This is the first volume in the series of Thematic Volumes on Sardar Patel and deals with the accession of States of Kashmir and Hyderabad to the Indian Union. It reveals the important role and the severe handicaps Sardar Patel faced as Minister for states while handling the sensitive issue of Kashmir. The emotional ties Jawaharlal Nehru had with Kashmir and the National Conference leader Sheikh Abdullah were instrumental in the Kashmir issue being directly dealt with by Nehru. But as Sardar Patel observes If Jawaharlal Nehru and Gopalaswamy Iyanger had not made Kashmir their close preserve separating it from my portfolio of Home & States I would have tackled the issue as purposefully as I had already tackled the Hyderabad problem. The Kashmir issue should never have been taken to the U.N., Patel felt. The issue could have been settled faster and in the interest of India without it ever being referred to the U.N. As regards Hyderabad Sardar Patel was unwilling even for a Standstill Agreement as in the case of many other states. It was only at the insistence of Mountbatten that he agreed to let Nizam hand over the external affairs, defence and communications to the Government of India on 29 November 1947. While Nehru reiterated that the terms of the agreement was still open, Sardar Patel insisted that, with the exit of Mountbatten, the agreement also was gone. Sardar selected General J.N. Chaudhury to lead the campaign in Hyderabad and asked him to finish the job as early as possible. However, because of Nehruâ€™s hesitation the action was delayed by two days. Finally, the Indian Forces marched into Hyderabad on 13 September 1948. General Chaudhury was instructed by Sardar Patel to refuse to heed suggestions from anyone other than himself.
Thematic Volumes on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel: Kashmir and Hyderabad
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR P.N. Chopra
Dr. P.N. Chopra is one of India's best known historians. Currently, Chief Editor of the Collected Works of Sardar Patel, he was formerly Chief Editor of the Gazetteers in the Ministry of Education, as well as the Chief Editor of Cultural Forum, a journal brought out by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Government of India. He was also Chief Editor of Towards Freedom project of the Indian Council of Historical Research. In addition, he has written and edited more than forty authoritative works on Indian history and culture. These include History of South India, Quit India Movement of 1942, India - An Encyclopaedic Survey, A Century of Indian National Congress, A Nation Flowed Lessons from Indian History and biographies of Maulana Azad and Sardar Patel. Dr. Chopra has lectured abroad in various universities in Japan and Usa.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Prabha Chopra
Dr. Prabha Chopra, formerly Editor of the Gazetteers in Delhi Administration and Senior Fellow of Indian Council of Social Science Research, is currently an Editor in the Collected Works of Sardar Patel project. She has written several scholarly works, including Delhi-Its History and Places of Interest, Gazetteer of Delhi Panorama of Indian Culture, Cultural Heritage of Tibet etc.
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