Historical Documents / November 28, 2016

Pondicherry in the Indo-French relations

Some interesting documents on the transfer of the French settlements in India to the Union of India

  • Pondicherry: The last months before India’s Independence
    June 3, 1947 was a day unlike any other. On this day, Lord Mountbatten, the Viceroy called a Press Conference to announce that the British had decided to leave the Indian subcontinent by August 15 of the same year.
    This momentous event would mark the end of 200 years of colonization of the Jewel in the Crown.
    However, the British were not completely abandoning the sub-continent: the two Dominions of India and Pakistan would remain for some time in the Commonwealth. More than the Commonwealth membership, the British were interested to keep some strategic bases in the region. The recent work of C. Dasgupta, a former Indian diplomat has provided a new insight into this matter
  • Debate in the French Parliament (1948 & 1954)
    NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
    Parliamentary debate on budget – 2nd sitting of 8th June 1948 (1948 Journal Officiel , page 3289)
    2nd Sitting of 27th August 1954, Journal Official pages 4343 to 4357 FRENCH ESTABLISHMENTS IN INDIA DISCUSSION ON INTEPELLATIONS (EXTRACTS)
  • Agreement on Air Services (1947)
    AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC RELATING TO AIR SERVICES (New Delhi, July 16, 1947)
  • 1954 Agreement for the de facto Transfer
    AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF FRANCE PROVIDING FOR DE FACTO TRANSFER OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE TERRITORY OF FRENCH ESTABLISHMENTS IN INDIA (New Delhi, October 21, 1954)
  • Conversation between Jawaharlal Nehru and Christian Pineau (1956)
    Record of a conversation between Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India and Christian Pineau, Foreign Minister of France on March, 11 1956 in Delhi.
    Were also present at the meeting were Stanislas Ostrorog, French Ambassador in India; Jean-Henri Daridan, Chief of the Foreign Minister’s Secretariat; and S. Dutt, Foreign Secretary, Government of India. (Christian Pineau’s remarks have been summarized)
  • Trade Arrangements (1961)
    EXCHANGE OF LETTERS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF FRANCE CONCERNING EXTENSION OF TRADE ARRANGEMENTS (Paris, 14 March 1961)
  • Air Sevices Agreement (1961)
    EXCHANGE OF LETTERS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF FRANCE REGARDING MODIFICATION OF THE AIR SERVICES AGREEMENT OF 16 JULY 1947 (New Delhi, 30 October 1961)
  • Supplementary Agreement (1963)
    SUPPLEMENTARY AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF FRANCE CONCERNING THE FORMER FRENCH TERRITORIES (New Delhi, 16 March 1963)
  • Debate in French Parliament (1962)
    NATIONAL ASSEMBLY – TRANSFER OF FRENCH ESTABUSHMENTS IN INDIA (DISCUSSION ON A BILL)
    (PROJET DE LOI)
    Sitting: Mr. Jean MONTALAT, Vice President.
    President: Today’s programme has listed a discussion on the bill authorizing the ratification of the Treaty of Transfer of the French Establishments of Pondicherry, Karikal, Mahe and Yanam, signed at New Delhi on the 28th May 1956 (No. 1660, 1880).
  • Cooperation in Space Reasearch (1964)
    MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF FRANCE ON CO-OPERATION IN SPACE RESEARCH (Florence, 15 May 1964)
  • A French University for Pondicherry
    “Ever since the time of Alexander Indian mystics have aroused the curiosity and admiration of the outside world, and seemingly incredible stories about them have always been current. Sri Aurobindo perhaps the best known of them in modern India, has already become a figure of myth, and it is commonly said that for years he has neither slept, not moved. Even so, there may be exaggeration in the report that he recently broke a 19 years’ silence to discuss with French MRP leader, Mr. Schumann, the scheme of an international university at Pondicherry. The fact is that Sri Aurobindo does not normally receive visitors.”
  • The saddest day in Pondicherry
    The British Consul General reported that he had heard “rumours of a clash between the Socialists and some passers-by and that some of the Ashram buildings were stoned.” He informed Delhi that one unconfirmed report mentioned that one member of the Ashram had died as a result of injury inflicted by a stone.
    This incident is the most tragic of a day otherwise marked by joy and patriotic fervor. The death of Mulshankar, Sri Aurobindo’s attendant deeply blurred the Independence Day celebrations.
    Mulshankar, a young Gujarati had come to the Ashram in the thirties and soon started serving Sri Aurobindo as an attendant and a masseur. On that fateful day, Mulshankar was stabbed in the neck by local goondas; when he reached the Ashram main door, he was profusely bleeding, and ultimately, he could not be saved.
    The press reported: “In the evening of 15 August 1947, the day of India’s independence, armed rioters attacked the Ashram, killing one member and injuring several others…”





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