The Mastermind behind India’s Unification - Part 1
“There is something unique in this soil, which despite many obstacles has always remained the abode of great souls.” With this note, a great man dedicated his entire life to the freedom! Not for a country, but for its People! SARDAR VALLABHBHAI PATEL.
Born in Nadiad (presently in Gujarat) to Javerbhai and Ladbai, who served in the army of Queen of Jhansi. His career started in Gujarati medium school. He then moved to England to pursue law and returned back to practice it. Due to the excellence in his subjects, the British government offered him many remunerative posts, but he rejected all as he was against their laws.
It all started in 1913 when Patel met Gandhiji for the very first time at Gujarat Club where he got influenced and became a staunch follower of Gandhi, for his incredible philosophy and work.
In the beginning of 1917, Patel got completely involved into the freedom movement, where he took a lead and was elected as the secretary of Gujarat Sabha. In 1918, he fought against British and led a massive “No Tax Campaign” where he was given the title ‘SARDAR’. Since then, the most famous 1928’s Bardoulli Satyagraha , 1930’s Salt Satyagraha, 1931’s Gandhi-Irwin Pact and President of Congress Session at Karachi and in leading the 1934’s All India Election Campaign! Not to forget Sardar’s complete support in ratifying and supporting Gandhiji in the Civil Disobedience Movement.
One Scenario, where the political lines of our country could have been flipped was in 1946 – The Election of Congress Presidency! 13 of 16 states proposed Sardar’s name, a very crucial election where the elected President would be the first Prime Minister of Independent India. A few days before the election, Sardar Patel stepped down from candidacy on Gandhiji’s request and supported Jawaharlal Nehru. Reason? NOBODY KNOWS!
Nevertheless, Sardar Patel was given the second highest rank in the order of precedence after the Constituent Assembly was formed under the Cabinet Mission Plan. At this time, India was divided into three parts.
Territories under the direct rule of British.
The land under the hereditary rulers who had over-lordship.
The territories colonized under Portuguese and French.
On the other hand was the scare of creation of another country – PAKISTAN! To unify these massive territories was one big tough task! As well to persuade the rulers of the princely states was a matter of question and pride!Per the rules of British government, the princely or provincial rulers had the liberty as to how they wanted to be ruled. They could join either one of India and Pakistan or stay Independent. There came a point when many congress leaders failed to convince the princely rulers! Finally under their request, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel along with a noted bureaucrat V.P Menon came up with a task force to bring in the princely rulers under Indian control. There were almost 565 princely states in which a dozen of them joined Pakistan, rest of them signed the instrument of Accession to India and few kingdoms became a major pain. Such a pain that, a very small kingdom like that of Travancore wanted to become independent. Even before negotiation with Hyderabad – they started their foreign policies and forget this, at later stage they wanted to join Pakistan! Just imagine – a part of Pakistan in the heartland of India! Not happening right? Not just this, but there was a huge inclination of kingdom of Junagadh, Jaipur & Jaisalmer to join Pakistan! Think of India geographically without these, she would be so incomplete….. (Map attached below)
In the second part I will tell you in short as to ‘how Sardar Patel and team persuaded these annoying rulers, to be a part of united India’.
With Love, Ganesh Datta Lakkur
Reference From: Wikipedia, Cultural India, Statue of Unity, Maps of India and Sardar – The Movie.
Original Article Published on 12th November 2015.