Mysore, with an area about the size of Scotland and ruled by the most enlightened of princely autocracies, is the best example of the failure of the princely order to survive the end of the British Raj. It is also the only Princely State, which had a well-developed Congress party before the independence. This volume is the first full-length study on this major region of India. Unusually broad in scope, it traces the course of political change in Mysore from 1917, when non-officials began to seek power from an autocratic regime, to 1955, when the Congress party that had seized power in 1947, established itself as the state’s central political force. It also examines the integration of the many, isolated rural political arenas into an organically whole political system at several levels – national, state, district and local – are discussed to uncover the different motivations underlying the political behaviour. Besides, it presents the first statewide examination of the changing patterns of social organisation among Mysore’s two dominant castes, and discusses the interaction of social and political change there.
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