Serfs no more: How Nehru united people to rise against princely tyranny

In the scrimmage that became India's run towards independence, it was always Nehru and then Mountbatten and Sardar Patel who ran the relay to systematically demolish the egos of the princes and bring them on board through a mix of cajoling, duress and even threat.

Serfs no more: How Nehru united people to rise against princely tyranny

Nehru despised monarchists and their doppelgangers in India -- the fat cat princes. His thinking was predicated on democracy being the bedrock of the future India. And he created a powerful stalking horse -- All India States' People's Conference -- to democratise the stubborn princely states. For him, these rogue states were the molecule of modern India, they were like a group of atoms that needed to bond together.

Nehru personally stormed the bastions of the princely states to send a message that he opposed the enslavement of people when another part of the same country in contiguous areas was rebelling against the British in search of freedom from the chains of servility. He was constantly rattling their cage with fiery speeches, personal interventions and policy adjustments.