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Indian Royals Betrayed
Before and After Indian Independence.


Royals of India were betrayed by the British before the independence. 
Royals of India were betrayed by the Indian (Congress) Government after the independence. 

At the time of Indian Independence, 1947, Indian royals had the choice to keep their kingdoms intact and become free of all old allegiances to the British crown or join the new republics of India and Pakistan.  Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and V.P.Menon convinced, cajoled, coerced over 550 Indian rulers to accede their territories to the Indian Union.  Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, advised the kings to merge their kingdoms with emerging nations of India or Pakistan.  He based this advise on the fact that the British Indian territories were going to be transferred to these two nations and a merger would serve in the best interest of the nation and its people.  He listened to Congress’s argument that a nation divided between 560 kingdoms and British territories would feel like a moth eaten cloth and be difficult to govern.  Viceroy, on behalf of the British Crown, promised that they would negotiate a fair deal for the kings and not abandon them despite the ending of the British Raj.  Kings’ misdemeanors and records of past sins, public and private, were burned in a bonfire of secret government files.  Payments into privy purse of former royals was arranged to make the loss of kingdoms more palatable to the royals.  On the express advice of the Viceroy, representative of the British Crown in India, all but two kings decided to merge their kingdoms with either India or Pakistan. 

Unlike what the Congress and communists preach, privy purses of the kings were not a generous charity from India to the ex-rulers of Princely states.  Privy purses were actually designed to compensate kings for having donated their kingdoms, lands, income and revenue to the newly formed states of India and Pakistan.  Privy purses were meant to be their fair dues for having cooperated with the process of creating a ‘whole’ country as opposed to a fragmented one.  This was a small price to pay for unity and cohesiveness of India / Pakistan as a whole.

Over 550 Princely states became part of Indian Union. 
A handful of states signed up to join Pakistan. 
Two states, Jammu & Kashmir and Hydrabad decided to stay independent. 
Pakistan forced the hand of Kashmir’s king and he acceded his kingdom to India to save it from being looted by Pakistani soldiers. 
In September 1948, Sardar Patel assisted a local uprising to annex Hydrabad into India.    

It is terribly sad to think that the daughter of the man these kings negotiated with, Jawaharlal Nehru, reneged on their promises and tore up the agreements faithfully entered into only a generation ago.  In 1971, Indira, daughter of Jahawarlal, took away all their privileges, titles and privy purses from former kings of India, reducing men who had sacrificed EVERTHING for the unity of India, to penury.  Ostensibly, this was done to save money being spent on rich families and provide more money for better government of India.  However, Indira’s long rule of 15 years was big on slogans but delivered very little actual progress for India.  

For the former rulers of India, this second betrayal was made more bitter by the fact that no one, not even the British, stood by the kings to remind Indira that the kings were not living at the mercy of her largesse, but they were actually being compensated for their large hearts.  No one, not even the judiciary stood by the kings for the breach of faith and broken promises.  Congress government used constitution amendments, land reforms and media to beggar the Maharajas of India.  Sadly Congress used the same tactics to deprive Hindu temples of their lands, properties and appropriated their incomes too.

Indian kings, betrayed before and after Independence, have had to survive by selling their inheritance, converting their palaces to hotels and taking up jobs they once gave to others. Since the abolishment of privy purses, many precious royal heirlooms have been sold by kings, princes, nizams and nawabs of India to sustain their families.  In recent years, many royal palaces have been converted to luxury hotels as an innovative alternative to fund their upkeep and maintenance.  Royal heirs are now working as paid employees in every field imaginable including IT and environment.  What else can they do when they are betrayed by those they trusted the most?


Here are a few related links on subject  how much each family was paid  king > conservationist 


© Bhagwat Shah   
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