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The Princes

  • The Princes had always been supportive of GB during WW2
  • The Nawab of Bhopal had paid for fighter planes, while the Nizam of Hyderabad, whose state had an economy almost the size of Belgium's, paid for a whole squadron! In total the Princes had bought 180 million rupees' worth of war bonds and 300,000 of their subjects served in the British armed forces. The Princes ruled over a third of India, and 40% of Indians but now they feared losing all of their power
  • The Nawab of Bhopal wrote to Mountbatten about how "we wish to retain our relations with Great Britain..." 
  • Mountbatten had no sympathy for the Princes, desipte his own royal connections, and supported Congress' demand for a strong democratic central government under which the Princes would lose their power
  • In any case, he needed a deal with Congress so the British could leave quickly and he knew that Congress would never agree to the Princes being allowed to keep their power
  • Mountbatten therefore ignored the protests of the Princes and those of Conrad Corfield, the British official in charge of relations with them. Using a mixture of charm and intimidation he persuaded virtually all of them to submit
  • Only resistance came from the Nizam of Hyderabad (the Muslim ruler of a Hindu state) who was eventually forced to join India and the Maharajah of Kashmir, the Hindu ruler of a Muslim state whos refusal to join Pakistan led to his state being partitioned and still being a battleground today between India and Pakistan. In both cases, India used military intervention to secure its aims
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Dividing the Spoils

All public services and government property, including the army, police, civil service, railways, schools, even paper and pens, was supposed to be divided on the basis of 82.5% for India, and 17.5% for Pakistan

Soldiers, police and everyone employed by public services had a few weeks to decide whether they would serve India or Pakistan

No contingecy plans had been made because as late as spring 1947 the British government had still hoped partition could be avoided, so everything had been rushed in a few weeks

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