Author: V P Menon
Foreword/Introduction: Asha Sarangi
Publisher: Orient Blackswan
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788125054511
This book is in part fulfillment of a promise made to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who earnestly desired that the author should write two books, one narrating the events leading to the transfer of power and the other dealing with the integration of the Indian states.
When on 15 August 1947 India became an Independent Dominion in the British Commonwealth of Nations, one of the largest unresolved problem facing it was the presence of 554 Princely States within its boundaries. The British Government had announced that with their departure these States would become independent. It was widely feared that the new Dominion would break up on this account. Yet, by the time the new constitution came into force on 26 January 1950, all the States had been integrated into the pattern of the Republic. This book is the first authoritative account of that magnificent achievement.
The first four chapters describe how the British had built up the framework of princely India, and thus provide the background to the problem. The fifth explains how the possible political isolation of the States, consequent upon the lapse of paramountcy, was circumvented. The following eleven chapters deal region wise with the consolidation of the States. Special attention is paid to Hyderabad. Chapters 22-25 survey the administrative, financial and constitutional changes consequent upon the integration of the States into the Indian Union.
First published in 1955 while the events that it describes were still fresh in public memory, the book is written by one who was very close to these events. Reprinted many times since then, the account retains its freshness because of that initial intimacy between the writer and his material. Further administrative changes have taken place after the author's death in 1966; some of these have been recorded in two additional appendices provided in the present edition.
Setting the Stage
Spokes in the Wheel
The Parting Gift
Prelude to Chaos
Stopping the Gap
The Orissa and Chattisgarh States
The Deccan and Gujarat States
Patiala and East Punjab States Union
A Miscellany of States
Jammu and Kashmir State
I. Administrative Consolidation
II. Incorporation of the States Forces into the India Army
The Cost of Integration
Retrospect and Prospect
Appendix I - IV
Books and Publications consulted