The grandnephew of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel said the 182-metre-high Statue of Unity was a tribute long overdue, but added that Patel would have said no to such a tribute.
“If we had asked him (Sardar Patel) if he wanted a statue in his name, he would have said no. He grew up in a humble background. He understood the value of money,” said Dhirubhai Patel, the 91-year-old grandnephew of Sardar Patel, who along with 36 other members of his family attended the unveiling of the Statue of Unity on Wednesday.
“We are happy that he has finally got his due… He was a man of vision and conviction. He would walk everyday from Karamsad to Nadiad to attend school. Had he spent some more time with Subhas Chandra Bose, he was bound to have reached even greater heights,” Dhirubhai said.
Sardar Patel’s great grandniece and Dhirubhai’s daughter, 62-year-old Malini Patel, said, “Compared to what he (Sardar Patel) did for the country, and to what he represents, this figure (the statue) is nothing. He was my first hero and in true sense he is the real father of the nation. I never met him, but his daughter had stayed with us in Ahmedabad… I have heard stories about him and every story of his is inspiring,” she said.