Historical Figures

96. Sardar Patel took a very practical stand with the kings!

As much as Sardar Patel was rich in determination, he was equally practical. He considered mediocre ideals to be futile and kept his eyes fixed on the goal all the time. So he used practical intelligence instead of coercion with the kings. He made his politics successful by luring the kings with many princely facilities, long sums of privypers and the posts of Rajpramukh and Uprajpramukh.

Dewan Jarmani Das of the princely state of Kapurthala has written about the facilities given to the kings - Patel freely provided facilities to the kings. The palaces of the kings will remain in their possession. They will get freedom from all types of taxes. Electricity, water will be available free of cost in their palaces.

They will be allowed to install special red colored plates on their motors. They will be able to put a princely flag on their motors and palaces. When they return from abroad, their luggage will not be checked. He will be exempted from appearance in courts.

No Maharaja will be prosecuted for civil or criminal charges without the permission of the Government of India. They will get military salutes, cannon salutes, and red carpet customs as they were found during the British. They would be able to keep military guards on their palaces. The Maharajas had the right to keep their diamonds and jewels worth crores of rupees, except the jewels of the crown, which were considered to be the property of the princely state and were replaced with fake ones.

Necklaces of genuine pearls worth lakhs of rupees were replaced by necklaces of fake pearls by the kings. The king of Baroda made seven strings of pearls worth two crore rupees, a necklace with three precious diamonds, Star of South, Eugene, the famous gem named Shahe Akbar and two carpets of pearl stitches, disappeared from the treasury of Baroda.

Sardar Patel deliberately turned a blind eye to this plundering tendency of the kings. Patel knew that the price paid for bringing the subjects out of the clutches of the feudal rule of the kings was too low. In this way, the kings, trapped in the trap of the chieftain, gave their governance-power and authority to the Government of India and lined up like sheep and signed the documents of integration.

It took more than a year to decide the matters of privypers and facilities of the kings. On behalf of the Government of India, it was assured that the rights, facilities and titles of the kings, which they had received from the British Government of India in return for treaties and services, would be recognized and protected by the Government of India. The kings had faith in the chieftain, there was no option but to trust.

So they left their kingdom with what they were getting. His golden crown had come off, now only the bright color was left, which was to be cleaned later by the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi.