India: Reprieve for the Rajahs

One of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's major political goals has been to abolish the special privileges long accorded to India's 278 maharajahs and rajahs. Last September, after Parliament failed to approve a bill that would amend the constitution and reduce their highnesses to just plain misters, she ordered the President of India, V.V. Giri, to issue a decree achieving the same goal.

To her chagrin, the nation's Supreme Court last week struck down her cherished accomplishment by a 9-to-2 margin. The court agreed with the princes that the decree violated their traditional...

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