Saturday, October 15, 1949

The greatest chastisement that a man may receive who hath outraged another, is to have done the outrage; and there is no man so rudely punished as he that is subject to the whip of his own repentance. SENECA.


The highlight of the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly on Wednesday was Sardar Patel's speech on the "bloodless revolution" in the states. The British ruling classes have rendered many and grave disservices to India during their regime in this country. Their last disservice before their departure from India was the enunciation of the doctrine of lapse of paramountcy. According to this doctrine, each one of the states in India became an independent kingdom on August 15, 1947. If this doctrine had been carried out, India would have been ruined. In unity lies strength. The doctrine of lapse implied India's fragmentation. There are about 600 states in India. If every one of the 600 states had become independent, the result would have been chaos. Sardar Patel averted this disaster.

Sardar Patel's achievement has surprised both friends and foes. British political officers who had been inciting the rulers of states against the Congress left India full of hope that not one of the states would accede to the Indian Union. But a miracle happened. Before the first contingent of ex-British bureaucrats reached Aden on their way to England, the majority of states had acceded to the Indian Union.

Studio/14.11.49,A22b Sardar Patel’s Broadcast to the Nation The Hon'ble Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Deputy Prime Minister of India, in a broadcast message to the Nation, appealed to every section of the people, particularly the industrialists and the labour, to co-operate with the Government in every possible way and “Play the game in a spirit of national service” in order to help the country to ride over the present economic crisis. The Hon'ble Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel broadcasting to the Nation from the New Delhi Station of the A.I.R. on November 14, 1949.

But Sardar Patel realized that accession was not enough. The instruments of accession executed by the rulers provided for the accession of states to the Indian Union on only three subjects, namely defence, external affairs and communications. The administration of the states was inefficient and corrupt and the establishment of modern standards of administration was beyond their means. What was needed besides accession was the consolidation of states into sizable administrative units. This reform has been carried out. The states, with the exception of half-a-dozen, have merged either in unions of states or in provinces. Today the relations of the Central Government with the states are the same as those with the provinces not only in respect of defence, external affairs and communications, but in respect of defence, external affairs and communications, but in respect of all subjects. In other words, India is one.

It is remarkable fact that in spite of the efforts of British Political officers to alienate the princes from Indian National leaders, the process of unification was carried out with the support and cooperation of the people and the rulers of the states. Sardar Patel encountered opposition in very few states. The Nawab of Junagarh who had promised to accede to India broke his promise and surreptitiously acceded to Pakistan. But he had reckoned without his host. The people who wanted that Junagarh should accede to India rose in revolt and the Nawab fled Junagarh and took refuge in Pakistan. The Nawab of Bhopal acceded to India but he insisted that the state must retain its autonomy. In plain words, he wanted to remain in feudal chief. He announced a scheme of constitutional reforms. The people rejected the scheme. The reforms were a farce. The people wanted integration. The Nawab argued that the agitation for the merger of Bhopal was ill-timed and, therefor, ill-advised and, that the people would do well to realize the complications inherent in the situation. The people were not impressed by the argument. They replied that no complications arose when states bigger than Bhopal merged in the Madhya Bharat and that a voluntary surrender of his power would conduce to the Nawab's own interests. "Remember Junagarh", they said. The warning had the desired effect.

The States Ministry had to face opposition in Hyderabad owing to the fact that power in that state had been captured by a party of Fascists who called themselves Razakars. They declared Hyderabad an independent state. They received encouragement and support from Pakistan. But as the Razakars were hated by the people, the Indian army was able to occupy Hyderabad and free the Nizam from the clutches of the Razakars without much difficulty. Hyderabad is now as much a part of India as, say, Mysore. In fact, Hyderabad had never been independent during the last 200 years. The rulers of Pakistan supported the Razakars because they were interested in India's disruption. Kashmir acceded to India about two years ago. But Pakistanis argued that because the majority of the population of the state is Muslim, therefore, Kashmir should accede to Pakistan. Pakistanis invaded Kashmir and tried to occupy it by force. The invasion was a total failure. The Pakistanis who had invaded the beautiful Valley full of hopes of loot and victory, received a good beating. The Pakistanis may prevent a free and impartial plebiscite being held for sometime, but Sheikh Abdullah has demolished the two-nation theory and the accession of Kashmir to Pakistan is out of question. No Country ever witnessed such a glorious revolution. We achieved not only independence but we achieved, as Sardar Patel said, "The great ideal of geographical, political and economic unification of India an ideal which for centuries remained a distant dream and which appeared as remote and as difficult of attainment as ever even after the advent of Indian independence." The achievement is the result mainly of the efforts of Sardar Patel.. MAY HE LIVE LONG.