Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel (31 October 1875 - 15 December 1950), popularly known as Sardar Patel, was the first Deputy Prime Minister of India. He was an Indian barrister and statesman, a leader of the Indian National Congress and a founding father of the Republic of India who played a leading role in the country's struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation. In India and elsewhere, he was often addressed as Sardar, which means Chief in Hindi, Urdu, and Persian. He acted as de facto Supreme Commander-in-chief of Indian army during Political integration of India and Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.
As the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India, Patel organized relief efforts for refugees fleeing from Punjab and Delhi and worked to restore peace across the nation. He led the task of forging a united India, successfully integrating into the newly independent nation those British colonial provinces that had been "allocated" to India. Besides those provinces that had been under direct British rule, approximately 565 self-governing princely states had been released from British suzerainty by the Indian Independence Act of 1947. Employing frank diplomacy with the expressed option to deploy military force, Patel persuaded almost every princely state to accede to India. His commitment to national integration in the newly independent country was total and uncompromising, earning him the sobriquet "Iron Man of India". He is also affectionately remembered as the "Patron saint of India's civil servants" for having established the modern all-India services system. He is also called the Unifier of India.