A Great Patriot - Shriyut Vithalbhai Patel

A Great Patriot - Shriyut Vithalbhai Patel

It gives me great pleasure to be here today to release the commemorative postage stamp issued in honour of Shri Vithalbhai Patel on the occasion of his birth centenary. I am glad to have this opportunity to pay my homage to the memory of a great patriot and freedom fighter, and a great parliamentarian. It is very appropriate that this function should be held in the Central Hall of the Parliament House where Vithalbhai Patel made history as the first Indian Speaker of the Central Assembly.

The main points of Vithalbhai Patel's life are well known. He was born one hundred years ago, in a humble family, at Karamsad. After schooling he studied law in the Gokhale Institute at Bombay. After passing the Pleaders' Examination he started legal practice the Pleaders' Examination he started legal practice and made a name as an able and successful lawyer. Later he proceeded to England where he pursued legal studies further, and was called to the Bar in 1908. On return to India he setup legal practice in Bombay, but this was only a brief prelude to his entry into active public life.

His achievements as a member of the Borsad Taluk Board, the Kaira District Local Board and the Corporation of Bombay were noteworthy, and were followed by even greater achievements in the Bombay Legislative Council and later, in the Central Legislature at Delhi.

Vithalbhai Patel, along with his equally illustrious brother, Vallabhbhai, was the inheritor of a tradition to fearless sacrifice and patriotic service for the cause of the nation. He was closely associated with the freedom struggle during the early decades of the present century, and has lefft the impress of his great personality on the history of those times.

Vithalbhai Patel was elected to the Imperial Legislative Council in 1918 and to the Central Legislative Assembly in 1924. He was indeed an outstanding pioneer of parliamentary life in our country who appears to have had a prescience of the vital position which Parliament would acquire in Independent India. As the first Indian to be elected as President of the Central Assembly in 1925, he displayed an ability and independence which made his five year tenure memorable and historic. Fearless, firm and impartial, his rulings from the Chair were marked by a profound knowledge of Parliamentary procedure and rules and have created, for posterity, very sound and valuable traditions and practices. He was an intellectual force, had sturdy judgment and a most remarkable independence of character. He held this high office with unique distinction until his resignation on political grounds. When he died on October 23, 1933, at Geneva, India lost one of its greatest sons, and the people mourned the loss of a veteran leader of rare integrity. But the spirit of the great man still lives to inspire and guide us in our endeavours to reach our goal of unity, prosperity and strength.

I congratulate the Department of Posts and Telegraphs on the scheme they have been following of honouring the memory of great men and women through memorial postage stamps. These stamps are permanent and valuable mementos cherished by all people whether they are philatelists or not. In view of the importance and popularity of these tokens the P&T Department could perhaps consider whether the stamps can be improved in quality. I understand that there are already some sophisticated processes available for this purpose and that if they are used, it would be possible to improve the quality of our stamps even further.

I have now much pleasure in releasing the Vithalbhai Patel Commemorative Stamp.

Jai Hind

Speech of Shri G. S. Pathak. the Vice-President of India on the occasion of the release of Vithalbhai Patel commemorative postage stamp at the Central Hall of Parliament House, on the 27th September, 1973.

Reference : Vithalbhai Patel Birth Centenary

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