New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the 'Run for Unity' here on Friday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, which is being commemorated as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.
Modi walked along the Raj Path to India Gate after flagging of the run in which hundreds of people participated.
Flanked by Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Naidu, Arun Jaitely among others, the Prime Minister administered the oath of unity to participants. Sportspersons like Sushil Kumar, Vijender Singh, Virendra Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir also participated in the event.
PM Modi paid floral tributes at the statue of independent India's first home minister at Patel Chowk, Parliament Street today morning. And thereafter addressed the participants of the 'Run for Unity' at Vijay Chowk.
The run from Vijay Chowk to India Gate on Rajpath was flagged off at 8.15 am.
Flagging off off the 'Run for Unity' on 139th birth anniversary of the first Home Minister of the country, PM Modi said Sardar Patel’s life was a journey of “service to the motherland” and he was “truly the architect of modern India”.
"Let us not forget that a nation that disregards its history can never create one...Don't divide history, legacy in narrow confines of ideology," Modi said.
“Sardar Patel’s life is a journey of deep-rooted courage, dedication & service to the Motherland. He is truly the architect of Modern India,” Modi tweeted on the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary.
"The country which forgets history can never create history, so for a country filled with aspirations, a country whose youth has dream, we should not forget our personalities of history.... country should not divide history and legacy according to our ideologies," Modi said as he addressed the gathering on the occasion of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas-- commemorating the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
"Today is the inspiring day when we remember Sardar Patel," he added.
Modi said Patel devoted his life for the unity of the nation and it was unfortunate that "our very own people" were killed on his birth anniversary 30 years ago.
PM Modi further said Mahatma Gandhi seems incomplete without Sardar Patel and they formed an "unbreakable pair".
"When we see Ramakrishna Paramhans he appears to be incomplete without Swami Vivekananda. Similarly when we see Mahatma Gandhi, he also appears incomplete without Sardar Patel," he said.
In an apparent reference to riots which took place after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984, Modi said, "Patel never deviated from his vision of national unity despite facing obstacles in his political life. It is a misfortune of this country that 30 years ago on the birth anniversary of such a leader an incident which shook the unity of nation took place."
"Hamare apne logon ko maut ke ghaat utar diya gaya (our own people were killed on that day). That incident was not a wound on the hearts of people of a particular religion it was a dagger into the heart of thousands of years of country's heritage and culture," he said.
He also noted that it was also the death anniversary of former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
President Pranab Mukherjee also took the initiative to flag off the 'Run for Unity' from Rashtrapati Bhavan on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley remembered Sardar Patel and paid salutations. Here's what he said:
Sardar Patel guided our nation' integration into a united, independent nation. My salutations to this great leader on his birth anniversary.
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) October 31, 2014
Home Minister Rajnath Singh flagged off 'Run for Unity' race in Hyderabad. Hundreds of college students, NCC cadets and other citizens participated in the race. Addressing the gathering Rajnath praised Sardar Patel's role in ensuring India's unity and integrity.
Railways Minister Sadanand Gowda remembered India's first home minister on his birth anniversary.
Its time to remember the great visionary and great leader " Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel" on his birth anniversary. Shath Shath pranams to him
— Sadananda Gowda (@DVSBJP) October 31, 2014
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary saying that he was "the great architect of modern and united India" Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary.
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) October 31, 2014