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British versus Princely Legacies and the Political Integration of Gujarat

John R. Wood
The Journal of Asian Studies
Vol. 44, No. 1 (Nov., 1984), pp. 65-99
DOI: 10.2307/2056747
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2056747
Page Count: 35
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British versus Princely Legacies and the Political Integration of Gujarat
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Abstract

The political integration of British India and princely India is generally assumed to be an accomplished fact, but in contemporary Indian states that contain both ex-British and ex-princely territory and population the different legacies of British and princely rule remained influential long after independence and merger. Analysis of the de facto political integration of Gujarat between 1943 and 1969 reveals five stages of bargaining between ex-British and ex-princely nationalist elites. At each stage the interests of these elites--schooled in contrasting historical-political traditions--had to be consulted and compensated; the results can be discerned in the differential electoral behavior of the ex-British-dominated Mainland and ex-princely Saurashtra regions. Eventually, the political resources and training of Mainland politicians proved more appropriate for universal franchise politics than did those of the ex-princely Saurashtrians. However, as of 1969, the objective of an integrated political community in Gujarat was still to be achieved.

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