Topic of the day:-“Force Behind Unification”

Sardar Patel’s foresight and tactful navigation of the most turbulent period in post-Independence, and the resolve he demonstrated in integrating the more than 500 disparate princely States into the Dominion of India is an unparalleled accomplishment in modern history.

Hailing Patel’s feat, Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, had said: “By far the most important achievement of the present government is the unification of the States into the Dominion of India. Had you failed in this, the results would have been disastrous… Nothing has added to the prestige of the present government more than the brilliant policy you have followed with the States.”

Patel was a statesman with a strong sense of realpolitik, a realist to the core and an earthy politician whose sole aim was to build a strong and united India.

What makes the merger of the princely States truly incredible is the fact that the princely rulers had the option at that time to either accede to India or Pakistan or remain independent. Yet, Patel’s sagacity, foresight, patriotism, tact, persuasive powers and abiding commitment to fair play enabled him to untangle a highly complex political and social problem of an unprecedented scale, without triggering any kind of revolt or civil unrest.

However, he was also compelled to use coercion by launching ‘Operation Polo’ to liberate and integrate Hyderabad after the Nizam of Hyderabad entertained false hopes of either joining Pakistan or remaining independent. In a swift operation lasting five days, Hyderabad State was liberated in September 1948.

Writing about Patel’s decisiveness in the Christian Science Monitor, W. Gordon Graham observed: “Hyderabad, a State covering 80,000 square miles in the heart of peninsular India, was at that time in the grip of an unscrupulous minority which aimed at secession from India. Had the bid succeeded, India might not have survived as a political unit. This situation needed a man of iron who would not balk at coercive action, and in the Sardar, India had at that vital moment just the man.”

Indeed at the most critical time when the country’s political unity was in jeopardy, India found the man of the moment in Sardar Patel, who displayed amazing patience, tact and a steely determination in dealing with an intransigent ruler, who refused to see the writing on the wall and even wanted to take the issue to the United Nations. Displaying statesmanship of the highest order, Sardar Patel prevented the attempts to not only Balkanise India but internationalise the issue as well. The complicated case of Junagarh, Gujarat, was also handled with dexterity by Patel. I feel that the problem of Jammu and Kashmir would have been resolved long back had Sardar Patel been given a free hand to handle it at that time.


1) conviction

Meaning : a formal declaration by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law that someone is guilty of a criminal offence.

Tamil Meaning : தண்டனை

Synonyms : certitude

Antonyms : uncertainty

Example : “she had a previous conviction for a similar offence”

2) imperils

Meaning : put at risk of being harmed, injured, or destroyed.

Tamil Meaning : ஆபத்திற்குள்ளாக்கி

Synonyms : endangers

Antonyms : protects

Example : “they advised against tax increases for fear of imperilling the recovery”

3) meagre

Meaning : (of something provided or available) lacking in quantity or quality.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : வெறும்

Synonyms : scanty

Antonyms : ample

Example : “they were forced to supplement their meagre earnings”

4) rigorous

Meaning : extremely thorough and careful.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : கடுமையான

Synonyms : strict

Antonyms : lenient

Example : “the rigorous testing of consumer products”

5) grenade

Meaning : a small bomb thrown by hand or launched mechanically.

Synonyms : munition

Example : They threw in a grenade last time.

6) crippled

Meaning : (of a person) unable to walk or move properly; disabled.

Tamil Meaning : முடக்க

Synonyms : disabled

Antonyms : fit

Example : “a crippled old man”

7) lopsided

Meaning : with one side lower or smaller than the other.

Tamil Meaning : தலைப்பட்சமானது

Synonyms : unequal

Antonyms : balanced

Example : “a lopsided grin”

8) entrenched

Meaning : (of an attitude, habit, or belief) firmly established and difficult or unlikely to change; ingrained.

Tamil Meaning : மேலும் ஆழமாக்கும்

Synonyms : confirmed

Antonyms : vulnerable

Example : “an entrenched resistance to change”

9) rivals

Meaning : a person or thing competing with another for the same objective or for superiority in the same field of activity.

Tamil Meaning : போட்டியாளர்கள்

Synonyms : opponents

Antonyms : partners

Example : “he has no serious rival for the job”

10) outskirts

Meaning : the outer parts of a town or city.

Tamil Meaning : புறநகரில்

Synonyms : edge

Antonyms : core

Example : “he built a new factory on the outskirts of Birmingham”

11) claim

Meaning : state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof.(v)

Tamil Meaning : கூற்றை

Synonyms : assert

Antonyms : deny

Example : “the Prime Minister claimed that he was concerned about Third World debt”

12) punitive

Meaning : inflicting or intended as punishment.

Tamil Meaning : தண்டனை

Synonyms : harsh

Antonyms : reward

Example : “he called for punitive measures against the Eastern bloc”

13) bind

Meaning : tie or fasten (something) tightly together.(n)

Synonyms : tie

Antonyms : intervene

Example : “logs bound together with ropes”

14) boycotted

Meaning : withdraw from commercial or social relations with (a country, organization, or person) as a punishment or protest.

Tamil Meaning : புறக்கணித்தனர்

Synonyms : banned

Antonyms : frequented

Example : “we will boycott all banks which take part in the loans scheme”

15) contention

Meaning : an assertion, especially one maintained in argument.

Tamil Meaning : கருத்து

Synonyms : conflict

Antonyms : affection

Example : “Freud’s contention that all dreams were wish fulfilment”