Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is credited with uniting India after independence by unifying all the princely states across the country. It has his vision, tact, diplomacy and pragmatic approach that more 562 princely states were integrated with the Union of India. Once India gained independence, Patel was made the deputy Prime Minister and was given the task of convincing the states to join the Indian Union.
He acted swiftly and combined the bravery of a military commander along with that of a clever diplomat and started convincing the states. He was assisted by V.P. Menon, who was the secretary of the Ministry of the States. The Princely states covered around 48% of the area of India and constituted 28% of the population. They were legally not a part of British India but subordinates to the British Empire. Patel and Menon got to work and got the 500 chiefdoms to accede to India by using different diplomatic and military tricks.
The efforts of Sardar Patel paid off and the princely states decided to join the Indian union. They also surrendered the control of thousands of villages, palaces, institutes and cash balances that eventually were used for the development of the newly formed nation. Eventually, all princely states joined the Indian union and Sardar Patel was successful in unifying India.
To pay homage to this great leader, the Indian Government in 2018 erected the Statue of Unity. It is the statue of Sardar Patel and is the tallest statue in the world. It is located by the Narmada River near the city of Vadodara.