25 February, 2021

Princely Threats

Several of the 602 rajas, nawabs and other rulers seek independence after the British withdrawal; Congress stems the move to 'balkanise' the country

Princely Threats

THE haste with which the Congress leaders had accepted the June 3 plan involving Partition did not commend itself to the entire party. As the All India Congress Committee session called on June 14-15 to endorse the decision approached, there were rumblings of discontent from groups who felt that the leaders had betrayed the cause. Prominent among them was the socialist group headed by Jayaprakash Narayan. They argued that the Congress leaders had lost their revolutionary zeal and the party was becoming a constitutionalist status quo party.

At the AICC session, JP and Rammanohar Lohia clashed repeatedly with Nehru and Patel. JP said Gandhi had been kept in the dark about the negotiations with the viceroy. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad expressed unhappiness over the manner in which Partition had been accepted. But Gandhi didn't want to weaken the Congress on the eve of the transfer of power. When the leaders asked him to intervene, he agreed though it meant endorsing the plan for Partition which he had opposed until the last moment. The reason, he explained, was that neither he nor...

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