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|Number of Pages||406 Pages|
The Story of Integration of the Indian States by V.P. Menon was, actually, the concluding chapters of a story that began much earlier. It began as early as 1921 when the Indian National Congress entered the states arena with clear intentions of using the spontaneous, native, democratic movements in the princely states towards their own objective of integration, without, in turn, committing themselves to the states people’s own programmes for ‘responsible government’. In this, the policy of the Indian nationalists towards the states’ people’s movement was dictated, not so much by the needs and aspirations of the states people, but, by their own necessities to counter the machinations of the British Government which sought to counterpoise the princes against them. This study marks a new approach by treating the subject not as a mere projection of the national movement, nor as a study of the democratic movement in the princely states in isolation, but as an interaction of different elements – the states people, the states administration, the Indian nationalists and the British administrators – moving towards their different aims.
The spontaneous character of the movement in the states is brought out by going back to a period much earlier – the very beginning of the century – than 1921, the date of the entry of the Congress in the states. Again, the movements in the three ‘model’ states chosen for this study, Mysore, Travancore and Cochin, were typically illustrative of this character as it was in these three states neither ‘Congress inspired’ nor, as on the Political Department’s own noting, ‘sporadic’ but mor ‘sustained’ than ‘elsewhere’.