Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Patel’s uncanny ability to inspire political cooperation among disparate personalities and groups served as the single most important element in the post-independence Indian government’s successful integration of the various princely states into a single national unit.
Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel was born in the province of Gujerāt, the son of a fairly prosperous farmer of the peasant class. Within the family there was a tradition of opposition to the occupying British administration; Patel’s father had been involved in the Mutiny of 1857, although it has never been clear how far his participation went. Nevertheless, Patel and his elder brother Vithalbai were sent for their educations to the Nadiād and Baroda high schools, where the standard subjects were presented. After this level of education, Patel very much wished to study law and to that end inquired about the various criteria that would be necessary in England. The reply to his letter was apparently addressed to him by his initial, and his brother, who was also considering law, prevailed on Patel to sponsor his study in England first.
While Vithalbai studied in England, Vallabhbhai studied for and passed the local district pleaders’ examinations and set up his first practice at Godhra. He later moved his practice to Borsad, where he specialized in criminal law. To a degree this specialization was less a matter...
(The entire section is 2238 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!