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.