Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) was introduced by the Government of India and inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016. The intent is to pay tribute to Vallabhbhai Patel, who was instrumental in keeping India united. It is to be celebrated on 31 October every year as the annual commemoration of the birthday of the Iron Man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding leaders of the Republic of India.
The official statement for Rashtriya Ekta Diwas by the Home Ministry of India cites that the National Unity Day “will provide an opportunity to reaffirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to the unity, integrity, and security of our country.
Arrangements ahead of the fourth Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) scheduled to be celebrated on October 31 are in full swing, and several events are scheduled to be held by various Ministries, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and organizations across the country.
Recently, CBSE instructed its affiliated schools to organize appropriate activities to observe ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ on October 31, 2018. Also, Union Grant Commission (UGC) has issued a similar circular to Higher Education Institutes. National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Some of the suggested activities for Universities and affiliated colleges includes a ‘Run for Unity’ by the students, teachers, and staff with the message of Unified Bharat. Another activity suggested by UGC is ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ pledge taking ceremony, and debates, quizzes, and competition on relevant topics. Similar activities were suggested by CBSE to schools.
In colleges where NCC unit exists, UGC has suggested inviting Army Officers/Ex-Army Officers to give a talk on National Unity, Integrity, Security and any other related topic. Colleges and Universities may also upload the video of activities undertaken on the University Activity Monitoring Portal. Along with the circular, the Rashtriya Ekta Pledge has also been forwarded to the universities and colleges.
Several events are scheduled to be held by various Ministries, Public Sector Undertakings and organizations across the country. All over the country, people will take a pledge to protect the unity and integrity of India and participate in the Run for Unity programme.
In New Delhi, the Run for Unity will be organized from Major Dhynachand Stadium which will be flagged off by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The Home Minister will also pay floral tributes at the statue of Sardar Patel in the Parliament Street.
The Ministry of External Affairs will organize pledge taking in Indian Missions. Essay and Quiz Competitions, debates, short films, photo exhibition etc. will be organized in offices of MEA and in the Indian Missions. It will arrange ‘Talks’ on life and contribution of Sardar Patel in cooperation with ‘Friendship Societies’ and ‘Think Tanks’.