- Princely state
For other uses, see Principality and Other princely states.
British Indian Empire
Colonial India Portuguese India 1510–1961 Dutch India 1605–1825 Danish India 1620–1869 French India 1759–1954 British India 1613–1947 East India Company 1612–1757 Company rule in India 1757–1857 British Raj 1858–1947 British rule in Burma 1824–1942 Princely states 1765–1947/48 Partition of India 1947
A Princely State (also called Native State or Indian State) was a nominally sovereign entitity of British rule in India that was not directly governed by the British, but rather by an Indian ruler under a form of indirect rule such as suzerainty or paramountcy.
British relationship with the Princely States
India under the British Raj (the "Indian Empire") consisted of two types of territory: British India and the Native States or Princely states. In its Interpretation Act 1889, the British Parliament adopted the following definitions:
(4.) The expression "British India" shall mean all territories and places within Her Majesty's dominions which are for the time being governed by Her Majesty through the Governor-General of India or through any governor or other officer subordinate to the Governor-General of India.
(5.) The expression "India" shall mean British India together with any territories of any native prince or chief under the suzerainty of Her Majesty exercised through the Governor-General of India, or through any governor or other officer subordinate to the Governor-General of India.
In general the term "British India" had been used (and is still used) also to refer to the regions under the rule of the East India Company in India from 1600 to 1858. The term has also been used to refer to the "British in India".
The British Crown's suzerainty over 175 Princely States, generally the largest and most important, was exercised in the name of the British Crown by the central government of British India under the Viceroy; the remaining, approximately four hundred, states were influenced by Agents answerable to the provincial governments of British India under a Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or Chief Commissioner. A clear distinction between "dominion" and "suzerainty" was supplied by the jurisdiction of the courts of law: the law of British India rested upon the legislation enacted by the British Parliament, and the legislative powers those laws vested in the various governments of British India, both central and local; in contrast, the courts of the Princely States existed under the authority of the respective rulers of those states.
Princely status and titles
The Indian rulers bore various titles—including Maharaja ("emperor"), Badshah ("emperor"), Raja ("king"), Nawab ("governor"), Nizam, Wāli, and many others. Whatever the literal meaning and traditional prestige of the ruler's actual title, the British government translated them all as "prince," in order to avoid the implication that the native rulers could be "kings" with status equal to that of the British monarch.
Some Hindu rulers used the title Thakur or its variant Thakore. The Royal House of Shimla-Kensington Used the title "rajkuwar" or "rajkanya".
More prestigious Hindu rulers (mostly existing before the Mughal Empire, or having split from such old states) often used the title "Raja," or a variant such as "Rana," "Rao," "Rawat" or Rawal. Also in this 'class' were several Thakur sahibs and a few particular titles, such as Sar Desai.
The most prestigious Hindu rulers usually had the prefix "maha" ("great", compare for example Grand duke) in their titles, as in Maharaja, Maharana, Maharao, etc. The states of Travancore and Cochin had queens regnant styled Maharani, generally the female forms applied only to sisters, spouses and widows, who could however act as regents.
There were also compound titles, such as (Maha)rajadhiraj, Raj-i-rajgan, often relics from an elaborate system of hierarchical titles under the Mughal emperors. For example, the addition of the adjective Bahadur raised the status of the titleholder one level.
Furthermore most dynasties used a variety of additional titles, such as Varma in South India. This should not be confused with various titles and suffixes not specific to princes but used by entire (sub)castes.
The Sikh princes concentrated at Punjab, usually adopted Hindu type titles when attaining princely rank; at a lower level Sardar was used.
Muslim rulers almost all used the title "Nawab" (the Arabic honorific of naib, "deputy," used of the Mughal governors, who became de facto autonomous with the decline of the Mughal Empire), with the prominent exceptions of the Nizam of Hyderabad & Berar, the Wāli/Khan of Kalat and the Wāli of Swat. Other less usual titles included Darbar Sahib, Dewan, Jam, Mehtar (unique to Chitral) and Mir (from Emir).
Precedence and prestige
However, the actual importance of a princely state cannot be read from the title of its ruler, which was usually granted (or at least recognised) as a favour, often in recognition for loyalty and services rendered to the Mughal Empire. Although some titles were raised once or even repeatedly, there was no automatic updating when a state gained or lost real power. In fact, princely titles were even awarded to holders of domains (mainly jagirs) and even zamindars (tax collectors), which were not states at all. Various sources give significantly different numbers of states and domains of the various types. Even in general, the definition of titles and domains are clearly not well-established. There is also no strict relation between the levels of the titles and the classes of gun salutes, the real measure of precedence, but merely a growing percentage of higher titles in classes with more guns.
The gun salute system was used to set unambiguously the precedence of the major rulers in the area in which the British East India Company was active, or generally of the states and their dynasties. These gun salute system was only for the Indian Princely states, but the Royal House of Shimla-Kensington was also entitled to use 15 gun salute although the were not entitled as Maharaja or Raja.The Royal House of Shimla-Kensington used the title raisaheb(baron), ranisahiba(baroness) and rajkanya(princess). Princely rulers were entitled to be saluted by the firing of an odd number of guns between three and 21, with a greater number of guns indicating greater prestige. (There were many minor rulers who were not entitled to any gun salutes, and as a rule the majority of gun-salute princes had at least nine, with numbers below that usually the prerogative of Arab coastal Sheikhs also under British protection.) Generally, the number of guns remained the same for all successive rulers of a particular state, but individual princes were sometimes granted additional guns on a personal basis. Furthermore, rulers were sometimes granted additional gun salutes within their own territories only, constituting a semi-promotion.
While the states of all these rulers (about 120) were known as salute states, there were far more so-called non-salute states of lower prestige, and even more princes (in the broadest sense of the term) not even acknowledged as such. On the other hand, the dynasties of certain defunct states were allowed to keep their princely status—they were known as Political Pensioners. Though none of these princes were awarded gun salutes, princely titles in this category were recognised as among certain vassals of salute states, and were not even in direct relation with the paramount power.
After independence, the Maharana of Udaipur displaced the Nizam of Hyderabad as the most senior prince in India, and the style Highness was extended to all rulers entitled to 9-gun salutes. When these dynasties had been integrated into the Indian Union they were promised continued privileges and an income, known as the Privy Purse, for their upkeep. Subsequently, when the Indian government abolished the Privy Purse in 1971, the whole princely order ceased to exist under Indian law, although many families continue to retain their social prestige informally; some descendants are still prominent in regional or national politics, diplomacy, business and high society.
At the time of Indian independence, only five rulers—the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Maharaja of Mysore, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir state, the Maharaja Gaekwad of Baroda and the Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior—were entitled to a 21-gun salute. Five more rulers—the Nawab of Bhopal, the Maharaja Holkar of Indore, the Maharana of Udaipur, the Maharaja of Kolhapur and the Maharaja of Travancore—were entitled to 19-gun salutes. The most senior princely ruler was the Nizam of Hyderabad, who was entitled to the unique style Exalted Highness. Other princely rulers entitled to salutes of 11 guns (soon 9 guns too) or more were entitled to the style Highness. No special style was used by rulers entitled to lesser gun salutes. The Royal House of Shimla-Kensington used the title "Serene Highness".
As paramount ruler, and successor to the Mughals, the British King-Emperor of India, for whom the style of Majesty was reserved, was entitled to an 'imperial' 101-gun salute—in the European tradition also the number of guns fired to announce the birth of a (male) heir to the throne.
All princely rulers were eligible to be appointed to certain British orders of chivalry associated with India, The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India and The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire. Even women could be appointed as "Knights" (instead of Dames) of these orders. Rulers entitled to 21-gun and 19-gun salutes were normally appointed to the highest rank possible (Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India).
Many Indian princes served in the British army (as others in local guard or police forces), often rising to the high official ranks; some even served while on the throne. Many of these were appointed as ADC etc., either to the ruling prince of their own house (in the case of relatives of such rulers) or indeed to the British King-Emperor. Many also saw action, both on the subcontinent and on other fronts, during both World Wars.
Excepting those members of the princely houses who entered active service and who distinguished themselves, a good number of princes received honourary ranks as officers in the British Armed Forces. Those ranks were conferred based on several factors, including their heritage, lineage, gun-salute (or lack of one) as well as personal character or martial traditions. After the First and Second World Wars, the princely rulers of several of the major states, including Gwalior, Kolhapur, Patiala, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jammu and Kashmir and Hyderabad were given honourary general officer ranks as a result of their states' contributions to the war effort.
- Lieutenant/Captain/Flight Lieutenant or Lieutenant-Commander/Major/Squadron Leader (for junior members of princely houses or for minor princes)
- Commander/Lieutenant-Colonel/Wing Commander or Captain/Colonel/Group Captain (granted to princes of salute states, often to those entitled to 15-guns or more)
- Commodore/Brigadier/Air Commodore (conferred upon princes of salute states entitled to gun salutes of 15-guns or more)
- Major-General/Air Vice-Marshal (conferred upon princes of salute states entitled to 15-guns or more; conferred upon rulers of the major princely states, including Baroda, Travancore, Bhopal and Mysore)
- Lieutenant-General (conferred upon the rulers of the largest and most prominent princely houses. After the First and Second World Wars, the princely rulers of several of the major states, including Gwalior, Patiala, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jammu and Kashmir and Hyderabad were given this rank as a result of their states' enormous contributions to the war effort.)
- General (Very rarely awarded. The Maharajas of Gwalior and Jammu & Kashmir were created honourary Generals in the British Army in 1877, the Maharaja of Bikaner was made one in 1937 and the Nizam of Hyderabad made one in 1941)
It was also not unusual for members of princely houses to be appointed to various colonial offices, often far from their native state, or to enter the diplomatic corps.
Doctrine of lapse
A controversial aspect of East India Company rule was the doctrine of lapse, a policy under which lands whose feudal ruler died (or otherwise became unfit to rule) without a male biological heir (as opposed to an adopted son) would become directly controlled by the Company and an adopted son would not become the ruler of the princely state. This policy went counter to Indian tradition where, unlike Europe, it was far more the accepted norm for a ruler to appoint his own heir.
The doctrine of lapse was pursued most vigorously by the Governor-General Sir James Ramsay, 10th Earl (later 1st Marquess) of Dalhousie. Dalhousie annexed seven states, including Awadh (Oudh), whose Nawabs he had accused of misrule, and the Maratha states of Nagpur, Jhansi, Sambalpur and Satara. Resentment over the annexation of these states turned to indignation when the heirlooms of the Maharajas of Nagpur were auctioned off in Calcutta. Dalhousie's actions contributed to the rising discontent amongst the upper castes which played a large part in the outbreak of the Indian rebellion of 1857. The last Mughal Badshah (emperor), whom many of the mutineers saw as a figurehead to rally around, was deposed following its suppression.
In response to the unpopularity of the doctrine, it was discontinued with the end of Company rule and the British Parliament's assumption of direct power over India.
By treaty, the British controlled the external affairs of the princely states absolutely. As the states were not British possessions, they retained control over their own internal affairs, subject to a degree of British influence which in many states was substantial.
By the beginning of the 20th century, relations between the British and the four largest states — Hyderabad, Mysore, Jammu and Kashmir, and Baroda — were directly under the control of the Governor-General of India, in the person of a British Resident. Two agencies, for Rajputana and Central India, oversaw twenty and 148 princely states respectively. The remaining princely states had their own British political officers, or Agents, who answered to the administrators of India's provinces. The Agents of five princely states were then under the authority of Madras, 354 under Bombay, 26 of Bengal, two under Assam, 34 under Punjab, fifteen under Central Provinces and Berar and two under United Provinces.
By the early 1930s, most of the princely states whose Agencies were under the authority of India's provinces were organised into new Agencies, answerable directly to the Governor-general, on the model of the Central India and Rajputana agencies: the Eastern States Agency, Punjab States Agency, Baluchistan Agency, Deccan States Agency, Madras States Agency and the Northwest Frontier States Agency. The Baroda Residency was combined with the princely states of northern Bombay Presidency into the Baroda, Western States and Gujarat Agency. Gwalior was separated from the Central India Agency and given its own Resident, and the states of Rampur and Benares, formerly with Agents under the authority of the United Provinces, were placed under the Gwalior Residency in 1936. The princely states of Sandur and Banganapalle in Mysore Presidency were transferred to the agency of the Mysore Resident in 1939.
Short list of Native States in 1909
The native states in 1909 included five large states that were in "direct political relations" with the Government of India. Of these, Nepal differed from others, in that it was completely independent in its internal administration, but like the other states it was represented internationally by the Government of India.
For the complete list of princely states in 1947, see List of Indian Princely States.
Under suzerainty of the Central Government
Five large Princely States in direct political relations with the Central Government in India Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Baroda 8,099 1.95 million (chiefly Hindu) 123 Maharaja, Maratha, Hindu 21 Resident at Baroda Hyderabad 82,698 approx. 11.14 million (Mostly Hindus with a sizable Muslim minority) 359 Nizam, Turkic, Sunni Muslim 21 Resident in Hyderabad Jammu and Kashmir 80,900 2.91 million including Gilgit, Baltistan (Skardu), Ladakh, and Punch (Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists) 87 Maharaja, Dogra Rajput, Hindu 19 (21 within Jammu & Kashmir) Resident in Jammu & Kashmir Mysore 29,444 5.53 million (mostly Hindu) 190 Maharaja, Arasu, Hindu 21 Resident in Mysore Nepal 54,000 4 million (Hindus and Buddhists) 150 Maharaja-DhirajSuryavanshi, Rajput, Hindu 21 Resident in Nepal Total 255,141 25.53 million 909 Please expand to view the tables for the three Agencies under the Central government 148 Princely States forming the Central India Agency Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Gwalior 25,041 2.93 million (Chiefly Hindus) 163 Maharaja, Maratha, Hindu 19 (21 within Gwalior) Resident at Gwalior Indore 9,500 0.85 million (Chiefly Hindu) 72 Maharaja, Maratha, Hindu 19 (21 within Indore) Resident at Indore Bhopal 6,859 0.66 million (mostly Hindu) 29 Nawab(m)/Begum(f), Afghan, Muslim 19 (21 within Bhopal) Political Agent in Bhopal Rewah 13,000 1.33 million (chiefly Hindu) 29 Maharaja, Baghel Rajput, Hindu 17 Political agent in Baghelkhand 144 smaller and minor states 22,995 2.74 million (Chiefly Hindu) 129 Total 77,395 8.51 million 421 20 Princely States forming the Rajputana Agency Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Udaipur (Mewar) 12,691 1.02 million (Chiefly Hindus and Bhils) 24 Maharana, Sisodia Rajput, Hindu 21 (including two guns personal to the then ruler) Resident in Mewar Jaipur 15,579 2.66 million (Chiefly Hindu) 62 Maharaja, Kachwaha Rajput, Hindu 21 (including two guns personal to the then ruler) Resident at Jaipur Jodhpur (Marwar) 34,963 1.94 million (mostly Hindu) 56 Maharaja, Rathor Rajput, Hindu 17 Resident in the Western States of Rajputana Bikaner 23,311 0.58 million (chiefly Hindu) 23 Maharaja, Rathor Rajput, Hindu 17 Political agent in Bikaner 16 other states 42,374 3.64 million (Chiefly Hindu) 155 Total 128,918 9.84 million 320 2 Princely States forming the Baluchistan Agency Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Kalat 71,593 0.37 million (Chiefly Sunni Muslims) 8 Khan or Wali, Brahui, Sunni Muslim 19 Political Agent in Kalat Las Bela 6,441 56 thousand (Chiefly Sunni Muslim) 2 Jam, Kureshi Arab, Sunni Muslim Political Agent in Kalat Total 78,034 0.43 million 10
Under a Provincial Government
- Burma (52 States)
52 States in Burma: all except the Karen States were included in British India Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Hsipaw (Thibaw) 5,086 105,000 (Buddhist) 3 Sawbwa, Shan, Buddhist 9 Superintendent, Northern Shan States Kengtung 12,000 190,000 (Buddhist) 1 Sawbwa, Shan, Buddhist 9 Superintendent Southern Shan States Mongnai 2,717 44,000 (Buddhist) 0.5 Sawbwa, Shan, Buddhist 9 Superintendent Southern Shan States 5 Karen States 4,830 45,795 (Buddhist and Animists) 0.5 Superintendent Southern Shan States 44 Other States 42,198 792,152 (Buddhist and Animist) 8.5 Total 67,011 1,177,987 13.5
- Other states under provincial governments
Please expand to view the tables for other states under Provincial Governments 30 States under the suzerainty of the Provincial Government of Bengal Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Sikkim 2,818 59,014 (chiefly Buddhist and Hindu) 1 Maharaja, Tibetan, Buddhist 15 Political Officer, Sikkim Cooch Behar 1,307 566,974 (chiefly Hindu and Muslim) 24 Maharaja, Kshattriya, Brahmo 13 Commissioner of Rajshahi (ex officio Political Agent) Hill Tippera 4,086 173,325 (chiefly Hindu) 7 Raja, Kshattriya, Hindu 13 Commissioner of Chittagong (ex officio Political Agent) Bhutan 20,000 250,000 (Buddhist) 2 Deb Raja, Bhotia, Buddhist Commissioner of Rajshahi (ex officio Political Agent) 26 Other States 30,441 2,949,231 44 Total 58,652 3,998,544 78
- Madras (5 States)
5 States under the suzerainty of the Provincial Government of Madras Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Travancore 7,091 2,952,157 (chiefly Hindu and Christian) 100 Maharaja, Kshatriya-Samanthan, Hindu 21 (including two guns personal to the then ruler) Resident in Travancore and Cochin Cochin 1,362 812,025 (chiefly Hindu and Christian) 27 Raja, Samanta-Kshatriya, Hindu 17 Resident in Travancore and Cochin Padukkottai 1,100 380,440 (Hindu) 11 Raja, Kallar, Hindu 11 Collector of Trichinopoly (ex officio Political Agent) 2 minor states (Banganapalle and Sandur) 416 43,464 3 Total 9,969 4,188,086 141
- Bombay (354 States)
354 states under the suzerainty of the Provincial Government of Bombay Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Kolhapur 2,855 910,011 (chiefly Hindus) 48 Maharaja, Kshatriya, Hindu 19 Political Agent for Kolhapur Cutch 7,616 488,022 (chiefly Hindus) 20 Maharao, Jadeja Rajput, Hindu 17 Political Agent in Cutch Khairpur 6,050 199,313 (chiefly Muslims) 13 Mir, Talpur Baloch, Muslim 15 Political Agent for Khairpur Junagarh 3,284 395,428 (chiefly Hindus) 27 Nawab, Pathan, Muslim 11 Agent to the Governor in Kathiawar Navanagar 3,791 336,779 (chiefly Hindus) 31 Jam Sahib, Jadeja Rajput, Hindu 11 Agent to the Governor in Kathiawar 349 other states 42,165 4,579,095 281 Total 65,761 6,908,648 420
- United Provinces (2 States)
Two states under the suzerainty of the Provincial Government of the United Provinces Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Rampur 899 533,212 (chiefly Hindus and Muslims) 33 Nawab, Pathan, Muslim 13 Commissioner for Bareilly (ex officio Political Agent) Tehri (Garhwal) 4,180 268,885 (chiefly Hindus) 3 Raja, Rajput Hindu 11 Commissioner of Kumaun (ex officio Political Agent) Total 5,079 802,097 36
- Central Provinces (15 States)
15 States under the suzerainty of the Provincial Government of the Central Provinces Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Kalahandi 3,745 284,465 (chiefly Hindus) 4 Raja, Rajput, Hindu 9 Political Agent for the Chattisgarh Feudatories Bastar 13,062 306,501 (chiefly Animists) 3 Raja, Kshatriya, Hindu Political Agent for the Chattisgarh Feudatories 13 other states 12,628 1,339,353 (chiefly Hindus) 16 11 Total 29,435 1,996,383 21
- Punjab (34 States)
34 states under the suzerainty of the Provincial Government of the Punjab Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Bahawalpur 15,000 720,877 (chiefly Muslims) 24 Nawab, Daudputra, Muslim 17 Political Agent for Phulkian States and Bahawalpur Patiala 5,412 1,596,692 (chiefly Hindus and Sikhs) 57 Maharaja, Sidhu Jat, Sikh 17 Political Agent for Phulkian States and Bahawalpur Nabha 928 297,949 (chiefly Hindus and Sikhs) 12 Raja, Sidhu Jat, Sikh 15 (including 4 guns personal to the then ruler Political Agent for Phulkian States and Bahawalpur Jind 1,259 282,003 (chiefly Hindus and Sikhs) 15 Raja, Sidhu Jat, Sikh 11 Political Agent for Phulkian States and Bahawalpur Kapurthala 630 314,351 (chiefly Muslims and Hindus) 13 Raja, Ahluwalia Kolal, Sikh 11 Commissioner of the Jullundur Division (ex-officio Political Agent) Faridkot 642 124,912 (Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims) 4 Raja, Barar Jat, Sikh 11 Commissioner of the Jullundur Division (ex-officio Political Agent) 28 other states 12,661 1,087,614 30 Total 36,532 4,424,398 155
- Assam (26 States)
26 States under the suzerainty of the Provincial Government of Assam Name of Princely State Area in Square Miles Population in 1901 Approximate Revenue of the State (in hundred thousand Rupees) Title, ethnicity, and religion of ruler Gun-Salute for Ruler Designation of local political officer Manipur 8,456 284,465 (chiefly Hindus and Animists) 4 Raja, Kshatriya, Hindu 11 Political Agent in Manipur 25 Khasi States 3,900 110,519 (Khasis and Christians) 0.5 Deputy Commissioner, Khasi and Jaintia Hills Total 12,356 394,984 4.5
Political integration of princely states in 1947 and afterMain article: Political integration of India
At the time of Indian independence, India was divided into two sets of territories, the first being the territories of "British India", which were under the direct control of the India Office in London and the Governor-General of India, and the second being the "Princely states", the territories over which the Crown had suzerainty, but which were under the control of their hereditary rulers. In addition, there were several colonial enclaves controlled by France and Portugal. The political integration of these territories into India was a declared objective of the Indian National Congress, which the Government of India pursued over the next decade. Through a combination of factors, Vallabhbhai Patel and V. P. Menon convinced the rulers of almost all of the hundreds of princely states to accede to India. Having secured their accession, they then proceeded to, in a step-by-step process, secure and extend the central government's authority over these states and transform their administrations until, by 1956, there was little difference between the territories that had formerly been part of British India and those that had been part of princely states. Simultaneously, the Government of India, through a combination of diplomatic and military means, acquired de facto and de jure control over the remaining colonial enclaves, which too were integrated into India.
Although this process successfully integrated the vast majority of princely states into India, it was not as successful in relation to a few states, notably the former princely state of Kashmir, the accession of which to India was disputed by Pakistan, the state of Hyderabad, whose ruler was determined to remain independent, and the states of Tripura and Manipur, where active secessionist movements existed.
In 1971, the 26th amendment to the Constitution of India abolished all official symbols of princely India, including titles, privileges, and remuneration (privy purses).
Other princely states
- British Empire: Princely states existed elsewhere in the British Empire. Some of these were considered by the Colonial Office (or earlier by the BHEIC) as satellites of, and usually points of support on the naval routes to, British India, some important enough to be raised to the status of salute states.
- A number of Arab states around the Persian Gulf, including Oman, the present-day United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, were British protectorates under native rulers.
- On the Malay peninsula a number of states, known as the Malay states, were administered by local rulers, who recognized British sovereignty; they still reign, but now constitutionally, in most constitutive states of modern Malaysia.
- Netherlands: Indirect rule through princely states (or even mere tribal chieftaincies) was also practiced in other European nations' colonial empires. An example is the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia), which had dozens of local rulers (mainly Malay and Muslim, others tribal, Hindu or animist). The colonial term in Dutch was regentschap 'regency', but did not apply to lower-level fiefs. Some rulers were also given precedence amongst others such as the Susuhunan of Surakarta and the Sultan of Yogyakarta (direct successors to the old Mataram Empire from which all the regencies in Java belonged to), which were recognized through their Vorstenlanden kingdoms and enjoyed a degree of autonomy and power amongst other regions. The state of Yogyakarta survives to this day as a special region, with its Sultan recognized as the hereditary local Governor.
- See List of Indian Princely States for a list of Indian princely states at the time of Indian Independence
- Prince and Principality for information on princely styles worldwide
- ^ Ramusack 2004, pp. 85 Quote: “The British did not create the Indian princes. Before and during the European penetration of India, indigenous rulers achieved dominance through the military protection they provided to dependents and their skill in acquiring revenues to maintain their military and administrative organisations. Major Indian rulers exercised varying degrees and types of sovereign powers before they entered treaty relations with the British. What changed during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is that the British increasingly restricted the sovereignty of Indian rulers. The Company set boundaries; it extracted resources in the form of military personnel, subsidies or tribute payments, and the purchase of commercial goods at favourable prices, and limited opportunities for other alliances. From the 1810s onwards as the British expanded and consolidated their power, their centralised military despotism dramatically reduced the political options of Indian rulers. (p. 85)”
- ^ Ramusack 2004, p. 87 Quote: “The British system of indirect rule over Indian states ... provided a model for the efficient use of scarce monetary and personnel resources that could be adopted to imperial acquisitions in Malaya and Africa. (p. 87)”
- ^ Interpretation Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict. c. 63), s. 18
- ^ 1. Imperial Gazetteer of India, volume IV, published under the authority of the Secretary of State for India-in-Council, 1909, Oxford University Press. page 5. Quote: "The history of British India falls, as observed by Sir C. P. Ilbert in his Government of India, into three periods. From the beginning of the seventeenth century to the middle of the eighteenth century the East India Company is a trading corporation, existing on the sufferance of the native powers and in rivalry with the merchant companies of Holland and France. During the next century the Company acquires and consolidates its dominion, shares its sovereignty in increasing proportions with the Crown, and gradually loses its mercantile privileges and functions. After the mutiny of 1857 the remaining powers of the Company are transferred to the Crown, and then follows an era of peace in which India awakens to new life and progress." 2. The Statutes: From the Twentieth Year of King Henry the Third to the ... by Robert Harry Drayton, Statutes of the Realm - Law - 1770 Page 211 (3) "Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, the law of British India and of the several parts thereof existing immediately before the appointed ..." 3. Edney, M. E. (1997) Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of British India, 1765-1843, University of Chicago Press. 480 pages. ISBN 978-0-226-18488-3 4. Hawes, C.J. (1996) Poor Relations: The Making of a Eurasian Community in British India, 1773-1833. Routledge, 217 pages. ISBN 0-7007-0425-6.
- ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. II 1908, p. 463,470 Quote1: "Before passing on to the political history of British India, which properly begins with the Anglo-French Wars in the Carnatic, ... (p.463)" Quote2: "The political history of the British in India begins in the eighteenth century with the French Wars in the Carnatic. (p.471)"
- ^ a b Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, p. 60
- ^ 
- ^ a b Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, p. 92
- ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, p. 93
- ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, pp. 94–95
- ^ a b Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, p. 96
- ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, p. 101
- ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, p. 98
- ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, p. 97
- ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, p. 99
- ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, p. 102
- ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, p. 100
- ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV 1907, p. 103
- ^ "The Constitution (26 Amendment) Act, 1971", indiacode.nic.in (Government of India), 1971, http://indiacode.nic.in/coiweb/amend/amend26.htm, retrieved 9 November 2011
- ^ 1. Ramusack, Barbara N. (2004). The Indian princes and their states. Cambridge University Press. p. 278. ISBN 978-0-521-26727-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=Kz1-mtazYqEC&pg=PA278. Retrieved 6 November 2011. , "Through a constitutional amendment passed in 1971, Indira Gandhi stripped the princes of the titles, privy purses and regal privileges which her father's government had granted." (p 278). 2. Naipaul, V. S. (8 April 2003), India: A Wounded Civilization, Random House Digital, Inc., pp. 37–, ISBN 978-1-4000-3075-0, http://books.google.com/books?id=XYeWbmq7pkIC&pg=PT37, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "The princes of India – their number and variety reflecting to a large extent the chaos that had come to the country with the break up of the Mughal empire – had lost real power in the British time. Through generations of idle servitude they had grown to specialize only in style. A bogus, extinguishable glamour: in 1947, with Independence, they had lost their state, and Mrs. Gandhi in 1971 had, without much public outcry, abolished their privy purses and titles." (pp 37–38). 3. Schmidt, Karl J. (1995), An atlas and survey of South Asian history, M.E. Sharpe, p. 78, ISBN 978-1-56324-334-9, http://books.google.com/books?id=FzmkFXSgxqgC&pg=PA78, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "Although the Indian states were alternately requested or forced into union with either India or Pakistan, the real death of princely India came when the Twenty-sixth Amendment Act (1971) abolished the princes' titles, privileges, and privy purses." (page 78). 4. Breckenridge, Carol Appadurai (1995), Consuming modernity: public culture in a South Asian world, U of Minnesota Press, pp. 84–, ISBN 978-0-8166-2306-8, http://books.google.com/books?id=LN4MN35b-r4C&pg=PA84, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "The third stage in the political evolution of the princes from rulers to citizens occurred in 1971, when the constitution ceased to recognize them as princes and their privy purses, titles, and special privileges were abolished." (page 84). 5. Guha, Ramachandra (5 August 2008), India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy, HarperCollins, pp. 441–, ISBN 978-0-06-095858-9, http://books.google.com/books?id=2fvd-CaFdqYC&pg=PA441, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "Her success at the polls emboldened Mrs. Gandhi to act decisively against the princes. Through 1971, the two sides tried and failed to find a settlement. The princes were willing to forgo their privy purses, but hoped at least to save their titles. But with her overwhelming majority in Parliament, the prime minister had no need to compromise. On 2 December she introduced a bill to amend the constitution and abolish all princely privileges. It was passed in the Lok Sabha by 381 votes to six, and in the Rajya Sabha by 167 votes to seven. In her own speech, the prime minister invited 'the princes to join the elite of the modern age, the elite which earns respect by its talent, energy and contribution to human progress, all of which can only be done when we work together as equals without regarding anybody as of special status.' " (page 441). 6. Cheesman, David (1997). Landlord power and rural indebtedness in colonial Sind, 1865-1901. London: Routledge. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-0-7007-0470-5. http://books.google.com/books?id=rtBi1MgVD0AC&pg=PA10. Retrieved 6 November 2011. Quote: "The Indian princes survived the British Raj by only a few years. The Indian republic stripped them of their powers and then their titles." (page 10). 7. Merriam-Webster, Inc (1997), Merriam-Webster's geographical dictionary, Merriam-Webster, pp. 520–, ISBN 978-0-87779-546-9, http://books.google.com/books?id=Co_VIPIJerIC&pg=PA520, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "Indian States: "Various (formerly) semi-independent areas in India ruled by native princes .... Under British rule ... administered by residents assisted by political agents. Titles and remaining privileges of princes abolished by Indian government 1971." (page 520). 8. Ward, Philip (September 1989), Northern India, Rajasthan, Agra, Delhi: a travel guide, Pelican Publishing, pp. 91–, ISBN 978-0-88289-753-0, http://books.google.com/books?id=KubCD2jHjEsC&pg=PA91, retrieved 6 November 2011 Quote: "A monarchy is only as good as the reigning monarch: thus it is with the princely states. Once they seemed immutable, invincible. In 1971 they were "derecognized," their privileges, privy purses and titles all abolished at a stroke" (page 91)
- Template:Dr.Sanjay Alung-Chhattisgarh ki purv Riyaste aura Jamindariyaa(Vibhan Prakashan,Raipur-1, ISBN 81-89244-96-5)http://www.scribd.com/doc/72030961/Dr-Sanjay-Alung-CG-Ki-Riyaste-Jamindariya-Hindi
- Copland, Ian (2002), Princes of India in the Endgame of Empire, 1917-1947, (Cambridge Studies in Indian History & Society). Cambridge and London: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 316, ISBN 0521894360, http://www.amazon.com/Princes-Endgame-19171947-Cambridge-Studies/dp/0521894360/ .
- Harrington, Jack (2010), Sir John Malcolm and the Creation of British India, Chs. 4 & 5., New York: Palgrave Macmillan., ISBN 978-0-230-10885-1
- Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. II (1908), The Indian Empire, Historical, Published under the authority of His Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council, Oxford at the Clarendon Press. Pp. xxxv, 1 map, 573.
- Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. III (1907), The Indian Empire, Economic (Chapter X: Famine, pp. 475–502, Published under the authority of His Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council, Oxford at the Clarendon Press. Pp. xxxvi, 1 map, 520.
- Imperial Gazetteer of India vol. IV (1907), The Indian Empire, Administrative, Published under the authority of His Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council, Oxford at the Clarendon Press. Pp. xxx, 1 map, 552.
- Ramusack, Barbara (2004), The Indian Princes and their States (The New Cambridge History of India), Cambridge and London: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 324, ISBN 0521039894, http://www.amazon.com/Indian-Princes-States-Cambridge-History/dp/0521267277
- Exclusively on Indian princely states and domains at Queensland University
- Indian Princely states and their History and detailed Genealogy - Royalark
- Sir Roper Lethbridge (1893). The Golden Book of India: A Genealogical and Biographical Dictionary of the Ruling Princes, Chiefs, Nobles, and Other Personages, Titled or Decorated, of the Indian Empire (Full text). Macmillan And Co., New York. http://www.archive.org/stream/goldenbookofindi00lethuoft/goldenbookofindi00lethuoft_djvu.txt.
- Exhaustive lists of rulers and heads of government, and some biographies.
21 Gun Salute 19 Gun Salute 17 Gun SaluteBahawalpur · Kota · Bharatpur · Bikaner · Kutch · Pudukkottai · Jaipur · Jodhpur · Patiala · Bundi · Cochin · Karauli · Rewa · Tonk 15 Gun Salute 13 Gun SaluteBhavnagar · Jind · Junagadh · Kapurthala · Benares · Nabha · Nawanagar · Ratlam · Cooch Behar · Dhrangadhra · Jaora · Jhalawar · Palanpur · Porbandar · Rajpipla · Tripura 11 Gun SaluteJanjira · Ajaigarh · Alirajpur · Baoni · Barwani · Bijawar · Cambay · Chamba · Charkhari · Chhatarpur · Chitral · Faridkot · Gondal · Bilaspur · Jhabua · Malerkotla · Mandi · Manipur · Morvi · Narsinghgarh · Panna · Radhanpur · Rajgarh · Sailana · Samthar · Sirmaur · Sitamau · Suket · Tehri Garhwal · WankanerList of Indian princely states · List of Indian princely states (alphabetical) · Salute stateCategories:
- British rule in India
- Indian Princely States
- Types of country subdivisions
- States by power status
- Puppet states
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