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Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

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Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

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Patel was born to a Leva Patel Gujarati family. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a native of Karamsad. His actual date of birth was never officially recorded—Patel entered 31 October as his date of birth on his matriculation examination papers.[2] They lived in the village of Karamsad, in the Anand district of the Bombay Presidency, where Jhaverbhai owned a homestead. Somabhai, Narsibhai and Vithalbhai Patel (also a future political leader) were his elder brothers. He had a younger brother, Kashibhai and a sister, Dahiba. As a young boy, Patel helped his father in the fields and twice a month kept a day-long fast, abstaining from food and water—a Hindu cultural observance that helped him to develop physical toughness.[3] His father was a devotee of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, and would often take Patel to the Swaminarayan Temple in Vadtal about 20 km from Karamsad on foot.[4] When he was eighteen years old, Patel's marriage was arranged with Jhaverba, a young girl of twelve or thirteen years from a nearby village. According to custom, the young bride would continue to live with her parents until her husband started earning and could establish their household. Patel traveled to attend schools in Nadiad, Petlad and Borsad, living self-sufficiently with other boys. He reputedly cultivated a stoic character—a popular anecdote recounts how he lanced his own painful boil without hesitation, even as the barber supposed to do it trembled.[5] Patel passed his matriculation at the late age of 22; at this point, he was generally regarded by his elders as an unambitious man destined for a commonplace job. Patel himself harboured a plan—he would study to become a lawyer, work and save funds, travel to England and study to become a barrister.[6] Patel spent years away from his family, studying on his own with books borrowed from other lawyers and passed examinations within two years. Fetching Jhaverba from her parents' home, Patel set up his household in Godhra and was called to...

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