Indian Rajah



Please note that the commentaries on this wiki:world_gallery:layered_info:perspectives:museum:strangers:objects:1019073|cigarette card series discuss prevailing attitudes in Britain toward the peoples of the British Empire in 1927 and, thus, can reflect the often-racist opinions of the time. In reading them, you are invited to consider how attitudes and communication on questions of race and nationality in Britain have changed in the years since and continue to change.

Although there were peoples, such as the Baluchi (2011.45.5), who were considered as useful to the Empire, there were also a small number of non-European people who were described as almost as good as Europeans. The Indian princes and rajahs, which the card indicates are allowed to rule under British advice and sufferance, are one such example. Here, they are afforded the respect due to a monarch of similar--if subordinate--authority to that of the British monarch. According to the card, it is these rulers who supplied troops to fight in the First World War, and they are understood, here, as participants in the Empire, rather than solely subjects of it. India, and its princely states, became independent in 1948.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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