1949-Amalgamation of States’ Post Offices

217 States including Nawanagar, Bhavnagar, Morvi, Rajkot, Wadhwan, Jasdan, Jetpur etc., merged into or formed United States of Kathiawar on 15th February 1948.

1 Anna Court Fee stamp of Bhavnagar Darbar was overprinted as “U.S.S. REVENUE POSTAGE” and used as Postage to mail a cover from Junagadh to Veraval on 31. 10. 1949, after the merger of Bhavnagar State into United States of Saurashtra.
Post Card of Morvi State used on 8th July 1948, which proves the State’s Stationery was valid till that day though it became part of India.

Alwar, Bharatpur, Dholpur & Karauli formed United States of Matasya on 17th March 1948.
35 States including Bijiawar, Charkhari, Chhatarpur, Datia, Orchha, Panna, Rewa etc., formed United States of Vindhya Pradesh on 2nd April 1948.
10 States including Banswara, Bundi, Dungarpur, Jhalawar, Kishangarh, Kotah and Tonk etc., formed United States of Rajasthan on 18th April 1948.
20 States including Barwani, Dewas, Dhar, Gwalior, Indore, Piploda etc., formed Gwalior - Indore - Malwa Union on 15th May 1948.
8 States including Patiala, Nabha, Kapurthala, Jind, Faridkot, Malerkotla etc., formed PEPSU Patiala & East Punjab State Union dated 15th July 1948.

Thus 294 States formed new Unions of States. In total 535 out of 562 States merged with one another or formed new Union.

JUNAGADH STATE: was the Premier State in the group of Kathiawar States. It was bounded almost entirely by other Indian States, except south and south west, where lies the Arabian Sea. It was ruled by the Nawab, Sir Mahabat Khan Rasulkhanji, a descendent of Sher Khan Babi, who established his rule in Junagadh in 1735. 80% of the population of Junagadh were Hindus.

The Nawab avoided direct communication with India and announced on 15th August 1947 the Government of Junagadh accession to Pakistan. It came as a surprise to the Government of India. The rulers of the other States of Kathiawar condemned the accession of Junagadh with one voice. It was feared that it would extend the communal trouble to areas where at present there was peace.

Letter posted from Karachi on 13th August 1947, which reached Kathiawar on 15th August 1947.
It proves that till 15th August 1947, mails were regular and normal though the country was buring.
A Post Card posted from Junagadh on 19th April 1950 for Dhoraji having printed stamp of ½ Anna of Junagadh validity used with 3 pies stamp of India.

On 13th September 1947, the Government of Pakistan accepted Junagadh accession. But the subjects of Junagadh rose in revolt against the Nawab and his discission. On 25th September 1947, a Provisional Government (Arzi Hukumat) of Junagadh was announced. On 21st October 1947, the Government of India decided to take over Mangrol and Babariawad, which were vassal of Junagadh. On 22nd October 1947, the administration of Manavadar, another vassal of Junagadh, was taken over by the Government of India.

The Nawab realized that events were not happening as he had visualized, so he decided on flight. By the end of October 1947 he left for Karachi with all cash of the State and his family jewelry. The Nawab’s flight encouraged the forces of Arzi Hukumat to occupy various parts of the State. On 19th November 1947, the administration of Junagadh was taken by Indian troops.

As soon as normal conditions were restored, a referendum was held on 20th February 1948, to ascertain the choice of the people in regard to accession, which went almost unanimously in favour of Union with India. Once the plebiscite was over, the democratization of the administration of Junagadh was taken. It was thought that Junagadh should become a part of United States of Saurashtra but the Union was not formed till 15th April 1948, which was fixed for that day. Two different labels are found which says that Saurashtra Union was formed on 15th April 1948. As the Union was not formed, it was decided to constitute an ExecutiveCouncil of popular representatives of Junagadh, to assist the administrator an I.C.S., officer Mr.S. W. Shiveshwarkar. The Executive Council of which Samaldas Gandhi, Dayashankar Dave and Mrs.Pushpavati Mehta were members, was set up on 1st June 1948. In November 1948, the United State of Kathiawar was renamed the United State of Saurashtra, when a supplementary covenant was negotiated and executed by the Rulers of States merged into United State of Kathiawar. Once the Saurashtra Union came into existence, a second supplementary covenant was executed in January 1949, providing the integration of Junagadh with Saurashtra. On 20th February 1949, the administration of Junagadh and also that of Mangrol, Manavadar, Babariawad, Bantwa and Sardargarh were handed over to Saurashtra Government.

Readers are requested to send their query/comments to Mr. Ashok Kumar Bayanwala, 96, Swastik Society,Navarangpura, AHMEDABAD-380009, INDIA or email to Prashant H. Pandya

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