Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was responsible for uniting the country and his efforts led to the building of the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday after he inaugurated the Statue of Unity, a 182m-tall statue of India’s first home minister in Gujarat’s Narmada district. “It is due to his efforts after Independence that India is what it is today. We celebrate him and his tremendous contribution to the country,” the Prime Minister said after he unveiled the world’s tallest statue on Patel’s 143rd birth anniversary. “To build the statue, lakhs of farmers from all over India came together, gave their tools, portions of soil and started a mass movement,” he said calling the day “historic and inspiring”. The statue, whose foundation was laid by Modi in 2013 as chief minister of Gujarat, will dwarf the current tallest statue, the Spring Temple Buddha in China (128m), and is almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York.