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Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s Prison Diary

Ahmedabad is a district located in the Indian state of Gujarat. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was an influential freedom fighter and a key figure in the nation’s fight for independence. During the freedom struggle, in 1930, Sardar Vallabhbhai was arrested and sent to the Sabarmati jail. While he was in jail, he was alone and so he decided to keep himself occupied by writing. The diary written in Gujarati, in Sardar Patel’s own handwriting is all about his experiences in the jail. It covered the time period from 7th March to the 22nd of April.

The diary gives us a glimpse of Sardar Patel’s intense faith in God, his deep-rooted attachment to his native Gujarat, and his deep affection for Gandhi. In the diary he narrates his daily routine and mentions his meal timings, amongst other things. Sardar Patel also penned down all his observations about what went on within the prison walls. His request for a Jail Manual was denied. Instead, he was given the Bhagwat Gita and the Tulsi Ramayan to read. Sardar Patel wrote his diary on a daily basis and besides his observations, he also penned down his thoughts and emotions.

Though the wardens and other prisoners showed him a lot of courtesy and kindness, he lived a basic life in jail and asked everyone to treat him as an ordinary prisoner. He repeatedly refused any special treatment and favours. Sardar Patel’s ‘Prison Diary’ is a written legacy that has been left behind for generations to come, that offer us glimpse into the life of the freedom fighter.

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Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (A Commemorative Stamp)