnly pledge that I dedicate myself to preserve the unity, integrity and security of the nation and also strive hard to spread this message among my fellow countrymen. I take this pledge in the spirit of unification of my country which was made possible by the vision and actions of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. I also solemnly resolve to make my own contribution to ensure internal security of my country.”
Further, the Centre has instituted the Sardar Patel National Unity Award and asked states and Union territories to nominate civilians working towards national unity and integrity for the honour.