INDIA: Twilight of the Princes

"Need we cavil at the small price we have paid for a bloodless revolution which has affected the destinies of millions of our peoples?" With this eloquent plea, Deputy Prime Minister Vallabhbhai Patel last year won over reluctant Congressmen to his plan for pensioning off India's princes. In return, the princes peacefully turned over their 587,888 square miles and 88 million subjects to republican administration. Last week in a white paper, Patel's Ministry of States disclosed the "small price": 56 million rupees (some $2,600,000) a year in "purses" paid out to 283...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!