Madhya Bharat: The United State of Gwalior, Indore and Malwa

The United State of Gwalior, Indore and Malwa (Madhya Bharat) constituted the largest of the Unions of States formed immediately after Independence. It comprised 20 States in Central India including the major States of Gwalior and Indore. These States consisted of blocks of territory separated by intervening portions of other States.

Linguistically, culturally, historically and economically the region formed a compact block. The position of the two major States of Gwalior and Indore which, according to the Government of India’s declared policy relating to viable units, were entitled to stand by themselves, rendered the problem of the integration of these States into one Union difficult. During the course of discussions it was found that there was a body of local opinion both at Gwalior and Indore opposed to the formation of one Union in which the identity of Gwalior and lndore would be completely merged. It was therefore, suggested as a possible alternative to the single Union scheme that two Unions might be formed, one around Gwalior and the other around Indore. After giving the proposal due consideration, the Government of India felt that from the point of view of geographical integrity as well as administrative efficiency, the balance of payments as well as advantages, was in favour of the immediate formation of one Union rather than two.

A conference of the Rulers of Central India was accordingly held in Delhi on 30th, 21st and 2nd of April, 1948, and as a result of these discussions agreement was arrived at for the formation of one Union to be known as the United State of Gwalior, Indore and Malwa (Madhya Bharat). The following were some of the distinctive features of this sentence that were provided to meet the special requirements of the two major States:-

(1) For the purposes of the election of the Raj Pramukh every Ruler had such number of votes as was equal to the number of Iakhs in the population of his State.

(ii) The Rulers of Gwalior and Indore were to be the Raj Pramukh and the senior Up Raj Pramukh respectively during their life time.

(iii) The senior Up Raj Pramukh was also given an appropriate allowance.

(iv) The privy purse of the Rulers of Gwalior and Indore had been fixed for the lifetime of the Rulers at a figure higher than the maximum fixed in other cases.