On October 31, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the “Statue of Unity” at Kevadia in Gujarat in honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary. The height of the 'Iron Man Of India' statue is 182-meter and it has become the tallest statue of the world. At the inaugural ceremony of the statue, PM Modi credited Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and highlighted his contributions towards the welfare of the Indian society.
PM Modi started his speech by saying ''Today, on the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's birth anniversary, India is celebrating National Unity Day. On this occasion, in every corner of our country, our youths are running. I welcome and respect all the participants, who took part in the 'Run for Unity'.
PM Modi said ''I dreamt of building a statue of the respected man of our country, when I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat but never thought that one day, as the Prime Minister of our country, I will get this golden opportunity to unveil the statue''
PM Modi thanked the people of Gujarat by saying, '' I am thankful to the people of Gujarat for giving me the greetings for unveiling the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. For me, this is not a greetings letter or a letter of respect, however, the land, where I grew up, where my values got nurtured, and the way when a mother puts her hand on her son's shoulder, that very moment, the energy, the happiness level automatically increases within the son''.
PM Modi said,'' I was given the first piece of iron that was contributed for this iconic statue.”
PM Modi compared “Sardar Patel had the wisdom of Kautilya and bravery of Shivaji Maharaj that helped to achieve a united India after partition. He showed us the way towards a united India and it is because of him that we are interacting with the world on our own terms.
PM Modi credited Sardar Patel for making a unified India by saying ''It was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel because of whom we are living in a united India. It was his efforts following the Independence that led to the formation of India the way it is today. India was divided into more than 550 princely states during the time when Sardar Patel took office. People thought that India will not stand united. But, Sardar Patel came as a ray of hope and proved everyone wrong.”
PM Modi also appreciated the Iron man of India for solving the problem of visas, by saying “From Kutch to Kohima, Kashmir to Kanyakumari, if we are able to travel around the country without any hindrance, then it is only because of Sardar Patel. If he had not taken this initiative, then we would have needed a visa to see Gir Lions in Gujarat and Charminar in Hyderabad. If it wasn't for Sardar Patel, there would be no straight rail line from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
''This statue is meant to remind those who question the existence of India, that the nation was eternal. This height of the statue and its strength is to remind the youth that the future of India is in your hands. The power and mantra to fulfill these aspirations are just one and only one - ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha (Best) Bharat’ . Statue of Unity is a symbol of our engineering and technological capabilities''.
PM Modi said ''This monument of Sardar Patel is a symbol of respect for millions of Indians, our power, and it is also an important place for the country's economy and employment generation. Thousands of tribals are going to get direct employment every year with this statue.”
PM Modi applauded the efforts of the artisan Ram Sutar, who build this statue by saying '' “Many times, I feel amazed when some people connect our movement with politics. We also get criticized for praising such great men like Sardar Patel.''