Kings Are Disappearing From The Earth

Many countries in the world once had monarchs. But alas, they are no more.

China’s last emperor abdicated on 12 Feb 1912, following Sun Yat-sen’s republican revolution.

After World War 1, Russia forced its last Tsar Nicholas II to abdicate in 15 March 1917.

To the casual observer, China and Russia had become godless regimes by turning into communist governments.

The India And Pakistan Experience

Just recently, I blogged of the disengagement of Colonial British from India in 1947. This led to the newly-created independent nation-states of both India and Pakistan.

We saw how India consolidated about 565 princely states into one nation state. The Hindu Maharajahs had to sign Instruments of Accession to join India.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Rulers known as Nawabs who were kings of Muslim princely states; they also signed Instruments of Accession to join Pakistan.

Thus, we see an unmistakable manifestation of human psychology.

The Hindu-majority states preferred to join India. India prides itself as secular but it is strongly Hindu in many aspects.

[ The Hindu Maharajahs of Hyderabad and Kalat opted for self-independence in 1947 but their states were annexed by the Indian military in 1948. ]

On the other hand, the Muslim-majority states preferred to join Muslim Pakistan.

What does this really say?

Firstly, religion will rule human hearts and become a strong factor in politics.

Secondly, the independence of India and Pakistan saw the dissolution of nearly 600 monarchies.


Case Study – Junagadh

Junagadh is a Hindu-majority populace with a Muslim Ruler. Its Nawab decided to merge Junagadh into Pakistan but was fiercely resisted by the Hindu majority. This led to a referendum and eventual integration of Junagadh into India.


Case Study – Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim-majority populace with a Hindu Maharajah named Hari Singh. He signed the Instrument of Accession to join India in 1947. This led to war between India and Pakistan, resulting in a split state of Kashmir. Here, we see Muslim citizens’ expectations to be ruled by Islamic law in a Muslim government.

History Lessons

In 1971, Indian PM Indira Gandhi derecognized the Maharajahs by revising the Constitution. The Government of Pakistan also derecognized the Nawabs in 1972.

So the Muslim Nawabs did not fare any better than the Hindu Maharajahs.


Politicians no matter the colour of their skin – are capricious creatures of self-interests.

“To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

The Malaysia Experience

Malaysia is blessed to have a monarchy who is God-fearing  and righteous.

We must guard against our politicians who will try to usurp the role of our King.

I say this again. “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”

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Comparing India To Malaysia. Part 5 of 7

5 - India flag

India and Malaysia share the same journey of learning; both being former British colonies. Even some parts of Malaya’s first Constitution were modeled after India’s Constitution.

The British granted independence to India in 15th August 1947; while Malaya (now Malaysia) won independence in 31st August 1957.

India became a democratic republic where the President is the Head of State; while the Prime Minister is the chief of the Executive branch.

Malaysia became a Constitutional Monarchy where the SUPREME KING AGONG is the Head of State. The Prime Minister is the chief of the Executive branch. Democratic elections are held every five years.

5 - India map

What Happened To The Original Monarchs In India?

After World War 2, BIG BECAME BEAUTIFUL and size was crucial for strategic survival.

In 1947, India had to consolidate about 565 princely states into one nation state. Persuading the Hindu Maharajahs to relinguish power to the federal government.



Their British colonial masters assisted in the crucial negotiations with the Maharajahs. The 565 Maharajahs signed instruments of accession to join India. In exchange; they were allowed their “Maharajah” titles, special privileges and a privy State-purse.

Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Indian Prime Minister from 1947 – 1964. While Rajendra Prasad was the first President of India.



The Winds Of Change.

Then in 1971, there was a power showdown. Indian PM Indira Gandhi with massive support of other politicians; ordered the rewriting of India’s State Constitution.

As a result, the former Maharajahs became ordinary citizens and it was now illegal to use the “Maharajah” title. Their financial lifeline were also cancelled.

On hindsight, Their Royal Majesties gave up their 565 kingdoms – just to become paupers and to die penniless.

Most of all, it taught the former Maharajahs (and us) that politicians can never ever be trusted.

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What Is The Role And Relevance Of Kings Today? Part 1

1 - Kings

I had always been fascinated by the role of kings. Indeed the function of the king had transformed so much since historical times.

These mini-articles are my personal attempt to trace the evolutionary role of the monarchy. Thank you for sharing my journey of discovery.

Quick Links

What Is The Role And Relevance Of Kings Today? Part 1


Kings And Kingdoms ~ Part 2 of 7


A Benevolent King Inspires Loyalty ~ Part 3 of 7


Democracy And Republic ~ Part 4 of 7


Comparing India To Malaysia ~ Part 5 of 7


The Story Of Malaya And Malaysia ~ Part 6 of 7


Is Malaysia An Islamic Nation? Part 7 of 7


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