One of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's great contributions was the creation of the Indian Administrative Service, which was once a 'mission' but had now become a 'commission' for some, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said.
Many contributions and teachings of Patel have been ignored and remain unrecognised, Naidu said at an event to commemorate the 142nd birth anniversary of India's first home minister at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. The day is being celebrated as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.
"His vision for a unified India also saw the creation of the All India Administrative Service which he described as a steel frame. It was one of the great contributions he made to the country," the vice president said.
Patel's exhortations to probationers to maintain "utmost impartiality and incorruptibility in administration" were as relevant as they were then, Naidu said. "Earlier it was a mission, now some people have turned it into a commission giving remission and committing many omissions."
Naidu, who also inaugurated a two-day national conference and an exhibition on 'Making of a Gandhian Nationalist: Life and Times of Sardar Patel', said agriculture had been completely ignored post independence, contrary to Patels belief that it was the "basic culture of India".
Agriculture and industry were like our eyes, both needing equal care, but the former had been treated unjustly, the vice president said.
Food security is an important aspect in India, with a population of 130 crore, and agriculture cannot be ignored, he said.
"People are leaving agriculture; a doctor wants his son to be a doctor, a teacher wants his son to be a teacher, a businessman wants his son to be a businessman, an actor wants his son to be an actor, even when the face is not good enough, and then thrusting them upon us, but a farmer does not want his son to be a farmer. This is because agriculture is not remunerative," he said.
In a bid to rectify the situation, the Modi government was focusing on agriculture. "... by 2022, the aim of the government is to double the income of agriculturists." Naidu also rued the fact that there had been no proper recognition of Patel's monumental contribution and his legacy in unifying the country at its most critical juncture.
He asked the young to read and follow Patel's life story and understand his contribution in building a modern, unified India. Patel led a down to earth life and knew each and every problem of the country. He had clarity and was committed to unity, Naidu said.
"He needs to be remembered by every Indian as the country marches ahead as one of the largest economies in the world. His thoughts combined with parts of Mahatma Gandhi's are eternal to India," he said.