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India After Independence

On the basis of the Mountbatten Plan, the Indian Independence Act was passed by the British Parliament in July 1947. The Act constituted two independent states of India and Pakistan with effect from August 1947.
The Act provided that the Indian princely states were free to join either the Indian Union or Pakistan or even to declare themselves absolutely independent.

There were nearly 562 princely states; the task of uniting the Indian princely states was accomplished by Sardar Vallabhai Patel popularly known as the ‘Iron Man of India’. By August 1947, most of the states acceded to the Indian Union, with the exception of Junagadh, Hyderabad and Kashmir.

Junagadh was a part of the Kathiawar state. The Nawab tried to accede to Pakistan but a revolt broke out, the nawab fled to Pakistan and with public referendum Junagadh joined with India. In Hyderabad, the Nizam wanted to join Pakistan and the Razaakars under Kazim Rizvi supported it. The Government of India took police action and Hyderabad became part of India. In the case of Jammu and Kashmir, Raja Hari Singh the ruler of this province declared independent. Pakistan forcibly wanted to accede Jammu and Kashmir by sending its troops. The Maharaja joined India by signing the instrument of Accession.

Pondicherry and Goa remained with French and Portugal. Pondicherry became part of India in 1954 and Goa in the 1961 due to the police action held by Sardar Vallabhai Patel. With this, the final integration of princely states came to an end.

There was demand for creation of states based on languages. For this purpose, Dhar Commission was proposed in 1948. Andra Pradesh was created on linguistic basis because of the violence that broke out after the death of Potti Sriramulu, who fasted for 58 days for the unification of Andra Pradesh.

Karnataka also demanded for creation of linguistic state. The States Reorganization Committee (SRC) or Fazl Ali Commission was set up in 1953. According to this, Mysore State was reorganised in1956. The border conflict between Maharashtra and Karnataka was solved by Mahajan Commission in 1961.

The Government of India had to face the problem of refugees after partition. Nearly six million refugees poured from Pakistan to India. The task of rehabilitation of refugees was accomplished after a lot of effort by providing shelter and citizenship.

Refugees also came from Tibet when it was attacked by China, from Bangladesh during war with West Pakistan and from Sri Lanka during the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict; it was a great challenge to the Indian Government and was effectively solved.

To solve the problem of language, the Indian Constitution has recognised 16 major languages including English and Sanskrit. However, problems cropped over the introduction of official language in Indian Union. An attempt was made to introduce Hindi as the National Language, but protest took place in the non-Hindi speaking provinces. Finally in 1967, Official Languages Act was passed, according to which English could be used an associate language in addition to Hindi for the official work at the centre and for communication between the centre and non-Hindi states and it would continue as long as the non-Hindi states wanted it.

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