Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said diversity is the pride of India and the key to development.
In his radio programme Mann Ki Baat on Sunday, Modi recalled Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, whose birth anniversary falls on October 31, and said he made a huge contribution to India's unity.
"He had a dream for a united India, and he succeeded in doing that geographically," said Modi.
The prime minister, however, added that the the 'mantra' of unity should "constantly be a part of our thought, behaviour and expressions".
"India is a diverse country, and this diversity is the pride of India... Peace, harmony and unity... these are the key to development," he said.