The second episode dealt with smuggling of arms from Pakistan by
Hyderabad State. Sydney Cotton was hired to smuggle arms and
ammunition from Pakistan. A Hindu havildar commanding the
unloading party informed the author and gave him a copy of the
cargo manifest. K.M. Munshi was apprised about the episode and
the latter sent a secret signal to Delhi regarding the smuggling
The Nizam had
hoped that Sir Walter Monekton, the legal adviser, would be able
to secure better terms through Mountbatten. Efforts, therefore,
were renewed to arrive at mutually agreed settlement. A
tentative draft was drawn and approved by the government, though
Sardar Patel found it unsatisfactory for India and the people of
Hyderabad. Yet, after Mountbatten's persuasion, he signed it.
Mountbatten however left India on June 21, 1948 and Sir Monekton
followed a few days later. With their departure, the hope of any
amicable settlement vanished.
disgusted and Patel repeated his warning that Hyderabad would go
the way of Junagarh if they did not accede the Indian Union. The
Nizam started strengthening his armed forces. He sent emissaries
to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to seek their support and to London
and America to plead their case at the United Nations. A
propaganda barge was launched against India.
adamant attitude forced the government to take recourse to
police action. The author again hit the jackpot by cultivating
friendship with a senior state army officer who procured the
complete Hyderabad Army Operational Plan. This was a major
contribution to the success of the Indian operation.
September 13, at about 3.30 a.m. the armoured division launched
the police action named 'Operation Polo' which lasted for barely
108 hours. The operation went smoothly with negligible
resistance. The only opposition the the Army encountered was the
extensive mining all along the roads.
Chaudhri of the Indian Army was authorised to accept surrender
which took place at Sholapur-Hyderabad Road at 4.30 pm on
September 18, 1947. Major Nanda was also present.
account of accession of Hyderabad from the pen of a soldier is a
significant contribution in the history of the nation. It also
has ramifications on the question whether history should repeat
itself in solving the Kashmir problem. The experiences of the
author as the member of the Control Commission (1962-63) are
shared through letters to his daughter, Neeru Nanda. She has
carefully preserved them for the last 40 years.
The author feels that
politicians and civil services have underrated the role of the
armed forces. According to him, the neglect of the Army was due
to fear of military dictatorship. Our intelligence agencies also
lack experience and exposure and failed miserably in 1962 and
1965 and even now in Kargil. The book, on the whole, is
interesting for a layman. It is of major significance for
serious scholars and researchers working on Indian history and