Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday India now meets the world on its own terms and is moving towards becoming a economic and military superpower.
"India is moving ahead on the path shown by Sardar Patel. There was a time when we were seen as weak. But (Sardar Vallabhbhai)Patel turned those very weaknesses into our strength -- showed us the right path," Modi said unveiling the 'Statue of Unity' honouring the country's first Home Minister.
Dedicating the 182-metre bronze figure to the nation, Modi said if we were connected from Rajasthan's Kutch to Nagaland's Kohima and Jammu and Kashmir's Kargil to Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari, it was because of Patel's determination.
The former Deputy Prime Minister played a major role in integrating over 550 princely states into the Indian Union after the Partition of 1947.
Unveiling the statue built on Sadhu Bet Island on Narmada river for Rs 2,389 crore, Modi touted it to be the world's tallest -- surpassing China's Spring Temple Buddha that stands at 153 metres by 29 metres and nearly doubling the 93-metre Statue of Liberty in New York.
(With inputs from agencies.)