As Founding fathers of our constitution describe our country as- “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States“. It reflects the indestructible nature of its unity.
We are all living in our country cherishing the fundamental freedom provided by the constitution and guaranteed by the Supreme Court itself. But we all know very well about the conditions before 15 August 1947, the day we got our freedom. We used to learn about many freedom fighters who laid their life in this process, like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Subhash Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi, etc.,
East India Company came to India as traders in 1600. But in due course of time, they took benefit of our mutual indifferences and later overpowered us to rule us. In this whole process, there were many peoples who had actually belonged to this country but fought for them for their own benefit.
But after much when the British Government announced the independence of our country it came as a big setback for us as well because they also announced the partisan of this country in two-India and Pakistan. It was a long demand of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of All-India Muslim League.
Independence of India was a great moment for the country. The dream of “Self Rule” has become a reality but the pain of partisan, the displacement of peoples from different parts of our country to Pakistan and vice-versa was quite painful. The nation was divided into religious lines. Religious violence spread all over the country, riots broke out which resulted in the casualties of millions.
What were the immediate challenges for India?
At the time of Independence, India was not like what we see now. At that time there were almost 565 princely states in India, who had been given the options of joining India, Pakistan or remaining Independent. Integration of those Princely States with India was much necessary. This herculean task was performed by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The first deputy Prime Minister and home minister of India. He has been credited for “United India“. He used great diplomatic skills and wherever necessary request and pressure to get them to join India.
What is Instrument Of Accession?
The instrument of Accession is a legal document which provides the Indian Government to control over the specified subject matters of the state. From June to August 15, 1947, 562 of those Princely States signed the instrument of accession to join India. The subject matters depended upon the acceding state as if a state had the internal autonomy during the British rule they only granted control over the three subjects- defense, external affairs, and communications.
Apart from this, there were states(Talukas) who had transferred most of there administrative power to the Crown had signed different Instrument of Accession with GOI. That granted access to all residuary power and Jurisdiction to GOI.
The states which had the intermediate status signed a third type of instrument, to let them had the power they were exercising during British rule.
3 States didn’t sign the Instrument of Accession. They were Hyderabad, Junagarh, and Jammu & Kashmir. Hyderabad seceded to India through Operation Polo after multiple rounds of negotiations failed. In Junagarh plebiscite was held to join India or Pakistan. 99% of the peoples favored joining India.
In J&K, the ruler Maharaja Hari Singh was initially reluctant to join any of the two. He did not want to join India, because of democratic setup and Pakistan because of communalism. He wanted to remain an Independent ruler. But on 22 October 1947, many Pathan tribesman from Pakistan side who were led unofficially by the Pakistani Army attacked Kashmir. They have been trained and easily defeated the Maharaja Army. On 24 October the Maharaja sought help from the GOI. PM Nehru was initially apprehensive of this step, only after signing the Instrument of Accession, he sent Indian troops to enter Kashmir.
After this, the accession of states under Portuguese and France had taken place in the 1950s. Portuguese ruled the Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Goa colonies. French influence was over Pondicherry, Yanam, Mahe, Chandernagore, and Karikal.
Daman and Diu merged with India in 1961 after multiple internal conflicts. Goa merged with India after “Operation Vijay” in 1961. It incorporated in India as Union Territory but later became a state in 1987.
Sikkim became a part of India after its assembly passed a resolution on 10 April 1975 to be fully integrated in India. This resolution was further strengthened by a referendum held on 14 April 1975, in which 97% peoples voted in favor of India. It was the 22nd state at that time.
So the founding fathers of our constitution, most of whom were freedom fighter as well, have been well aware of the problems arising out in our country after independence. So they made provisions of this term “Union Of States”. Although our country has federal structure unlike the United States which is defined as “Federation Of States“, our country is defined as “Union Of States” because Indian Federation is not the result of an agreement among the states to form a nation. And the second thing is that no states have the right to secede from the Union. The Union is used which shows the indestructible nature of Union. The country is an integral whole, it is divided only for administrative reasons.
That’s it. Hope you have liked this blog you can visit Infodestiny regularly to find fresh contents regarding UPSC.