Introduction: Write about the importance of conciliation with native states for the unity of India
Body Paragraph: Write about Sardar Patel’s role in this task. Use multiple paragraphs or point format for your answer.
Conclusion: Reiterate the importance of Sardar Patel in bringing princely states together. Write about some recent event/ honor ascribed to him by the Government of India. Alternatively, talk about the relevance of his methods and persona in today’s times
Sardar Vallabhai Patel was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress, who played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence, guiding its integration into a united, independent nation.
He played a historic role in negotiating with the rulers of the princely states and brought most of them into the Indian Union. The rulers of the princely states were not uniformly enthusiastic about integrating their domains into independent India. Many of them insisted that they had the right to join either India or Pakistan, to remain independent, or to form a union of their own. The problem of amalgamating these native states with a democratic self-governing India was difficult and delicate. But it was essential to save India from balkanization, once the Paramountcy of British crown would lapse. Sardar Patel took charge of the states department in July 1947. He sensed the urgent and imperative need of the integration of princely states.
1.He took a conciliatory approach and emphasised on the unity of India and the common interests of the princes and independent India. He reassured the princes about Congress’ intentions and invited them to join independent India.
2. By appealing to the patriotic and national sentiments of the Princes he invited them to join the forming of a democratic constitution in the national interest. He persuaded them to surrender defence, foreign affairs and communication to the government of India.
3. He used his diplomatic prowess and broke the union of separatist princes. He reiterated that the States Department would not attempt to establish a relationship of dominance over the princely states unlike the British crown. Rather, it would be a relationship where business could be conducted between the states and India as equals. By August 15, 1947 all except Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir acceded to India.
4. He thereafter carried three fold process of assimilation, centralization and unification of states by producing treaties that were designed to be attractive to rulers of princely states. Two key documents were produced- the Standstill Agreement and Instrument of Accession. The states were amalgamated to form a union and that union was merged with the Union of India.
5. He handled the Junagarh and Hyderabad crisis as a seasoned statesman. Nawab of Junagarh wanted to accede to Pakistan. When the people revolted, Patel intervened. Indian Government took over the administration. Patel merged it with India by holding a plebiscite. He also subdued the Nizam. When the Nizam boasted anti-India feelings and let loose a blood bath by the Razakars, Patel decided upon police action. He ordered the army to March into Hyderabad. The Nizam surrendered and Hyderabad was acceded to India.
Sardar Patel ensured, by his calculated methods and diplomatic way that there was absorption of a multitude of princely states into the Indian Union. Hence, without a civil war, he secured the solidarity of the nation. It was his success in integrating about 565 princely states after Independence that got him the title of ‘Iron Man’. His commitment to national integration in the newly independent country was total and uncompromising, He is also called the “Unifier of India” and hence, the Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue, was dedicated to him.