Dominion of India

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Dominion of India
भारत अधिराज्य
Bhārata Adhirājya

1947–1950


Flag

Anthem
None
Royal anthem
God Save the King
Capital New Delhi
Languages Hindi, English
Religion Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity
Government Constitutional monarchy
Monarch
 -  1936-1950 George VI
Governor-General previously Viceroy
 -  1947–1948 Louis Mountbatten
 -  1948–1950 C. Rajagopalachari
Prime Minister previously Secretary for State
 -  1947-1950 Jawaharlal Nehru
Legislature Constituent Assembly
Historical era First World War
 -  Indian Independence Act 15 August 1947
 -  Indo-Pakistani War 22 October 1947
 -  Constitution adopted 26 January 1950
Area
 -  1950 3,287,263 km² (1,269,219 sq mi)
Currency Indian rupee

The Dominion of India (Hindi: भारत अधिराज्य, Bhārata Adhirājya) was a predecessor to modern-day India and an independent state that existed between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950. It was transformed into the Republic of India by the promulgation of the Constitution of India on 26 January 1950.[1]

George VI was made King of India (the head of state) and was represented by the Governor-General of India. However, the governor-general was not designated viceroy, as had been customary under the British Raj. Two governors-general held office in India during the Dominion period (after the office of Viceroy was abolished by the Indian Independence Act 1947): the Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1947–48) and Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1948–50). Jawaharlal Nehru held office as prime minister formerly as Secretary for State (the head of government) of the Union of India throughout this period. Unlike the Indian subcontinent, countries such as Canada and Australia have chosen to retain the British monarch as head of state, although the topic of switching towards a republic has been discussed many times.

Standard of the Governor-General (1947–1950)

Partition of India[edit]

Main article: Partition of India

In mid-August 1947 India won independence from the British and was partitioned to create a new country, Pakistan. Two dominions were created and both joined the British Commonwealth as self-governing dominions. The partition left Punjab and Bengal, two of the biggest provinces, divided between India and Pakistan. An estimated 3.5 million people[2] migrated to India in fear of domination and suppression in Muslim Pakistan. Communal violence killed an estimated one million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, and gravely destabilised both dominions along their Punjab and Bengal boundaries, and the cities of Calcutta, Delhi and Lahore.

The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India, drafted by a committee headed by B. R. Ambedkar, on 26 November 1949. India (with the addition of Sikkim) became a federal, democratic republic after its constitution came into effect on 26 January 1950. Rajendra Prasad became the first President of India.

Monarchy[edit]

The monarchy of India was the system in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign of the India from 1947 to 1950. India shared the same person as its sovereign with the United Kingdom and the other Dominions in the British Commonwealth of Nations. The monarch's constitutional roles were mostly carried out by the governor-general. The royal succession was governed by the Act of Settlement 1701.

On 22 June 1948, King George VI abandoned the title King-Emperor and Queen Elizabeth Queen-Empress.[3]


The monarchy was abolished on 26 January 1950, when India became a republic within the Commonwealth, the first Commonwealth country to do so.

List of Indian monarchs[edit]

House of Windsor
Portrait Name Birth Death Monarch From Monarch Until Relationship with Predecessor(s)
King George VI.jpg King George VI 14 December 1895 6 February 1952 15 August 1947 26 January 1950 None (position ceded)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Mohin Jadarro Harappa. India Divided Religion 'Then' (1947) (East-West): 'Now' What Languages ( North-South ) ?. Publish America. p. 65. 
  2. ^ Timeline, PBS.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 38330. p. 3647. 22 June 1948. Retrieved 25 August 2014. Royal Proclamation of 22 June 1948, made in accordance with the Indian Independence Act 1947, 10 & 11 GEO. 6. CH. 30.('Section 7: ...(2)The assent of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is hereby given to the omission from the Royal Style and Titles of the words " Indiae Imperator " and the words " Emperor of India " and to the issue by His Majesty for that purpose of His Royal Proclamation under the Great Seal of the Realm.'). According to this Royal Proclamation, the King retained the Style and Titles 'George VI by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith', and he thus remained King of the various Dominions, including India and Pakistan, though these two (and others) eventually chose to abandon their monarchies and became republics.