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Patrons, Clients, and EmpireChieftaincy and Over-rule in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific$
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Colin Newbury

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199257812.001.0001

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Rulers and Raj

Rulers and Raj

(p.56) 4 Rulers and Raj
Patrons, Clients, and Empire


Oxford University Press

Preservation of Indian princes under the Crown kept most states outside the jurisdiction of British India. Company precedents, rather than prescriptive regulations, influenced the role of political officers as envoys and advisers to maharajas and chieftains of client states. In practice, officers were brokers for more distant patrons located in regional presidencies — the central government's Foreign and Political Department and in the Viceroy's Council. Methods of supervision included creation of a network of clients of the resident and influencing state revenues through an appointed dewan (finance minister). Some states yielded resources through loans, railway and mineral concessions and regiments. As in all patron-client relations there was bargaining for advantage, willing loyalty, and sullen opposition. Some rulers were deposed. For others, imperial honours and improvement in the internal administration of patrimonial courts sheltered princes from the challenge of nationalist opposition. But official patronage could not secure for princes a constitutional role in an independent India.

Keywords:   political officers, client states, dewan, resources, honours, princes

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