New Delhi: After seeking abrogation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir, BJP leader L K Advani today praised India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for integrating Hyderabad into the Indian Union through the use of force despite Jawaharlal Nehru’s opposition.
In his latest blog posting, Advani refers to a book by V P Menon, who worked under Patel during the integration of 564 princely states into the Union, and says the Home Minister sent in the army despite Nehru’s opposition.
He further says quoting from another book, M K K Nair’s “With No Ill Feeling to Anybody” that Nehru favoured the UN route for Hyderabad- as he had done for Jammu and Kashmir- but Patel decided to use force to subdue the Nizam when he showed reluctance to fall in line.
Though Advani has not made an overt attempt in his blog to draw parallels between the cases of Jammu and Kashmir and Hyderabad- both having sizeable Muslim populations, he indicates that the manner in which the southern state was handled was exemplary.
BJP has often alleged that Nehru’s decision to take the Jammu and Kashmir integration issue to the UN was a wrong move.
It is against Article 370 of the Constitution which bestows special status on the border state.
Advani had demanded revocation of the Article recently, leading to a war of words between him and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
In his blog, the BJP leader says the then US Charge d’Affaires in New Delhi apprised the Indian government that the Nizam had written to the President of the US requesting that he should arbitrate and that the latter had refused.
Advani also highlights that there was no interference from Pakistan nor were there any communal riots by or against Muslims when Hyderabad was integrated into India.
“Opinion among the advisers of the Government of India was not unanimous on the question of what action should be taken in regard to Hyderabad.
“The section which favoured a policy of drift had a ready excuse in the bogey of large-scale communal disorders which would follow any positive action against Hyderabad.They apprehended that in Hyderabad the Hindus would be butchered in thousands, and that there would be general slaughter of Muslims in India,” Advani said, quoting from Menon’s book.
“There were others who spoke of mass Muslim uprisings in south India.There was not a single communal incident in the whole length and breadth of India throughout the time of the operation,” Advani said, adding that Pakistan also did not interfere as some feared.
Advani referred to what he called as differences between Sardar Patel and Nehru by quoting from Nair’s book an instance when the Home Minister had walked out of a Cabinet meeting because of some remarks of the PM which he felt were offensive.