Historical Figures

92. Patel forced the Bhopal Nawab to kneel!

The princely state of Bhopal was established in AD 1723 by Dost Mohammad Khan, an Afghan officer of Aurangzeb's army. At the time of India's independence, the Nawab of Bhopal was Hamidullah Khan, who became the Nawab of Bhopal princely state in AD 1926. He was elected Chancellor of Narendra Mandal twice in 1931 and 1944. Even at the time of India's independence, he was the Chancellor of the Narendra Mandal. He did not want to meet in India under any circumstances.

He, along with Jinnah, instigated most of the princely states of the country to either accede to Pakistan or declare independence. Angered by this, most of the kings boycotted the Narendra Mandal. Due to this, the Bhopal Nawab had to resign from the Narendra Mandal and the Narendra Mandal was dissolved. Jinnah invited Hamidullah Khan to come to Pakistan and accept the post of General Secretary.

On 13 August 1947, Hamidullah Khan asked his daughter Abida to become the ruler of the princely state of Bhopal so that he could go to Pakistan himself. Abida refused to obey her father's wish. In March 1948, Hamidullah Khan announced the independence of Bhopal. In May 1948, the Nawab appointed the cabinet of Bhopal government, whose Prime Minister was Chaturnarayan Malviya. Sardar Patel and VP Menon were continuously pressurizing Hamidullah Khan to announce his accession to India. Prime Minister Chatur Narayan Malviya was also in favor of the merger of the princely state with India. The people of Bhopal were running the Prajamandal movement.

She also wanted to merge the princely state with India. The Nawab went on Haj in October 1948. In December 1948, there was a tremendous demonstration in Bhopal regarding the merger. Leaders like Thakur Lal Singh, Shankar Dayal Sharma, Bhairon Prasad and Uddhav Das were taken prisoner by the Bhopal government. On 23 January 1949, VP Menon once again came to Bhopal and told the officials of the princely state that Bhopal could not remain independent.

On 29 January 1949, the Nawab dismissed the cabinet and took all the sources of power in his hands. Pandit Chatur Narayan Malviya sat on a fast for 21 days. On the instructions of Patel, VP Menon was staying at Lal Kothi in Bhopal and was keeping an eye on the situation of the princely state.

On 30 April 1949, the Nawab signed the merger of the princely state of Bhopal. Sardar Patel wrote a letter to the Nawab, condemning him that it was a matter of great disappointment and sorrow for me that you did not allow your controversial skills and abilities to be used by the country when the country needed them.

The princely state of Bhopal became a part of India on 1 June 1949. Centrally appointed Chief Commissioner N. B. Banerjee took over. The Nawab was given privypers of 11 lakhs per annum.