The intriguing transition from independent India to republic India.
The intriguing transition from independent India to republic India | Credit: Ishant Mishra

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The intriguing transition from independent India to republic India.

Jan 26, 2018

Remembering the real heroes of republic India!

August 15, 1947, marked the historic celebrations of Indian independence but it also paved way for an uneasy calm. It was no easy joke to hold the country that is so vast not just in space, but also in terms of language, culture, and religion that was bound together.

It's quite interesting to note that there is a very minimal coverage in the history books and journals on this era of transformation from the independence eve to republic India,  which was marked with turbulent events and also witnessed the making of several unsung heroes.

C. Rajagopalachari earned the distinction of being the first Indian to assume the role of Viceroy of India and also was the last man to hold the post before India became a sovereign nation.  He was duly advised by an ad-hoc cabinet.

But the first real challenge that mother India had to counter was, how it would integrate more than 562 princely states under its domain. After independence, they were asked to pick one among the 3 options, joining with independent India or with Pakistan or choosing to be independent.

Just imagine, what India would have looked today if they chose any of the other two options and even the most fearless leaders of independence knew it was a monumental task that would require a sense of authority and immense lobbying skills to achieve it.

Sardar Vallabhai Patel was bestowed with this herculean task of integrating all the princely states and he took the services of V. P Menon, a senior civil servant, and started lobbying with the princely states, primarily egging them to act out of patriotism without ruling out force when required as well.

At the end, the Patel team managed to bring almost the entire cluster of princely states under India's regime except for the three states namely  Jammu and Kashmir, Junagadh, and Hyderabad.

Patel had to employ his force to bring the two states Junagadh and Hyderabad as both the rulers were not receptive to annexure and hence unfolded plenty of drama and action before both the states agreed to the merger.

The partition of India was another major hiccup that the country had to endure and it challenged our secular spirit and even took our great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi aback, owing to the scale of damage and the negative impact it brought alongside it.

An estimated 3.5 Million Hindus, Sikhs migrated to India in fear of communal violence and it was roughly estimated that the communal clashes alone could have killed more than 1 million Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims and it could have turned even worse if not for the timely intervention of India and Pakistan leaders.

Everyone must be well aware of the fact that Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Indian Prime Minister of republic India, but very few people are aware that it didn't come to him easily and it had its fair share of conflicts, power tussles, and differences of opinion.

The Governor-General of India, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, along with Nehru and Patel, formed the core leadership group that ruled India from 1948 to 1950.

Nehru was immensely popular with the masses, but Patel enjoyed the loyalty and faith of rank among congressmen, civil servants, and rulers of the state.

It also witnessed a clash of ideologies of the two powerful leaders of the country namely Nehru & Patel and it often required someone with the stature of Mahatma Gandhi to intervene and mediate for the best interests of the nation.

Despite the conflict of ideologies, they didn't hesitate to work together, recognizing the need of the hour, and showed immense maturity to work for the betterment of the country, which was commendable.