(Last Updated on : 09/04/2012)
The Instrument of Accession was an officially authorized document which was created in the year 1947. The objective of the legal document was to facilitate each of the Indian princes, who reigned over the princely states of India under the indirect rule of the British government of India
, to unite with one of the new dominions of India or Pakistan that were formed after the Partition of India
during Indian independence from the British. During the era of the British rule in India, numerous princely states existed in the country, which were indirectly controlled by the British administration. These states were not directly included in the British India proper and were not considered to be under the become possession of the British Crown. The Princely States of India
, which were ruled by independent rulers, were tied to the British Empire in India
through a system of subsidiary alliances.
History of Instrument of Accession
In the year 1947, the British Government made final plans of leaving the nation for various political reasons and the future condition of these princely states proved to be a challenge for them. As the hundreds of Indian princely states were not under direct British rule, they were omitted from being partitioned by the British government of India into the newly formed self-governing nations of India and Pakistan. According to the Indian Independence Act 1947
, the suzerainty of the British Crown over the Indian princely states would simply be terminated with effect from 15th August 1947. This would render the various princely states as totally independent and autonomous, even though most of such states were much dependent on the Government of India for finance, defence and other infrastructural services.
After the independence of India from the British dominion, it was then a matter for each of the Indian Prince of a princely state to decide whether to accede to India, to accede to Pakistan or to remain outside both.
Accession of Princely States
The legal document of the Instrument of Accession was designed to bring about accession, wherever it was decided upon. The process of accession was executed by the Government of India as well as the individual princes of each of the princely states. On 26 October 1947, The Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir
was executed by Hari Singh
, Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu
and Kashmir. This gave the control of Jammu and Kashmir
to the Indian government. Lord Mountbatten
, Governor General of India accepted the accession of Jammu and Kashmir
on 27th October 1947.