On 16 July 1947, V.P Menon sent a letter to Indian Deputy Secretary Sir Patrick in England stating that the Viceroy had talked to the representatives of Mysore, Baroda, Gwalior, Bikaner, Jaipur, and Jodhpur about the matter of unification in India. All of them had positive reactions. On 2 August 1947, Menon informed Patrick that almost all the rulers had made up their minds to concatenate their states in the Indian Union.
Only Hyderabad, Bhopal, and Indore were in a dilemma. The Viceroy had convinced the rulers, and the rulers of following states had shown their consent to join their states in India- Gwalior, Patiala, Kota, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Rampur, Nawanagar, Jalawar, Panna, Tehri Garhwal, Faridkot, Sangli, Sitamau, Palitana, Phaltan, Khairagarh, and Sandur. Albeit, Jodhpur state had been working in the Constituent Assembly since 28 April 1947, and the ruler of Jodhpur, Maharaja Hanwant Singh had announced his decision twice to join India; however, he came under the influence of Mohammad Ali Jinnah (creator of Pakistan), his supporter- Nawab of Bhopal and Maharaja Rana of Dholpur exactly 10 days before the country rolling up for independence.
When the plan to set up an independent group of Rajput states failed, then the members of the Political Department advised the Rajput states to integrate into Pakistan. The Rajput states could do that legally as these stretched along the border of Indo-Pakistan. Jodhpur was among those states. Since Maharaja Hanwant Singh hated Congress and Jodhpur lay near the Pakistan border; therefore, he thought to meet Jinnah. The ruler of Jodhpur had met Jinnah and the leaders of Muslim League several times and in his last visit, he took Maharaja Kumar of Jaisalmer along with him. The ruler of Bikaner refused to go with him, and Hanwant Singh was hesitant to see Jinnah alone. Seeing those people, Jinnah became jubilant. Jinnah knew that if these two states would integrate into Pakistan, then other Rajput states would also integrate into Pakistan; not only would the issue related to the partition of Punjab and Bengal be solved but the plan of the Congress to acquire all the major states would also be failed. Jinnah signed a blank paper and gave it to the ruler of Jodhpur along with his pen, and told him to jot down any conditions. Further discussions took place. On this, Hanwant Singh showed his inclination to become a part of Pakistan. Then he turned towards Maharaja Kumar of Jaisalmer and asked his opinion. Maharaja Kumar was ready to sign on one condition that if ever Muslims and Hindus fought, then Jinnah would not favor Muslims against Hindus. It was like a bombardment which left Maharaja Hanwant Singh flummoxed. Jinnah pressurized Hanwant Singh to sign the document. When Maharaja Kumar of Jaisalmer refused to unite with Pakistan, Maharaja of Jodhpur became erratic. Taking an advantage of this opportunity, Maharaja’s A.D.C Colonel Kesari Singh advised Maharaja to ask his mother before taking the final decision. Maharaja got an excuse, and he departed saying to Jinnah that he would think about it and be back in one-two days with his decision.
Colonel Kesari Singh informed Prime Minister C.S Venkatachar about the facts. Seeing the severity of the conspiracy, Venkatachar sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Bikaner, Sardar Panicker on 6 August 1947. It was stated in the letter that Nawab of Bhopal took Maharaja of Jodhpur to meet Jinnah. Jinnah had offered that he was willing to make a treaty, by giving recognition to Jodhpur of an independent state. He also offered that all those arms required by Jodhpur could be imported freely without any marginal tax. Jinnah also reassured to make Maharaja of Jodhpur, a supremo of Rajasthan, which took him completely by surprise and tempted him to become the king of Rajasthan. Colonel Kesari Singh, secretary of Maharaja, went to Jinnah’s residence along with Maharaja, but he was not allowed to go inside. So he was not aware of all the terms. The next day, when Maharaja went along with Nawab of Bhopal to meet Jinnah, then the format of the treaty was ready for the signature. At that time, Maharaja told Kesari Singh that by signing the treaty, he would become the King of Rajasthan. Kesari Singh explained to Maharaja that he should first consult her mother and other relatives before doing so. Maharaja departed by reassuring Jinnah that he would sign the treaty on 8 August after taking the advice of their relatives. Kesari Singh also reiterated this assurance.
After returning to Jodhpur, Hanwant Singh convened a meeting of the State’s vassals at Sardar Samand Palace and encouraged their opinion. None of the vassals except Damli Thakur was willing to struggle with the Indian Government. Maharaja stayed in Jodhpur for three days. There was much indignation in the environment of Jodhpur over the question of annexation with Pakistan. When Hanwant Singh returned to Delhi after three days, then Menon was informed that if he could not handle Maharaja expeditiously, then there were chances that Maharaja might join Pakistan. Menon urged Mountbatten to make Maharaja of Jodhpur agree to join India. Menon went to Imperial Hotel and told Maharaja that Lord Mountbatten wanted to talk to him. Menon drove Maharaja to Viceroy’s house. The Viceroy, with his attractive personality and stalwart spoke to Maharaja similarly like a teacher explains to his undisciplined student. He told Maharaja that he had a full right to accede Jodhpur to Pakistan, but he should not overlook the consequences which would arise out of this. He was a Hindu, and most of his subjects were predominantly Hindu. The Maharaja’s action would be against the principle that the India would be fragmented into two pieces, one of which would be the Muslim country and the other would be Non-Muslim country; and such affiliation into Pakistan would lead to serious communal troubles in Jodhpur.
A movement was also expected to be carried out by the congress. Maharaja told Mountbatten that Jinnah had asked to jot down his terms on the blank paper on which Jinnah would sign. Menon on this said that he could also do the same, but Maharaja would not receive anything from this in the same way as he would get nothing from Pakistan despite the signature from Jinnah. On this, Mountbatten asked Menon to give certain concessions to Maharaja like Jinnah. Maharaja accepted the proposal of merger of the state into India and signed the document. Maharaja and Menon both agreed on some privileges which Menon himself took to Jodhpur when it came in written form. According to the report sent by Mountbatten to Indian Secretary on 8 August 1947, the Prime Minister of Jodhpur Venkatachar had informed that after having lunch in Delhi with the Viceroy, Maharaja of Jodhpur had declared that he want to accede Jodhpur to the Indian Union.
However soon afterward, Maharaja of Dholpur pressurized Maharaja of Jodhpur not to adhere to the Indian Union. Maharaja of Jodhpur was taken to Jinnah and in the presence of Nawab of Bhopal and his legal counselor Zafarullah Khan, Jinnah proposed that if Maharaja heralded his state independent on 15 August, then following concessions would be given:-
(1) All the facilities of the port of Karachi would be given to Jodhpur State.
(2) Jodhpur State would be allowed to import arms.
(3) Jodhpur would have jurisdiction over Jodhpur-Hyderabad railway.
(4) An ample supply of grains would be provided in famine-prone districts of Jodhpur.
The Viceroy writes that Maharaja believed that offers given by Jinnah were the best and informed Nawab of Bhopal through a telegram that his situation was unstable, and he would like to meet him on 11 August. On 7 August, Hanwant Singh went to Baroda where he explained Maharaja Gaekwad not to sign the signed protocol. Bhopal Nawab was also trying to allure the rulers of Jodhpur, Kutch, and Udaipur not to sign the signed protocol. The Viceroy sent a letter to Maharaja of Jodhpur asking him to visit him soon. He (the Viceroy) was extremely sad because on one hand Nawab of Bhopal behaved like a friend but on the other hand he planned to thwart his plot. He accounted that he would talk on the Nawab’s tricks when latter would visit Delhi.
On 11 August 1947, Lord Mountbatten interacted to the rulers of the states and sought clarification from Nawab on the information, which was received by Sardar Patel, according to which the Nawab had pressurized Maharaja of Jodhpur to meet Jinnah along with him. Bhopal Nawab gave the answer to the Viceroy :
On 6 August, Maharaja Dholpur and other two rulers informed me that Maharaja Jodhpur wanted to see me. I answered that I would be glad to meet Jodhpur Maharaja. When Maharaja came to me, he said that he wanted to meet Jinnah soon to know the details of the terms. As Jinnah was going to Karachi forever, leaving Delhi, he was extremely busy. Yet I managed to take the time of interview for Maharaja. We (Nawab and Maharaja) were given the time after the lunch, information of which was sent to Maharaja. Maharaja came to my residence in the afternoon, and we then went to meet Jinnah. Maharaja asked Jinnah what all offers were in his basket for the rulers who wanted to establish the relationship with Pakistan. Jinnah made a clear statement that he would like to make a treaty with those rulers and give them the recognition of an independent state by offering them good conditions. Then Maharaja further talked about the facility of sea-port, jurisdiction over railway, supply of grains and the free import of arms. During the meeting, there was no discussion on the fact that whether or not Maharaja should sign the protocol. I returned to Bhopal after this interview. I received the message on the phone call from Maharaja of Dholpur about Jodhpur Maharaja’s return to Delhi on 9 August; therefore I should also reach Delhi. When I reached Delhi, then I received the message at the airport from Maharaja to reach Jodhpur Maharaja’s place directly. On arrival, Maharaja of Dholpur told me that I had to wait for sometime more as Jodhpur Maharaja had gone to meet the Viceroy and would return shortly. But Maharaja did not get the time to meet me as he stayed for longer to the Viceroy. Maharaja sent the message through telephone that he was leaving for Jodhpur and would return in the evening. On Saturday evening, Maharaja Dholpur informed me that Maharaja Jodhpur had not yet returned, and it appeared that he might return on Sunday. On Sunday (10 August) around 13:30pm, I got the invitation from Dholpur Maharaja to join him for the lunch. I on arrival discovered Jodhpur Maharaja there. He had brought his master along. Maharaja introduced his master as his philosopher and advisor. After meeting Jinnah, I met Jodhpur Maharaja that day. Maharaja asked us to interact with his master. Dholpur and other rulers had detailed conversations with the master in which I had participated little. When I was about to leave, then Maharaja of Jodhpur said that he would come on Monday morning to meet me. Keeping his promise, Maharaja came to meet me on Monday at 10 am and said that his master has not reached his decision yet but Maharaja himself has taken the decision to remain in the Indian Union. I said to Maharaja that he is the ruler of his state and is free to make his own decisions.
The Viceroy considered the facts sent by Bhopal Nawab right. Onkar Singh assumes, based on this description, that Colonel Kesari Singh was not present at the time of the meeting of Jinnah and Maharaja of Jodhpur; otherwise, the Nawab would have surely mentioned him. According to Onkar Singh, Kesari Singh had spread the delusions that he was also present at the time of meeting; due to which Maneckar and Panicker had distorted the facts.
On 16 August, Lord Mountbatten sent the final report to Indian secretary, Article 41 of which stated that when Mountbatten called Maharaja Jodhpur on 8 August then latter reached Delhi late on the same night from Jodhpur and met him the next morning. Maharaja admitted about his meeting with Jinnah, and the description given by the Nawab was correct. When Patel came to know about Maharaja’s ploy, then he agreed to go to any extent to persuade Maharaja. He finally agreed on following terms: Maharaja Jodhpur would be able to import the arms without any interruptions; whole grains would be supplied to the famine-prone areas of the state and for this, other areas of India would be disregarded; the railway line would be allowed to extend from Jodhpur to the sea-port of Kutch. Maharaja became satisfied on Patel’s acceptance, and he decided to remain with India.
Onkar Singh believes that Maharaja Hanwant Singh neither wanted to join Pakistan nor wanted to become the king of Rajasthan, but he wanted to put pressure on Sardar Patel to basket maximum benefits for his state. It could be said in the light of the facts that having been trapped in the coups of Bhopal Nawab and Maharaja Rana Dholpur, Maharaja of Jodhpur visited Jinnah to find out that in which possibilities he would have a maximum advantage, whether to join India or Pakistan or to remain autonomous. Even the Hindu rulers of Jodhpur and Travancore had tried to attempt some separatist tricks but Patel’s reflexes ruined them.
Sumnesh Joshi was the first who had busted the intentions of Maharaja of Jodhpur to meet in Pakistan in the newspaper published from Jodhpur. According to a published report titled “Intentions of the vassals of the Rajputs and Nawab of Bhopal were not fulfilled” of August 20, 1947 issue, there was a surprise behind the sign of joy occurred in the political arena due to Jodhpur state’s entrance into the Indian Union because then why Maharaja had shown hesitation in acceding to the Union, despite his speech in tilak celebration. Bhopal Nawab attempted to establish contacts with 16 states through aircrafts. He got success in Jodhpur case because it was surrounded by the vassals who were intended to join the state in Pakistan. It was pointed in an article of heroic warrior published in the press of Maharaja Sahib’s mother whereabouts that Pakistan was magnanimous to tenementary practice while Hindustan wanted to demolish it. Therefore, the vassals of palace liked Pakistan more than Hindustan which brought considerable infamy to Jodhpur principality. The plot which was drawn to stay away from the Hindustan Union, also mentioned that Sir Stafford Cripps would come to India, and he would establish the relation of the states directly with England. Many people were supposed to become foolish on this name. Also, other people were given edacity to stay independent from Pakistan side. Jodhpur’s temporary hitch was the collective result of all these. Even Jama Sahib received the message from Bhopal Nawab, but he rejected it. Message from Jodhpur was sent to Udaipur Maharaja, Maharana of which replied emphatically. The entrance of Jodhpur in the Union became the topic of debate even in the embassy lobby.
Pistol on Menon
On 9 August 1947, when V.P Menon took Maharaja Hanwant Singh to the Viceroy, then at the behest of the Viceroy, Menon agreed to give certain concessions to Maharaja. The Viceroy further asked Menon to take the sign from Maharaja on the instrument of accession and left to meet the delegations of Hyderabad. In the absence of the Viceroy, Maharaja took out a pistol and said to Menon that he “would shoot him like a dog if he betrayed the people of Jodhpur.” However at last, Maharaja signed the accession. According to Menon, after signing the acceptance, Hanwant Singh pointed the pistol towards Menon and said, “I refuse to take your dictations.”
Menon replied that if he thought that by killing him or threatening him, he would cancel the accession, then it would be his big mistake. He also added to stop behaving in this childish manner. Meanwhile, Mountbatten returned. Menon explained him the whole episode. Mountbatten tried to ease the serious situation and started joking. Till then, the mood of Jodhpur king became normal. Later, Menon went to leave Maharaja at his residence.
Mosley quoted : On the Viceroy’s explanation, when Maharaja of Jodhpur gave his assent on the integration of his state with India, then the Viceroy, while expressing glee, lauded both Maharaja and Menon. In this way, the whole episode ended happily. At that very moment, the Viceroy had to leave for some work. As soon as he left, Maharaja pulled the pistol and threatened to shoot Menon. Maharaja denied following Menon’s orders. Menon answered him courageously that he had miscalculated the things that by killing him, he would get more concessions. Maharaja should stop behaving like a child. On this, Maharaja laughed aloud and put the pistol aside. When Mountbatten came, Menon explained how Maharaja threatened to kill him. Mountbatten told Maharaja softly that it was not a fun time and asked him when he would sign the accession.
The portrayal of Lapierre and Collins, and Mosley's description is so much alike. In the opinion of Lapierre and Collins: the Viceroy asked Maharaja not to join with Pakistan and assured him that he and Menon would request Patel to take care of his conveniences. The Viceroy left the place, and Maharaja took out a fountain pen which he had prepared specially for himself. After signing the Instrument of Accession, as he opened the cap of the pen, a pistol came out of it and was pointed at Menon's head. Maharaja blamed Menon for whatever happened. Fortunately, Mountbatten came there freely. He wrested the pistol from Maharaja. Onkar Singh accounts that Maharaja had a small pen-pistol instead of the revolver, which he had himself made. With this pen, he signed the accession. After signing the acceptance, Maharaja said Menon jokingly that he could even shoot him with this pen. Menon got scared. Maharaja laughed plentifully on this. When Maharaja explained him about the pen which could work as a pistol also, then Menon became bewildered. At that time, Mountbatten entered the room. He took the whole episode as humor. Maharaja Hanwant Singh had mentioned these facts to Onkar Singh in November 1947. Maharaja gave this pen to Lord Mountbatten. Mountbatten took it to London and gifted it to be kept in the Magic Circle Museum of London. This pen-pistol is still present in London.
Menon on his knees
According to Mosley, three days after the meeting of Maharaja Hanwant Singh with Mountbatten, V.P Menon came to Jodhpur to get the signature of Maharaja on the accession. Hanwant Singh drank alcohol and made Menon drink it too. He also arranged a dance show for Menon. Maharaja became intoxicated and said throwing his turban on the ground that Menon won the game, and he lost it. However, Menon took the Maharaja’s signature despite being intoxicated. Maharaja used his aircraft to leave Menon to Delhi. Caring the signed accession safely in his hand, Menon came out of the plane staggeringly. Thus, he saved Jodhpur from acceding to Pakistan. Crawling on his knees, he came out of the aircraft at Delhi airport, but he had held the documents between his fingers through which Jodhpur state was integrated into India. Menon visited Jodhpur only for one time on 28 February 1948 and that too for the matter regarding the dispute over the construction of the responsive government between Public Council and Maharaja. Menon brought his wife along and stayed that night in Jodhpur. Maharaja had arranged wine and music for Menon’s reception. The officials of the state drunk the wine but Menon and Maharaja didn’t. Menon was not fond of classical music, and so the music was stopped at the behest of Maharaja. The next day, Maharaja had to visit Maulasar village to give gold, palanquin, “siropav” to the leading members of Gajadhar Somani family. Therefore, he did not go to Delhi to escort Menon.
Signature by Maharaja on the Instrument of Accession
The date of signature by Maharaja Hanwant Singh, shown on the accession, does not match the claims of Menon and the Viceroy. In line with different types of reports sent by the Viceroy and written documents by Menon, Hanwant Singh met the Viceroy on 9 August and during that meeting, the accession was signed while, the date of signature is written 11 August on the accession. Status quo agreement, engaged with it, has a signature of the Prime Minister of Jodhpur, C.S Venkatachar, who was not present in Delhi on 9 August at the time of the meeting of Viceroy and Maharaja. Date ‘‘11 August’’ appears to be correct as there is no reason seen on the fact to mention “11 August” on the accession while signing it on “9 August.” On 11 August 1947, V.P Menon informed Maharaja through a letter that the answer to the issues raised by Maharaja during the talks with Sardar Patel would be sent.
There was a centuries-old district of “Sodha Rajput” named “Umerkot” in Sindh. Before the advent of the Mughals to India to the making of an agreement by the East India Company, Umerkot area was the part of Jodhpur state. But it was given to the British Government under the treaty, almost a century ago until India’s Independence. Jodhpur Maharaja Umed Singh sought to retrieve it but was unsuccessful. When the plan of India’s division was accepted, then a delegation of the Sodha Rajputs of Sindh requested Maharaja Hanwant Singh to try to merge Tharparkar district of Sindh Province to Jodhpur state, India. Hanwant Singh wrote and asked the Viceroy to return Umerkot to Jodhpur, but the Viceroy refused to consider this topic by saying that the days of the division and independence were near, and all the disputes of the border were pending under Radcliffe Commission; thus nothing could be further done in this matter.
Sodha Rajputs wrote a letter to the Central Government in this matter and sent the copies of it to Nehru, stating that their language and culture were quite similar with that of Marwar state. Their most martial relationships had been employed with their state. Therefore, their state should be merged into Jodhpur state. The All India Hindu Convention also supported the demand of Sodha. It requested to divide Sindh Province into two parts based on the Hindu majority, and to integrate a chunk of the Nawabshah, Hyderabad, Tharparkar and Karachi district into Jodhpur state. The Provincial Congress of Sindh had also supported the demand. The President of the Sindh Provincial Government, Dr. Choitram Gidwani appealed to the Indian Government that since the Hindus were in the majority in Tharparkar district, thus it was legitimate to integrate it into Jodhpur. Maharaja Hanwant Singh talked to many politicians, but no one except Shyam Prasad Mukherji took an interest in it. Mukherji was in the minority in the Central Cabinet, therefore their efforts broke no ground.
Independence Day Celebration in Jodhpur
Independence Day was celebrated on 15 August 1947 in two places in Jodhpur. One was celebrated in Girdikot in which 40,000 people gathered. The Chairman of the Municipality, Dwarka Das Purohit hoisted the flag. Another celebration, on the behalf of the state government, was led by Maharaja Hanwant Singh. Maharaja gave salvo to the tricolor and oversaw the parade. On that occasion, Maharaja was given 51 artillery salvos. He did not deliver any speech. While giving a salute to the flag at the stadium ground, his silence raised many questions. In sky blue-hued turban, Maharaja saluted the parade. In Marwar, sky blue is the color of death. The Congress officials, Champal Joshi, and Jaswant Raj questioned Maharaja on not wearing saffron colored turban that day. Maharaja answered that the rule of 36 generations had ended for him; that day was a day of mourning. In Bali, sugar was demanded from Hakim to distribute ladoos (sweets) to kids in the school on the occasion of the Independence Day but, he refused to give it. The Hakim and his officials did not celebrate the Independence Day. Only the public celebrated it.
Situated in the Kathiawar area of Gujarat, Junagadh state was founded by Mughal soldier, Sher Khan Babi in 1735. It had an area of 3337 sq.m. Its population numbered 670719, of them 80-90% being Hindus but the rulers were Muslim. The last ruling of the state was Sir Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III Rasul Khanji, who became the ruler at the age of 11. He studied at the Mayo College in Ajmer. He was known for his love of dogs and hunt of lions. He owned over hundreds of dogs. Once, he had spent a large amount of money on the marriage of his dog and proclaimed the day as a state holiday.
In 1947, a senior leader of the Muslim League, Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto was invited from Karachi to hold the position of Dewan of Junagadh. He threatened Junagadh Nawab to kill his dogs and nationalize lions if Junagadh merged into India and assured him that he (the Nawab) could keep his dogs safe in Pakistan and freely hunt the lions. Junagadh Nawab was persuaded by Bhutto and understood the fact that although Junagadh was surrounded by Hindu states, the southern and the south-western border of the state met the Arabian Sea, which could become a plus point for Junagadh to merge into Pakistan. However, in reality, Junagadh adjoined Pakistan by 240 miles sea. All the same, insane Nawab agreed to merge with Pakistan instead of India. He did not consider that 80% of the state population was Hindus, and was almost entirely bounded by Hindu states, which were already merged in India.
After the Viceroy’s meeting of 25 July 1947 in Delhi, when the Indian Government sent the Instrument of Accession to the Nawab, he did not sign the accession and published the announcement of his accession in the following communiqué:
The Government of Junagadh has during the past few weeks faced the problem of making its choice between accession to the Dominion of India and accession to the Dominion of Pakistan. It has had to take into very careful consideration every aspect of this problem. Its main pre-occupation has been to adopt a course that would, in the long run, make the largest contribution towards the permanent welfare and prosperity of the people of Junagadh and help to preserve the integrity of the State and to safeguard its independence and autonomy over the largest possible field. After anxious consideration and careful balancing of all factors the Government of the State has decided to accede to Pakistan and hereby announces its decision to that effect. The State is confident that its decision will be welcomed by all loyal subjects of the State who have its real welfare and prosperity at heart.
The announcement came as a new surprise to Sardar Patel. It was an open challenge for Sardar Patel. Such announcement by Junagadh Nawab had ensued chaos among the public, due to which they went against the Nawab and established a separate government. Indian Government sent a telegram to Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, requesting to reject the accession of Junagadh. Lord Mountbatten sent this telegram through Chief of the Governor, Lord Ismay to Karachi. Liaquat Ali Khan refused to take any notice of the telegram carried by Lord Ismay because the concerned Minister Nehru had refused to sign the telegram. On 13 September 1947, the Pakistan Government announced to accept the decision of Junagadh Nawab and to consider Junagadh as a part of Pakistan. This announcement by Pakistan was the violation of the agreement settled between the Congress and the Muslim League, according to which all the states bounded by Indian border would integrate in India. After the announcement of the accession of Junagadh to Pakistan was accepted by Pakistan, the soldiers of Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khanji started to pester the Hindus of Junagadh so that majority of Hindu would flee from Junagadh.
Junagadh was surrounded by several small Hindu states. Nawab disposed of his armies in the state with the aim to occupy these small states. He also sought assistance from the Government of India. Mountbatten suggested that this issue should be referred to the United Nations; otherwise this issue would eventually lead to a war between India and Pakistan. Sardar Patel did not like Mountbatten’s idea. He wanted to teach Junagadh a lesson in order to give Hyderabad and Kashmir a challenge. On 24 September 1947, the Government of India instructed the Kathiawar Defense Force to take actions against Junagadh. The Indian Army was then dispersed around Junagadh. A few days later, when the army of Junagadh was short on logistics, then the Indian Army moved ahead. Junagadh people welcomed the Indian army.
On 24 October 1947, the Nawab flew to Pakistan, accompanied by his three begums and few dogs. He wanted to take all of his begums and dogs along, but one of his begum and several dogs were left behind. He also took with him all his jewels and gems. He and his family settled down in Karachi. On 9 November 1947, the Indian Army took over Junagadh. On 20 February 1948, the Government of India held a plebiscite in which over 2 lakh population participated and 99 % of it showed their inclination toward the accession to India. On 17 November 1959, Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khanji died. Nawab of Junagadh, Shah Nawaz Bhutto also went to Pakistan where he was given a huge land in Karachi.
Until 15 August 1947, Hyderabad was the second state which resisted merging into India. Hyderabad was established in 1720 by Mughal Subedar, Mir Qamruddin Chin Qilich Khan. He was conferred with the title of Nizam-Ul-Mulk, after which the ruler of Hyderabad came to be known as the Nizam. He entered into a subsidiary alliance with the East India Company. He used to receive 21 artilleries salvo. At the time when independence was rolling around, the area of Hyderabad was 2,14,190 sq. km. It was the largest and the most prosperous state in all princely state in India. It was as large as France. The population of the state was nearly 1,63,40,000. The terrain, currently present in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh was located in Hyderabad.
Like Junagadh, the ruler of Hyderabad was Muslim, but 85% of the populace was Hindu. It was surrounded by Indian borders from all sides. The last ruler of Hyderabad, Nizam Osman Ali Khan, had 28 sons and 44 daughters. He had a whim of collecting gold and diamonds. He was considered as the richest ruler of the country. The Nizam presumed democratic regime a polluted system and believed in the divine powers of the kings. All the officials of his government were under his control, and equally greedy and clever like Nizam. All the jobs were kept reserved for Muslims.
In the year 1947, a legislative assembly was formed in Hyderabad where 48 seats were kept reserved for Muslims and 38 for Hindus so that any law could not be framed which could go against the rights of Muslim subjects. The Legislative Assembly was so empowered that even the Nizam himself could not reduce the rights of Muslim subjects. The Nizam had great confidence in the large terrain of his state, abundant wealth, successive generations of relationship with the British rulers and the large army. Therefore, he wanted to recognize Hyderabad with an independent sovereignty instead of acceding it to India and Pakistan.
The Nizam believed that he would be able to succeed in establishing Hyderabad an autonomous based on the treaties signed with the East India Company and the British Crown from time to time. When Lord Atlee Government made a clear announcement on 15 March 1946, to accept the Indian’s right of self-determination, since then he began to make efforts to extend recognition to his state of an independent nation. The Nizam considered Lord Mountbatten, his close friend and believed that he would help the Nizam in securing recognition of a dominion nation to Hyderabad independent of Pakistan or India.
On seeing Hyderabad in this type of impishness, Sardar Patel said that Hyderabad was like an ulcer in the stomach of India. The Nizam wrote a letter to the Viceroy Mountbatten on 9 June 1947 expressing his grievances on seeing the clause 7 in the newspaper. He was upset with the way things happened over the past months that only the political leaders were used to be involved in the official issues, not the representatives of the states. He mentioned that not only did the clause annulled the treaties and engagements made with the Government of Britishers but also implied that if Hyderabad refused to join either of India or Pakistan, then it could not become a part of British Common Wealth.
The treaties based on which the Government of Britishers promised to protect his interests and nation against terrorist attacks, had always been appreciated. Sir Stafford Cripps’s promise was prime. He had faith in the British troops and their promises. He was even ready to discontinue the manufacturing of the weapons and extending his troops. Despite all, the bill was passed without consulting his government. He further added that when Mountbatten was in England, he demanded the dominion status for his state.
He had always felt that at least he would be allowed in the Common Wealth without any questioning for the sake of the friendship of more than a century in which he had almost given his faith and confidence to the Britishers. Now that also seems to be denied. He still hoped that any differences would not affect his relations with the British Government. On the question of the Dominion status, Lord Mountbatten replied to the Nizam that due to geographical reasons, Hyderabad could not be granted a Dominion status. Since Hyderabad lay at the central position in the country; it could become a threat to the unity and integrity of the country. In the view of the British Government, there was only one way for Hyderabad that it should join India. However, the officials of the Political Department of the Government of India, guided by the officials of Hyderabad and Conrad Corfield, advised the Nawab not to follow the Viceroy’s advice.
On 7 August 1947, the Congress, at the behest of Sardar Patel, started a Satyagraha movement in Hyderabad. The Nizam encouraged the hardcore communal Muslim Razakars along with the police to strictly crush the movement. Due to which the movement turned violent brawl. At the same time, a powerful peasant struggle led by the Communists also took place in Telangana. On Lord Mountbatten’s persuasion, in November 1947, the Nizam signed the standstill Agreement with India providing for continuation of post-office, telegraph, railway, road transport and business with India.
He was not, however, able to contemplate acceding Hyderabad in the Indian Union. Along with this, he was encouraging staunch communal Muslim Razakars in his state. He also assured the Razakars that the Britishers would support them in their revolt. Fueled by the Nizam, the Muslim fanatical organization Ittehad-Ul-Muslimeen and its paramilitary Razakars had started terrorizing and committing horrendous activities on the Hindu majority of the state and forced them to leave the state. The peace and order of the state was disturbed. The railway lines and roads passing through the state were damaged; Hindus were looted in the buses and trains. The situation became worst of all.
The civilian leader of the Razakars, Kasim Razvi threatened the Government of India that he would unfurl Asaf Jahi flag on the Red fort in Delhi, winning over the whole of India. Later the activities were escalated to massive violence. Countless Hindus were killed; their properties were looted and destroyed. Mountbatten, Sardar Patel, V.P Menon mediated some efforts to convince the Nizam but by that time, the situation had gone out of control. The Razakars and hardcore Mullah-Maulvi were encouraged Muslim people to carry out riots in the state on the communal lines. Sardar Patel, V.P Menon remained silent until Mountbatten returned to England. Two months after when Mountbatten returned in June 1948, the Nizam announced his willingness to accept Mountbatten’s plan in September 1948.
On 13 September 1948, Patel answered him that it was now too late to accept the plan. At that time, Nehru was on tour to Europe and Sardar Patel was working as the Prime Minister. Therefore, he commanded the army to disperse suitably in the state of Hyderabad that day. This action was then termed as “Operation Polo.” The Indian Army, led by Major-General Jayanto Nath Chaudhri entered the state. In five days of operation, the Indian army crushed the resistance of the Razakars. Thousands of Razakars were killed. The dead bodies of Razakars were seen lying all over in the state. On 17 September 1948, Commander-General of Hyderabad, E.I Andrews surrendered to General Chaudhry of Secunderabad. Thus only five days of police operations led Hyderabad annexed to India. Neither bomb was exploded nor did any revolution occur, just as it was threatened. On 18 September, Major-General took the post of Commander General of Hyderabad. Hyderabad was integrated into the Indian Union.
Compulsively, the Nizam had to accept the new system. Sardar Patel treated him with respect. The Nizam was allowed to remain as the titular head of Hyderabad. Later, when the states were reorganized then Hyderabad was broken down, and its areas were integrated into Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra Provinces.
The ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh decided to remain autocrat and refused to join India or Pakistan. In September 1947, when Pakistan attacked Kashmir, then Sardar Patel expressed a desire to send the troops immediately to save Kashmir. However, Jawaharlal Nehru and Lord Mountbatten opposed Patel’s desire stating that until Maharaja showed his willingness to accede to India, no troops should be sent to Kashmir. There on, Patel tried to rescue Srinagar and Baramula Pass. Taking Defense Minister Baldev Singh in confidence, Patel engaged Indian security forces at Kashmir’s border in Indian areas in such a way that forces could be sent immediately to the battle zone areas. He also took the charge of constructing the road connecting Srinagar to Panthkot.
Sardar Patel was not in favor of taking this issue to the United Nations but, on Mountbatten’s advice, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru took this issue to the United Nations. On 1 January 1948, India complained against Pakistan to the Security Council that the armed raiders had attacked Kashmir and Pakistan was assisting them in both direct and indirect ways. The attack has disturbed the international peace and order. Therefore, Pakistan should be called upon to withdraw their army and raiders should be asked not to give military aid to them. Also, this proceeding by Pakistan should be considered as an invasion to India.
On 15 January 1948, Pakistan rejected the charges made by India to the Security Council. Putting allegations of “bad faith” on India, Pakistan stated that the accession of Jammu-Kashmir to India was just unconstitutional, and it could not be validated. The Security Council formed a committee of five nations to deal with the issue and asked it to address and resolve the issue between India and Pakistan. The United Nations Commission came to Kashmir to oversee the scene. On 13 August 1948, prolonged negotiations between both the parties took place on several resolutions passed by the commission providing for cessation of hostilities and settlement of the disputes. At last, on 1 January 1949, a ceasefire came into effect. It was also decided that the final decision would be made through a plebiscite. For this, an American citizen, Chester Nimitz was appointed as plebiscite administrator, but Pakistan did not comply with the terms of resolutions and finally the plebiscite could not be held.
Nimitz resigned from his post. The issue of Kashmir was badly messed up at the UNO. Sardar Patel got angry with Jawaharlal Nehru. Later in 1965, once again a war broke out between India and Pakistan over Kashmir; and Pakistan captured a sizable chunk of Kashmir’s terrain. A large part of Kashmir is still under the control of Pakistan.
The Bhopal state was founded by one of Emperor Aurangzeb’s Afghan soldier Dost Mohammed Khan in 1726. At the time of independence, Nawab of Bhopal was Hamidullah Khan, who ascended the throne in 1926. He was chosen twice as the chancellor of the Chamber of Princes (Narender Mandal) in 1931 and 1944. He also became the chancellor of Chamber of the Princes at the time of India’s independence. He did not intend to join India at any cost. He along with Jinnah encouraged most of the princely states to announce their desire to accede to Pakistan or remain independent. Out of rage, most of the rulers abandoned the Chamber of Princes, due to which, the Nawab had to resign from his post and the Chamber of Princes got disbanded. Jinnah invited Hamidullah Khan to visit Pakistan and to accept the position of General Secretary.
On 13 September 1947, Hamidullah Khan proposed to his daughter Abida to be the ruler of the state so that he could go to Pakistan. Abida refused to obey her father’s wish. In March 1948, Hamidullah Khan chose to remain independent. In May 1948, the Nawab appointed a cabinet of the Government of Bhopal, who’s Prime Minister was Chaturayana Malviya. Sardar Patel and V. P Menon were continuously pressurizing Hamidullah Khan to announce his accession to India. Even the Prime Minister Chaturayana Malviya was in favor of joining Bhopal to India. The people of Bhopal also wanted to merge the state to India. In October 1948, the Nawab went to Hajj. In December 1948, large scale chaos occurred in the state over the issue of annexation. Thakur Lal Singh, Shankar Dayal Sharma, Bhairon Prasad and Uddhavdas were held hostages by the Government of Bhopal. On 23 January 1949, V.P. Menon arrived at Bhopal once again and told the officials of Bhopal that Bhopal could no longer continue to stay as an independent state.
On 29 January 1949, the Nawab took the charge in his hand, sacking the cabinet. Pandit Chatur Narayana Malviya undertook fast for 21 days. On Patel’s instruction, V.P Menon stayed at Lal Kothi and monitored the status of the state. On 30 April 1949, eventually, the Nawab signed the accession of Bhopal with India. Sardar Patel wrote a letter to the Nawab, expressing his disappointment that Nawab did not use his skills and abilities for India at the time when the country needed it the most. Finally, the day of 1 June 1949 marked the unification of Bhopal with India. Chief Commissioner, N.B Banerji appointed by the central shouldered the responsibility. The Nawab was given a privy purse of worth 1.1 million rupees annually.
Is peace still a mystery?
Ever since the duo parted away, peace became a mystery. Although we have come a long way from 1947, the Kashmir dispute is still the same as it was earlier at the time of independence. Pakistan has been targeting Kashmir since independence. It attacked India first in 1948, then in 1965, and after that in 1999. A large area of Kashmir is still under the control of Pakistan.
In 1971, when West Pakistan invaded East Pakistan, then India had to enter between them to evacuate innocent Bangladeshi. India saved the life of millions by sending the “Mukti Bahini” and officially divided Pakistan into two. The division led to the conflict between India and Pakistan. Due to this, India has been facing cross-border terrorism over the last several decades, in which thousands of innocent people and Indian soldiers have become victims of it. We are at that stage of civilization from where we have to write a story afresh but unfortunately, Pakistan has been pushing our mounting steps backward.
Home to political killings:
Pakistan Pakistan is home to political killings and death in suspicious circumstances. Few months after Pakistan came into existence, their first Governor General Muhammad Ali Jinnah died out of TB. In 1951, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan died. Following the demise of Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, Yahya Khan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Benazir Bhutto and other Pakistani leaders died through the terrorist activities, political assassinations, and executions.
Disappearance of Hindus
When Pakistan was born, there were 20 % Hindus among the total population of Pakistan which is now reduced to 2%. The extinction of such large number of Hindu population is the most terrible tragedy of this century. Very few of them have managed to flee to India from Pakistan.