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Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Studies (JNIAS), Hyderabad Celebrated Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) on Eve of Sardar Patel’s Birth Anniversary on 31st October, 2014

A special programme was organized by Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Studies (JNIAS) on October 31, 2014, commemorating the newly instituted “Rashtriya Ekta Diwas/ National Unity Day” on the occasion of the 139th birth anniversary of Sri. Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the first Home Minister of independent India. The programme was presided over by Sri. P. Ramakanth Reddy, State Election Commissioner and Chief Guest of the function, who was joined on the dais by various dignitaries, chiefly Dr. D. Swaminadhan, Chairman, Dr. D. Swaminadhan Research Foundation (DSRF) and President, JNIAS, Dr. Kaiser Jamil, Dean, School of Life Sciences, Dr. Pramod S. Shinde, Director, School of Planning and Architecture and Smt. Ch. Sujatha Gangadhar, Registrar, JNIAS and faculty members and students from the various schools and departments of JNIAS populated the audience.

Mrs. K. Sarada, HOD, School of Planning and Architecture, anchored the event and presented a brief profile of Dr. Kaiser Jamil and invited her to deliver the welcome address

Dr. Kaiser Jamil welcomed the various dignitaries on the dais and the members of the audience, giving a brief profile of Sr. P. Ramakanth Reddy, Dr. D. Swaminadhan, Dr. Pramod S. Shinde and Smt. Ch. Sujatha Gangadhar. In her welcome address, she emphasized the fact that despite the myriad cultural, racial, ethnic and linguistic diversities that exist in India, there is nevertheless a strong element of commonality among all Indians and strongly called for all those present to take up the spirit of unity on this day.

Following her address, Sri. P. Ramakanth Reddy and Dr. D. Swaminadhan laid a flower garland on the portrait of Sri. Sardar Vallabhai Patel

This was followed by an address by Smt. Ch. Sujatha Gangadhar, who spoke on the commemeration of National Unity Day, on the birth anniversary of the first Home Minister of India, which would reiterate the strength and resilience of the Nation against any and all threats to its unity. She presented an overview of the life and achievements of Sri. Sardar Vallabhai Patel, his role in the National Independence Movement and in unifying the various princely states of independent India without any bloodshed. She emphasized the need to take up the pledge for the unity, safety and security of the Nation and the need to inculcate the spirit of the pledge among all Indians.

Dr. D. Swaminadhan then addressed the gathering, focusing on the commemoration of National Unity Day and the inspiration to be gleaned from the life and achievements of Sri. Sardar Vallabhai Patel. He emphasized the unique value system of pre-independent India and the efforts of the first Home Minister in ensuring that this prevailed post-independence via his efforts in unifying the various princely states. He spoke on the experiences that shaped Sri. Sardar Vallabhai Patel and which led to his earning the title of “Iron Man”. He called attention to the need to imbibe the spirit of Sri. Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s dedication to unity and the necessity of the present population to work towards unity. He then led the audience in taking up the following pledge to strive towards achieving and maintaining unity

                                                                                           RASHTRIYA EKTA DIWAS 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 late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. I also solemnly resolve to make my own contribution to ensure internal security of my country.

Sri. P. Ramakanth Reddy then addressed the audience. He spoke on the role played by Sri. Sardar Vallabhai Patel as the architect of modern India in uniting the more than 495 princely states, post independence, to form an united India. He focused on the special connection of Sri. Sardar Vallabhai Patel to Hyderabad, chiefly on his role, along with the government, in the initiation of police action which led to the merging of the then Nizam’s state Hyderabad into India. He said that it was fitting that National Unity Day was being commemerated on the birth anniversary of Sri. Sardar Vallabhai Patel. He concluded his speech by thanking JNIAS for inviting him and including him in the administration of the National unity pledge.

Finally, the vote of thanks was presented by Dr. Pramod S. Shinde. He thanked Sri. P. Ramakanth Reddy for gracing the occasion. He also expressed his profound gratitude to Dr. D. Swaminadhan for his constant encouragement. He also thanked Dr. Kaiser Jamil and expressed his appreciation of all the efforts extended by Smt. Ch. Sujatha Gangadhar. Lastly, he thanked the audience for being part of this occasion.