Integration to form present states (continued)

Orissa The Praja Mandal movement started in the Gadjats of Orissa. The kings suppressed the popular movement by the way of police force. At that time, there were 26 Gadjat states in Orissa. The people of these states were exploited by native rulers in many ways. The people of the states were bound to pay the illegal tax like Rasad, Magan, Bethi, and Beggars etc. The common people had no fundamental right to speak anything about the misrule of native kings.

When Harekrushna Mahatab became the new congress premier in the Orissa Province he took some steps to solve the problems of the native states. He seriously thought about the complete merger and integration of the princely states with the province of Orissa. Firstly, Harekrushna Mahatab met the members of the Cabinet Mission on 6th April 1946. He presented a memorandum before the cabinet mission and strongly demanded for integration of native states with the province. The cabinet mission did not give any interest. Mahatab wrote letters to all feudatory chiefs on 10th May 1946 and again on 29th June 1946 in order to know their opinion regarding integration of states and to convince them about benefits of mutual co-operation. He also requested all the ruling chiefs for integration of states with Orissa Province for the interest of the both. The rulers of Garjat states did not show any respect to the request of Mahatab, and did not want to join with the province.

In July 1946, the rulers of all native states met in a conference held at Alipore. They decided to form a federal union of Chhatisgarh and Orissa States. The British Resident of the Eastern State Agency who was present in the conference and encouraged the rulers for the formation of federal union. On 16th October 1946 Mahatab met the rulers at Sambalpur in a conference. In this conference Mahatab emphasized the necessity of one administration for both states and province. But the rulers did not agree to Mahatab's proposal. He approached the Nawab of Bhopal, the chairman of the chamber of princes to solve the problem of the feudal chiefs. This attempt of Mahatab also failed without result.

After independence, political unrest started in the princely states. In Bolangir-patna, princely state people's organisation named "Krushak Party" held a conference. More than 10,000 people who participated in this conference did not accept the proposal of a responsible government by Maharaja and also refused to recognise the Eastern States Union. H.K. Mahatab took a courageous step by taking charge of the Nilgiri state on 14th November 1947 with the permission of the Home Minister of the Government of India.

The ruler of Nilagiri created violence and lawless situation by encouraging tribals against Praja Mandal workers. After taking over the charge of administration of Nilagiri, a meeting of the State Ministry was held on 20th November 1947. In this high level meeting, it was decided not to recognize the Eastern States Union of Orissa and Chhatisgarh State. It was finally decided to meet the rulers in a conference in Orissa as soon as possible. Accordingly, Sardar Patel, V. K. Menon and the Ministry reached at Cuttack on 13th December 1947. The historic conference started in Rajbhawan at Cuttack in the morning of 14th December 1947. Sardar Patel first met the rulers of 'B' and 'C' class states. Twelve rulers of that category were present. Same day in the afternoon Sardar Patel met "A' category states. Patel advised the princely states' rulers to accede to the merger of their states in Orissa Province. After some pressure and persuasion, the rulers agreed to accept the plan of merger and signed in the documents on 15th December 1947. The merger of princely states became effective from 1st January 1948. Due to some problem the State Mayurbhanja merged on 1st January 1949. Unfortunately, the state of Seraikala and Kharsuan were handed over to Bihar on 18th May 1948.


Here renders the idea of the territorial unification of the native states and administrative amalgamation of Travancore and Cochin and Malabar, brought about in two stages. The princely states in India were not the creation of the British but had been the components of the imperial tradition built by mythological heroes as exemplified by the performance of horse sacrifice. The British, of course, rationalized their existence. After the exit of the British, the political unification of the princely states with the dominion of India, was achieved by resorting to the tactful but tacit use of the weapon of paramountcy which the British wielded but discarded. The durability of political or territorial integration, by and large, is to be sought in administrative amalgamation for which Kerala has been selected since it represents an ideal model for all princely states in the country. Travancore, the largest of the three components of Kerala, is the only native state which unlike others, had the maximum autonomy and a well designed and efficiently run administrative system which in the words of the Indian states finances enquiry committee was Sui Generis. Its fiscal management was exemplary and in many respects obviously superior to that of the Indian provinces. Perhaps no state in India paid so much, suffered so much and sacrificed so much for the unity of the country as it had. Its manifold losses still remain uncompensated and contributions to free India unrecognised. Communism in Kerala has been a broad excuse invented for continuing the centre's cavalier treatment to the state. The self-assuming bureaucrats from New Delhi taking advantage of the administrative inexperience of the political leadership, dealt with the vital interests of the state curtly and arbitrarily. Neither a theory nor a formula was evolved for the administrative integration. The interesting diversities which would have contributed to administrative productivity and efficiency, were simply ignored emphasizing on conformity and uniformity and goading the state to follow the practices of the center.

Colonial Enclaves:

The integration of the princely states raised the question of the future of the remaining colonial enclaves in India. At independence, the regions of Pondicherry, Karikal, Yanam, Mahe and Chandernagore were still colonies of France, and Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Goa remained colonies of Portugal. An agreement between France and India in 1948 provided for an election in France's remaining Indian possessions to choose their political future. A plebiscite held in Chandernagore on 19 June 1949 resulted in a vote of 7,463 to 114 in favour of being integrated with India. It was ceded to India on a de facto basis on 14 August 1949 and de jure on 2 May 1950. In the other enclaves, however, the pro-French camp, led by Edouard Goubert, used the administrative machinery to suppress the pro-merger groups. Popular discontent rose, and in 1954 demonstrations in Yanam and Mahe resulted in pro-merger groups assuming power. A referendum in Pondicherry and Karaikal in October 1954 resulted in a vote in favour of merger, and on 1 November 1954, de facto control over all four enclaves was transferred to the Republic of India. A treaty of cession was signed in May 1956, and following ratification by the French National Assembly in May 1962, de jure control of the enclaves was also transferred.

Portugal, in contrast, resisted diplomatic solutions. It viewed its continued possession of its Indian enclaves as a matter of national pride and, in 1951, it amended its constitution to convert its possessions in India into Portuguese provinces. In July 1954, an uprising in Dadra and Nagar Haveli threw off Portuguese rule. The Portuguese attempted to send forces from Daman to reoccupy the enclaves, but were prevented from doing so by Indian troops. Portugal initiated proceedings before the International Court of Justice to compel India to allow its troops access to the enclave, but the Court rejected its complaint in 1960, holding that India was within its rights in denying Portugal military access. In 1961, the Constitution of India was amended to incorporate Dadra and Nagar Haveli into India as a Union Territory.

Goa, Daman and Diu remained an outstanding issue. On 15 August 1955, five thousand demonstrators considered non-violent marched against the Portuguese at the border, and were met with gunfire, killing 22. In December 1960, the United Nations General Assembly rejected Portugal's contention that its overseas possessions were provinces, and formally listed them as "non-self-governing territories". Although Nehru continued to favor a negotiated solution, the Portuguese suppression of a revolt in Angola in 1961 radicalised Indian public opinion, and increased the pressure on the Government of India to take military action. African leaders, too, put pressure on Nehru to take action in Goa, which they argued would save Africa from further horrors. On 18 December 1961, following the collapse of an American attempt to find a negotiated solution, the Indian Army entered Goa, Daman and Diu. The Portuguese took the matter to the Security Council but a resolution calling on India to withdraw its troops immediately was defeated by the USSR's veto. Portugal surrendered on 19 December. This take-over ended the last of the European colonies in India. Goa was incorporated into India as a centrally administered union territory and, in 1987, became a state.

Sankalp Unit