Outline the role of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in unifying the India in post independence period.
Sardar Patel’s foresight and tactful navigation during the most turbulent period in post-Independence was a key determinant in building modern India. Sardar Patel rose to the occasion when the key determinant of the political unity was in jeopardy.
Sardar Patel: Maker of Modern India:
The political integration of India owes largely to the diplomatic skills and foresightedness.
- The problem of amalgamating 562 independent states into a democratic self-governing India was difficult challenge since India was facing the threat of balkanization, once the paramountcy of British crown would lapse.
- Being head of the states department Sardar Patel sensed the urgent and imperative need of the integration of princely states. With a mix of iron handedness and mature diplomacy he diffused the impeding danger.
- He appealed to the patriotic and national sentiments of the Princes and invited them to join the forming of a democratic constitution in the national interest.
- He persuaded the princely states to surrender defence, foreign affairs and communication to the government of India.
- Through his strategically thought operations he broke the union of separatist princes. As a result by August 15, 1947 all except Hyderabad, Junagarh and Kashmir acceded to India.
- Even then the task was only half done. Thereafter he carried out three fold process of assimilation, centralization and unification of states to form India, a union of states.
- His maturity of a seasoned statesman was a key in diffusing the crisis of Junagarh and Hyderabad.
- His intervention through plebiscite in Junagarh was a key in uniting it with Indian union.
- His thoughtful approach through police action forced Nizam to surrender and accede to Indian union.
Displaying statesmanship of the highest order, Sardar Patel prevented the attempts to not only Balkanise India but internationalise the issue as well. Patel’s patience, tact and a steely determination made political integration of India possible.