This has reference to the write-up titled “J&K Special Status Revoked: Proof of ‘Decisive Leadership’ of Prime Minister Modi” by Prof. H.M. Rajashekar, retired Political Science Professor and Constitutional Expert, in SOM dated Aug. 6, 2019.
The article exposes the inadequacy of political and constitutional knowledge by the author on how India emerged as a Sovereign Republic on 26.1.1950.
But I am more concerned by the learned author’s statement that, “After Independence Mysore Maharaja, it is said, had demanded for separate Statehood. The then first Chief Minister K.C. Reddy and other Congress leaders saw to it that the Mysore kingdom was acceded to the country.”
With Word War-II, a war-ravaged Great Britain was in a hurry to leave India and thus “Indian Independence Bill” was introduced in the House of Commons by Prime Minister Attlee and was eventually passed by the House on 15.6.1947 and the House of Lords passed it the following day. It received the Royal assent on 18th. By this vivisection of British India into two dominions called India and Pakistan on 15.8.1947 was foretold.
But as per S-7(1) (b) of “The Indian Independence Act, 1947: The Suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian States lapses, and with it, all Treaties and Agreements in force at the date of the passing of this Act between His Majesty and the Rulers of Indian States, all functions exercisable by His Majesty at that date with respect to Indian States, all obligations of His Majesty existing at that date towards Indian States or the Rulers thereof, and all powers, rights, authority or jurisdiction exercisable by His Majesty at that date in or in relation to Indian States by Treaty, grant, usage, sufferance or otherwise.”
From the above, it is apparent as on 15.8.1947 all the Princely States became Sovereign Kingdoms, whereas British India was divided as two Dominions still lorded by a Governor General. There was nothing in the India Independence Act 1947 which bounded the Rulers of the States to lose their new-found freedom!
As a logical consequence of the lapse of Suzerainty, on 26.7.1947, the Crown Representative in Bangalore retroceded to the Government of Mysore, jurisdiction over the Civil and Military Station of Bangalore (a.k.a Bangalore Cantonment).
On 9.8.1947, the Maharaja of Mysore signed the Instrument of Accession and it was accepted by the Governor General of India on 16.8.1947. Section-8 of the Instrument of Accession clearly enunciates that it does not in any away affect the Sovereignty of the Ruler in and over his States.
It was the same Instrument of Accession which later Maharaja Hari Singh signed on Oct. 26,1947 and the Nizam on Sept. 17, 1948.
K.C. Reddy had no role in the Maharaja signing the Instrument of Accession. He became a Chief Minister much later on Oct. 25, 1947 when a so-called demand for Responsible Government was granted by the Maharaja.
Not many seem to be aware that an election for the Constituent Assembly of Mysore was held on March 5, 1948 and the first Session of the Constituent Assembly was held on April 7, 1948.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, in his congratulatory message, said: “…It redounds to credit of late and present Ruler that they have always bowed to the will of the people and never failed to concede popular demands. May the Constituent Assembly which is meeting under such auspicious combination of circumstances and with so much fund of amity and goodwill be guided by wisdom and Statesmanship, and fashion a Constitution worthy of the people and traditions of Mysore and which would serve as a model and example for other States. I send you all my warmest congratulations and best wishes.”
But as parallel activities in the Constituent Assembly of India emerged the idea of separate Constitution for the Princely States / Covenanting States were dropped and they were urged to merge as Part-B States of the New Union of India. Accordingly, Constituent Assembly of Mysore recommended to the Maharaja to accept the Draft Constitution of India. The Maharaja issued a proclamation accepting the Draft Constitution on Nov.25,1949 and the next day Constitution of India was proclaimed and on 26.1.1950, the Dominion of India became a Sovereign Republic of India with Mysore becoming a Part-B State of the Union and Maharaja becoming its Raja Pramukh.
This is in sum and substance the chronology of events. Unnecessarily casting aspersions on the Maharaja, that too in the Birth Centenary Year of the Ruler, is unfortunate.
– Raja Chandra, Bengaluru, 10.8.2019
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