Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel: Unifier of Modern India- By Lakshmi Nanda

  • Contributed by : Lakshmi Nanda Madhusoodhanan
  • Status : Student
  • Class : 10
  • Age : 15
  • Mode : Medium
  • Article type : Essay for Children
  • Target Age Group : 11-15 Years

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Back in 1947, India had gained independence from the British but along with it came hampering problems - communal riots, partition, refuge crisis and most importantly the difficult task of integrating more than 562 princely states. And this is exactly why present-day India owes a massive obligation to the “Iron Man of India”, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

According to the Indian Independence Act of 1947, the states could either join Pakistan or India or continue independently. Sardar Patel and V.P. Menon started using both force and friendly advice with the vision to integrate all the princely states of India.

Patel’s hard work paid off but by August 15, 1947, all states except Kashmir, Hyderabad, and Junagarh were a part of India. The Nawab of Junagarh decided to merge with Pakistan, which caused an outrage in Junagarh, which had 80% Hindu population. Sardar interfered and the Indian government took over its administration by plebiscite. As for Kashmir, it had a Hindu ruler ruling over a prevalent Muslim population and this triggered the Indo-Pakistan war of 1947 in which India gained control over 2/3 of the state and Pakistan roughly a third of it.

However, this was not the same case with Hyderabad; The Nizam of Hyderabad was against the idea of merging with India. Nevertheless, our iron-fisted Sardar was not going to give up. He ordered the army to march into Hyderabad, which made the Nizam surrender, finally making Hyderabad a part of our motherland and successfully integrated all the princely states under the Indian Dominion.

Thus, Article 1 of the Constitution states, “India, that is, Bharat, shall be a Union of States”. Without a civil war, Sardar Patel secured the solidarity of the nation by his calculated methods the absorption of a multitude of princely states into the Indian Union.

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