1947: The first issues addressed by the new Government of India

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The issues

August 16, 2021: The Times of India

Relations with Pakistan

Pakistan said it endeavoured to create and maintain goodwill and friendship with Britain and Hindustan. It also welcomed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's recent speech in Delhi and the sentiments of goodwill towards the Dominion of Pakistan expressed by him.

Preparations for the celebrations

Decorated for independence, Delhi resembled the "interior of a theatre," a report published in The Times of India said.

J&K's merger with the Union of India

J&K advocated standstill agreements with India and Pakistan. The princely state would continue to abide by the agreements it had signed with the outgoing British Indian government.

Travancore's sovereignty demand

Sovereignty and internal jurisdiction of Travancore was preserved on defence, external affairs and communications.

Creation of provinces

It was claimed that Karnatak is self-sufficient, hence, should be allowed to form a separate province.

Merger of other princely states

Indore, Bhopal, Dholpur and Bharatpur were expected to sign up by August 14. The notable exception that had, so far, not decided to accede was Hyderabad.

Hyderabad's reluctance to join the Union of India

"When it was contemplated that India, on gaining her independence, would become a single Union, I was quite ready to take my share in the defence of the sub-continent and make arrangements for foreign policy in general conformity with the foreign policy of India. The partition of India, however, has gravely complicated the problem for my State." extracts from the Nizam's letter to the Viceroy.

Communal violence in Punjab

A special military force shot dead a group of 61 persons alleged to have been armed with mortars, Bren guns and other weapons. Meanwhile, members of the Punjab Boundary Commission met in Simla.

Communal violence in Lahore

At least 60 persons were killed in various incidents across Lahore and over a hundred others were injured. An 11-hour curfew was imposed in the city.

Slogan-shouting against Gandhi

Gandhiji moved to riot-affected Beliaghata, in an attempt to restore peace in Calcutta. The crowd, unhappy with Partition, shouted the slogan "Gandhi go back" and demanded that he settle down in areas where Hindus were forced out of their homes.

Allocation of portfolios

A day before the new cabinet was to be sworn-in, a probable list of ministers was published with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the PM.

Demands for abolition of cow slaughter

Resolutions stating that cow slaughter should be abolished for economic as well as religious reasons were passed at public meetings held throughout the country to observe Cow Day on August 10. The government planned to set up an expert committee on cow protection.

Economy and business

Textile companies Kohinoor and Swadeshi had a good late session on the stock exchange. Meanwhile, wholesale prices showed advances in all the groups — food articles, industrial raw materials, semi-manufactured articles — during the month of June.

The economy

Aug 47: an early economic crisis

August 29, 2021: The Times of India

Aug 47- an early economic crisis
From: August 29, 2021: The Times of India

The first few weeks in independent India were turbulent as the Indo-Pakistan boundary award announcement on August 18 was followed by the violence of Partition. Though it had its hands full, the government couldn’t ignore the economy — as the UK faced its own crisis, many feared the same for India. Shortages of almost every good, particularly food and fuel, and rising prices were to be met with increased domestic production, said the government. At the same time, finance minister RK Shanmukham Chetty assured citizens the government was “not out to plunder the rich” but wanted to “destroy poverty”. He insisted India’s tax regime would not stifle production and trade. He also made a plea to businesses to aid the government in overcoming the shortages in production and limiting inflation

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