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INTEGRATION OF PRINCELY STATES

INTEGRATION OF PRINCELY STATES

  • During 1946-47, there was an upsurge of state people’s movement demanding political rights and elective representation in CA.
  • Nehru presided over All India State People’s conference sessions in Udaipur (1945) and Gwalior (Apr 1947). He declared that the states refusing to join CA would be treated as hostile. In July 1947, Vallabhbhai Patel took charge of the new states’ department.

Under Patel, the incorporation of Indian states took place in 2 phases:

Phase 1:

  • All states except, Kashmir, Junagadh, Hyderabad had signed the Instrument of Accession acknowledging authority over defence, external affairs and communication.
  • Except these the internal political structure was not hampered.
  • This was a no brainer for these states as these 3 powers resided with British before 1947.

Phase 2:

  • 2nd phase involved much difficult process of integration of states with neighboring provinces into new units like the Kathiawar union, Vindhya and Madhya Pradesh.
  • Rajasthan and Himachal along with internal constitutional changes which for some years retained their old boundaries (Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, Cochin).
  • This phase was completed in one year.                                            INTEGRATION OF PRINCELY STATES

CONGRESS ACCEPTED PARTITION

  • The Congress was not consistent on the Partition. On April 2, 1942, the Congress Working Committee criticized the secessionist idea.
  • But at the same time Congress committee said that it cannot think in terms of compelling the people of any territorial unit to remain in the Indian Union against their declared and established will.
  • Its election manifesto of 1945 reiterated this principle, thus setting at naught the Jagat Narain Lal resolution, adopted by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on May 2, 1942, which ruled out liberty to any component State or territorial unit to secede.
  • Rajagopalachari formula, in March 1944, accepted plebiscite on Partition in areas where in the Muslim population is in absolute majority.
  • On September 24, 1944 Gandhi himself offered Jinnah his plan for “two sovereign independent States” with a Treaty of Separation on defense, foreign affairs, etc. Thus, from 1940 onwards, the trend was unmistakably against India’s unity.                                                                                      INTEGRATION OF PRINCELY STATES
  • Both Gandhi and the Congress had accepted the principle of Partition, based on consent of the areas concerned. Time was fast running out on India’s unity.
  • The British government’s statement on December 6, 1946 rejected the Congress interpretation of the grouping formula and expressed its view that here has never been any prospect of success for the Constituent Assembly except upon the basis of the agreed procedure.
  • Should a Constitution come to be framed by the Constituent Assembly in which a large section of the Indian population had not been represented, His Majesty’s Government could not, of course, contemplate as the Congress have stated they would not contemplate forcing such a Constitution upon any unwilling parts of the country.
  • This gave the Congress one of two choices – unqualified acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan or Partition. It preferred the latter. Once again, Gandhi rejected the Plan.
  • But the direct action day observed by Muslim league and the following incidents of Hindu-Muslim riot made Congress and Gandhi believe that partition was the only option if there could be lasting peace after British leave India. And so Congress accepted the partition. However, Gandhi asked the congressmen not to accept it in their hearts.

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Modern History

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