How V P Menon played a key role in territorial integration of India?

Published: September 30, 2019

V P Menon was the Secretary in the Ministry of States established by the Government of India in 1947 to deal with the accession of princely states.

Menon was a key official in the Ministry and worked in the background and assisted Sardar Patel by travelling across the country and persuading different Maharajas and Nawabs to accede made a huge contributing effort in ensuring the territorial integrity of the country.

Integration of India: Role of V P Menon

Policy Framework

The greatest contribution of Menon was the formulation of the Instrument of accession that required the princely states to accede only in the three matters of defence, external affairs and communications. These matters were fairly non-controversial and it was easy to persuade the rulers on these matters and it was easily accepted by the rulers. This policy was reflected in the Instrument of Accession (IoA) and also ensured their seamless integration thereafter.

Accession of Jammu and Kashmir

The attack by Afridi tribesmen had reached the outskirts of Srinagar by October 25, 1947. This forced the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir to escape from the city to Jammu. When the Defence Committee of the Indian Government held a view that, if the Maharaja acceded to India, troops could be sent to rescue the state. It was Menon who immediately flew to Jammu and secured the Maharaja’s signature on the IoA.

Later after the accession as a key official in the Ministry of States, Menon played a key role in the integration of J and K and was involved in formulating Article 370, a temporary provision which was formed the foundation for the territorial integration.

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