Privy Purse in India
In India, the Privy Purse was a payment made to the royal families of erstwhile princely states as part of their agreements to first integrate with India in 1947, and later to merge their states in 1949 whereby they lost all ruling rights. The Privy Purse was continued to the royal families until the 26th Constitutional Amendment of 1971, by which all their privileges and allowances from the Central Government would cease to exist, was implemented after a two year legal battle. In some individual cases however privy purses were continued for life for individuals who had held ruling powers before 1947.
When Britain ceded its paramountcy over British India (including the modern states of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), a large portion of the subcontinent was held by rulers whose position and status within the British Raj varied. There were in 1947 more than 565 such princely states in India whose position and relation with the Paramount Power was determined by separate treaties. A system of Gun salutes also determined the importance of each state. On the eve of independence, most of these states had signed the Instrument of Accession with either India or Pakistan. Only certain states pressed for claims of complete independence after the British left India. However, due to the diplomacy of Vallabhbhai Patel and VP Menon, Travancore, Bhopal and Jodhpur signed the Instruments of Accession before 15 August 1947. Even after independence three states vacillated, namely Kashmir, Junagadh and Hyderabad which were integrated later.
The Instruments of Accession needed the states to only cede defense, communications and foreign relations to India. Democratic institutions were introduced in these states and it was only in 1949 that they were fully merged with India to form new states. Thus Travancore Ambliara and Cochin merged into India and formed the new state of Thiru-Kochi. Although in 1947 the royal families had been allowed to retain large sums of money as their Privy Purse, in 1949 with the states and its revenues being entirely taken over by the Government of India, it was the Indian Government that provided the rulers and their families with Privy Purses that were determined by several factors such as revenue of the state, gun salute enjoyed, antiquity of the dynasty and so on. Dewan Jarmani Dass of Kapurthala says:
|“||Thus the rulers surrendered their sovereignty and as a quid pro quo they were granted handsome Privy Purses and other privileges.||”|
Recipients and amounts 
As stated above, the Privy Purses were determined by several factors. Minor feudatories of the erstwhile princely states received whatever little allowances the princely governments had been providing them. For the 565 princely states, Privy Purses ranged from 5000 (US$92) per annum to amounts in millions. Only 6 of the most important states in India were provided with Privy Purses above Rs. 10 lakh (US$18,000). These states were Hyderabad, Mysore, Travancore, Baroda, Jaipur and Patiala. For several rulers, the agreements provided for a reduction in the Privy Purse for successors. For certain other states, while certain amounts were guaranteed for the time being, it was liable to be reduced soon after. Thus Hyderabad which received initially a Privy Purse of Rs. 4285714 (US$78,000) was a few years later guaranteed a 2000000 (US$37,000) purse. The Government of India also generally reduced the allowances with every succession in the family.
The motion to abolish Privy Purses, and the official recognition of the titles, was originally brought before the Parliament in 1969 and was defeated by one vote in the Rajya Sabha, 149 voting for and 75 against.
It was again proposed in 1971 by the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi and was successfully passed as the 26th Amendment to the Constitution of India in 1971. Indira Gandhi argued the case for abolition based on equal rights for all citizens and the need to reduce the government's revenue deficit.
Many erstwhile royals tried to protest the abolition of the Privy Purse, primarily through campaigns to contest seats in the Lok Sabha elections of 1971. They, however, received a rude shock when many of them were defeated by huge margins. This included Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the last and former Nawab of Pataudi, who contested from Gurgaon. Mansoor contested as a candidate for the Vishal Haryana Party, but received barely 5% of the vote in a two-way contest.
- "Twenty Sixth Amendment". Indiacode.nic.in. 1971-12-28. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- HH Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayis allowance was reinstated after a prolonged legal battle until her death in 1985. "At the turn of the Tide, the Life and Times of Maharani Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, the Last Queen of Travancore" by Dr. Lakshmi Raghunandan
- "Maharaja" by Jarmani Dass
- "Maharaja" by Jarmani Dass, page 424-435
- "H. H. Maharajadhiraja Madhav Rao vs Union Of India on 15 December, 1970". Indian Kanoon. p. See para 44. Retrieved 16 October 2012. "The Bill was voted upon in the Lok Sabha on September 2, 1970. 332 votes for and 154 votes against it, were cast. It was considered in the Rajya Sabha ,on September 5, 1970 and was defeated, 149 voting for and 75 against it. It failed in the Rajya Sabha to reach the requisite majority of not less than two-thirds of the members present and voting."
- Cricketers in Politics