PEPSU (Patiala and East Punjab States Union)

The Patiala and the East Punjab States Unions, or the PEPSU was formally inaugurated by Sardar

Vallabha Bhai Patel (then Home Minister and Incharge of Indian State Department), on 15 July, 1948, by merging together the eight East Punjab Princely States of Patiala, Nabha, Jind, Faridkot, Kapurthala, Kalsia, Nalagarh and Malerkotla. The government of the PEPSU formally started functioning on 20 August 1948 with Maharaja Yadvindra Singh of Patiala as Rajpramukh or Governor and Sardar Gian Singh Rarewala as Chief Minister. Patiala was chosen to e the capital of the Union. PEPSU was the smallest in the category of the ‘Part B’ seven States which were formally Princely States or Union of them.

The States Reorganisation Commission, which had been appointed by the Government of India on 29 December 1953 submitted its report in 1955 and recommended the merger of the PEPSU with Punjab. The Government accepted the Commission’s recommendation and implemented it with effect from 1 November 1956.  Thus, with the merger, the loss suffered by the Punjab due to the partition of the province, with 17 districts gone to Pakistan, was to some extent compensated.

The boundaries of the  district further underwent a change on the reorganization of Punjab in 1966. Jind and Narwana tehsils were transferred to the newly created State of Haryana.


Punjabi Suba Movement:-

Punjabi Suba Movement was an agitation for reorganization of Punjab province on linguistic basis by the Sikhs. The Government of India was wary of carving out a separate Punjabi language state, because it effectively meant dividing the state along religious lines: Sikhs would form a 60% majority in the resulting Punjabi state. Fresh from the memory of the violent religion-based partition of India in 1947, the Punjabi Hindus were also concerned about living in a Sikh-majority state. The Hindu new newspapers exhorted the Punjabi Hindus to declare Hindi as their “mother tongue”, so that the Punjabi Suba proponents could be deprived of the argument that their demand was solely linguistic. This later created a rift between Hindus and Sikhs of Punjab. The case of creating a Punjabi Suba was presented to the States Reorganisation Commission in 1953. The States Reorganization Commission, not recognizing Punjabi as a language that was grammatically very distinct from Hindi, rejected the demand for a Punjabi majority state.

The Akali Dal leaders continued their agitation for the creation of a “Punjabi Suba” after the merger of PEPSU to Punjab. The Akal Takht played a vital role in organizing Sikhs to campaign for the cause. During the Punjabi Suba movement, thousands of Sikhs were arrested for their peaceful demonstrations.

Master Tara Singh and sant Fateh Singh were two prominent leaders of Punjabi Suba movement who organized masses and led them effectively and purposefully. There were large scale demonstrations but majority of them  were the sheer will of the Sikhs and the determined approach of the leaders of Punjabi Suba movement that government finally accepted their demand in 1966.

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