Mohammed Abdullah Sheikh was a Kashmiri politician who played a central role in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost Indian state. The self-styled "Sher-e-Kashmir", Abdullah was the founding leader of the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference and the 2nd Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, he urged self-rule for Kashmir. However, in his letter to Maharaja Hari Singh dated September 26, 1947 he apologized Maharaja for instigating people on communal lines, promised his loyalty to him and throne, he served as the 2nd Prime Minister of the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir after its accession to India in 1947 and was jailed and exiled. He was dismissed from the position of Prime Ministership on 8 August 1953 and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad was appointed as the new Prime Minister; the expressions ‘Sadar-i-Riyasat’ and ‘Prime Minister’ were replaced with the terms ‘Governor’ and ‘Chief Minister’ in 1965. Sheikh Abdullah again became the Chief Minister of the state following the 1974 Indira-Sheikh accord and remained in the top slot till his death on 8 September 1982.
Abdullah Sheikh was born in Soura, a village on the outskirts of Srinagar, eleven days after the death of his father Sheikh Mohammed Ibrahim. His father was a middle class trader of Kashmiri shawls, he was a descendent of a Hindu named Ragho Ram, converted to Islam in 1722 by the saint Rashid Balkhi and after conversion changed his name to Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, as per Abdullah's autobiography Atish-e-Chinar. According to Abdullah Sheikh, his step brother mistreated his mother and his early childhood was marked by utter poverty, his mother was keen that her children should receive proper education and, so, as a child, he was first admitted to a traditional school or Maktab where he learnt the recitation of the Quran and some basic Persian texts like Gulistan of Sa'di, Padshanama, etc. In 1911 he was admitted to a primary school where he studied for about two years. However, their family barber, he had to walk the distance of ten miles to school and back on foot but in his own words the joy of being allowed to obtain a school education made it seem a light work.
He passed his Matriculation examination from Punjab University in 1922. After matriculation he obtained admission in the leading college of Kashmir, he went to the Prince of Wales College in Jammu. He took admission in Islamia College and graduated from there. In 1930, he obtained an M. Sc. in Chemistry from Aligarh Muslim University. During his college days he was an eye witness of the protests of the workers of the Government Silk Factory during the Silk Factory Workers Agitation and the sight of workers agitating for their rights made a deep impression on him and was an important factor in motivating him to struggle for the rights of the people of the Jammu and Kashmir State; as a student at Aligarh Muslim University, he came in contact with and was influenced by persons with liberal and progressive ideas. He became convinced that the feudal system was responsible for the miseries of the Kashmiris and like all progressive nations of the world Kashmir too should have a democratically elected government.
Abdullah Sheikh and his colleagues were influenced by the lectures of a Kashmiri polymath and lawyer Molvi Abdullah. Molvi Abdullah's son Molvi Abdul Rahim, Abdullah Sheikh and Ghulam Nabi Gilkar were the first three educated Kashmiri youth to be arrested during the public agitation of 1931. Kashmir's first political party the Kashmir Muslim Conference with Abdullah Sheikh as President, Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas as general secretary, Molvi Abdul Rahim as Secretary was formed on 16 October 1932. In his presidential address Abdullah Sheikh categorically stated that the Muslim Conference had come into existence to struggle for the rights of all oppressed sections of the society and not Muslims alone, it was not a communal party and would struggle for the rights of the oppressed, whether Hindu, Muslim or Sikh, with the same fervor. He reasserted. In March 1933 the Muslim Conference constituted a committee which included Molvi Abdullah and nine other members for the purpose of establishing contacts with non-Muslim parties and exploring the possibility of forming a joint organisation.
Those nine members were Khwaja Saad-ud-din Shawl, Khwaja Hassan Shah Naqshbandi, Mirwaiz Kashmir, Molvi Ahmad-Ullah, Mirwaiz Hamadani, Agha Syed Hussain Shah Jalali, Mufti Sharif-ud-din, Molvi Atiq-Ullah and Haji Jafar Khan. According to Abdullah Sheikh this effort was not successful because of the unfavourable reception of the idea by the non-Muslim parties. Abdullah Sheikh campaigned to change the name of the Muslim Conference to National Conference, under the influence of among others Jawaharlal Nehru. After a prolonged and vigorous campaign a special session of the Muslim Conference held in June 1939 voted to change the name of the party to National Conference. Of the 176 members attending the session, 172 members voted in favour of the resolution. According to Abdullah Sheikh the support of Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas of Jammu was important in motivating the members to vote for this change; as a result of the 1931 agitation, the Maharajah appointed a Grievances Commission with an Englishman B.
J. Glancy as President who submitted its report in March 1932. Subsequently, a Constitutional Reforms Conference presided over by B. J. Glancy recommended the setting up of an elected Legislative Assembly. A Praja Sabha with 33 elected and 42 nominated members elected on the basis of separate electorates for Hindus and Musli
The Kashmir Valley known as the Vale of Kashmir, is an intermontane valley in the portion of the Kashmir region administered by India. The valley is bounded on the southwest by the Pir Panjal Range and on the northeast by the main Himalayas range, it is 135 km long and 32 km wide, drained by the Jhelum River. Kashmir division is one of the three administrative divisions of the Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir; the Kashmir division borders Jammu Division to the south and Ladakh to the east while Line of Control forms its northern and the western border. The division consists of the following districts: Anantnag, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Pulwama and Srinagar. In the first half of the 1st millennium, the Kashmir region became an important centre of Hinduism and of Buddhism. In 1339, Shah Mir became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir, inaugurating the Salatin-i-Kashmir or Swati dynasty. For the next five centuries, Muslim monarchs ruled Kashmir, including the Mughals, who ruled from 1526 until 1751, the Afghan Durrani Empire, which ruled from 1747 until 1819.
That year, the Sikhs, under Ranjit Singh, annexed Kashmir. In 1846, after the Sikh defeat in the First Anglo-Sikh War, upon the purchase of the region from the British under the Treaty of Amritsar, the Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh, became the ruler of a new State of Jammu and Kashmir; the rule of his descendants, under the paramountcy of the British Crown, lasted until 1947. In that year, facing a rebellion in the western districts of the state as well as an invasion by Pashtun tribes instigated by the Dominion of Pakistan, the Maharaja of the princely state signed the Instrument of Accession, joining the Dominion of India. Subsequently, he transferred power to a popular government headed by Sheikh Abdullah. Following this, a war ensued between Pakistan; the territory of the state, has been the centre of a dispute since, now administered by three countries: India and the People's Republic of China, the latter having taken control of Aksai Chin in 1964. Kashmir valley is however under the control of India and is about 15,948 Square Kilometres in area, about 15.73% of the total area under Indian control.
The major ethnic group of Kashmir Valley are Kashmiris and they speak the Kashmiri language. Smaller ethno-linguistic groups include the Gujjars and Bakarwals who live along mountain ranges of the Valley; the Valley has a Muslim majority population and Islam is practiced by 97.16% of the population with the remaining being Hindus, Sikhs and others. The principal spoken languages in the valley are Kashmiri and Urdu, with Urdu being the official language. Many speakers of these languages know English as a second language. Kashmir Division consists of ten districts: Srinagar is its main city and the summer capital of the state. Other main cities are Baramulla, Sopore, Ganderbal etc; the major political parties in the region are the National Conference, the Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party and the Congress. Srinagar in the valley is the summer capital of the state of Kashmir; the capital moves out of the valley in the winter to Jammu in a grand ceremony called Darbar Move. Kashmir Valley has a moderate climate, defined by its geographic location, with the towering Karakoram Range in the north, Pir Panjal Range in the south and west and Zanskar Range in the east.
It can be described as cool in the spring and autumn, mild in the summer and cold in the winter. As a large valley with significant differences in geo-location among various districts, the weather is cooler in the hilly areas compared to the flat lower part. Summer is mild and dry, but relative humidity is high and the nights are cool; the precipitation occurs throughout the year and no month is dry. The hottest month is July and the coldest are December–January. Compared with other plain parts of India, Kashmir valley enjoys a more moderate climate but weather conditions are unpredictable; the recorded high temperature is 33 °C and the recorded low is −18 °C. On 5 and 6 January 2012, after years of little snow, a wave of heavy snow and low temperatures shocked the valley covering it in a thick layer of snow and ice. Kashmir Valley has seen an increase in relative humidity and annual precipitation in the last few years; this is most because of the commercial afforestation projects which include expanding parks and green cover.
Different seasons and climatic conditions in Kashmir Kashmir valley is a popular tourist destination for domestic and foreign tourists. Among the popular tourist places in the valley are Gulmarg that has a ski resort, Dal Lake that has popular house boats and the major Hindu shrine Amarnath Temple. Before insurgency intensified in 1989, tourism formed an important part of the Kashmiri economy; as a result, the tourism economy in the Kashmir valley was worst hit. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims visit holy shrine of Amarnath every year and this benefits the state's economy, but this yatra has put Kashmir on the verge of ecological disaster. Tourism in the Kashmir valley has rebounded in recent years and in 2009, the state became one of the top tourist destinations of India. Gulmarg, one of the most popular ski resort destinations in India, is home to the world's highest green golf course. However, with the decrease in violence in the state has boosted the states economy tourism, it was repor
Azad Jammu and Kashmir, abbreviated as AJK and known as Azad Kashmir, is a nominally self-governing jurisdiction administered by Pakistan. The territory lies west of the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir, was part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Azad Kashmir is part of the greater Kashmir region, the subject of a long-running conflict between Pakistan and India; the territory shares a border with Gilgit-Baltistan, together with which it is referred to by the United Nations and other international organisations as "Pakistan administered Kashmir". Azad Kashmir is one-sixth of the size of Gilgit-Baltistan; the territory borders Pakistan's Punjab province to the south and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to the west. To the east, Azad Kashmir is separated from the state of Jammu and Kashmir by the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan. Azad Kashmir has a total area of 13,297 square kilometres, a total population of 4,045,366 as per the 2017 Census.
The territory has a parliamentary form of government modeled after the Westminster system, with its capital located at Muzaffarabad. The President is the constitutional head of state, while the Prime Minister, supported by a Council of Ministers, is the chief executive; the unicameral Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly elects both President. The state has its own Supreme Court and a High Court, while the Government of Pakistan's Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan serves as a link with Azad Kashmir's government, although Azad Kashmir is not represented in the Parliament of Pakistan; the 2005 earthquake killed 100,000 people and left another three million people displaced, with widespread devastation. Since with help from the Government of Pakistan and foreign donors, reconstruction of infrastructure is underway. Azad Kashmir's economy depends on agriculture, services and remittances sent by members of the British Mirpuri community. Nearly 87% of the households own farms in Azad Kashmir, while the region has a literacy rate of 72% and has the highest school enrollment in Pakistan.
The northern part of Azad Jammu and Kashmir encompasses the lower area of the Himalayas, including Jamgarh Peak. However, Hari Parbat peak in Neelum Valley is the highest peak in the state. Fertile, mountainous valleys are characteristic of Azad Kashmir's geography, making it one of the most beautiful regions of the subcontinent; the region receives rainfall in the summer. Muzaffarabad and Pattan are among the wettest areas of Pakistan. Throughout most of the region, the average rainfall exceeds 1400 mm, with the highest average rainfall occurring near Muzaffarabad. During the summer season, monsoon floods of the rivers Jhelum and Leepa are common due to extreme rains and snow melting. At the time of the Partition of India in 1947, the British abandoned their suzerainty over the princely states, which were left with the options of joining India or Pakistan or remaining independent. Hari Singh, the maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, wanted his state to remain independent. Muslims in Western Jammu province and the Frontier Districts Province had wanted to join Pakistan.
In Spring 1947, an uprising against the Maharaja broke out in Poonch, an area bordering the Rawalpindi division of West Punjab. Maharaja's administration is said to have started levying punitive taxes on the peasantry which provoked a local revolt and the administration resorted to brutal suppression; the area's population, swelled by demobilised soldiers following World War II, rebelled against the Maharaja's forces and gained control of the entire district. Following this victory, the pro-Pakistan chieftains of the western districts of Muzaffarabad and Mirpur proclaimed a provisional Azad Jammu and Kashmir government in Rawalpindi on October 3, 1947. Ghulam Nabi Gilkar, under the assumed name "Mr. Anwar," issued a proclamation in the name of the provisional government in Muzaffarabad. However, this government fizzled out with the arrest of Anwar in Srinagar. On October 24, a second provisional government of Azad Kashmir was established at Palandri under the leadership of Sardar Ibrahim Khan.
On October 21, several thousand Pashtun tribesmen from North-West Frontier Province poured into Jammu and Kashmir to liberate it from the Maharaja's rule. They were equipped with modern arms; the Maharaja's crumbling forces were unable to withstand the onslaught. The raiders captured the towns of Muzaffarabad and Baramulla, the latter 20 miles northwest of the state capital Srinagar. On October 24, the Maharaja requested military assistance from India, which responded that it was unable to help him unless he acceded to India. Accordingly, on October 26, 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh signed an Instrument of Accession, handing over control of defence, external affairs and communications to the Government of India in return for military aid. Indian troops were airlifted into Srinagar. Pakistan intervened subsequently. Fighting ensued between the Indian and Pakistani armies, with the two areas of control more or less stabilised around what is now known as the "Line of Control". India approached the United Nations, asking it to resolve the dispute, resolutions were passed in favour of the holding of a plebiscite with regard to Kashmir's future.
However, no such plebiscite has been held on either side, since there was a precondition which required the withdrawal of the Pakistani Army along with the non-state elements and the subsequent partial withdrawa
Maharaja Gulab Singh Jamwal was the founder of royal Dogra dynasty and first Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, the second largest princely state in British India, created after the defeat of the Sikh Empire in the First Anglo-Sikh War. The Treaty of Amritsar formalised the sale by the British to Gulab Singh for 7,500,000 Nanakshahee Rupees of all the lands in Kashmir that were ceded to them by the Sikhs by the Treaty of Lahore. Gulab Singh was born on 17 October 1792 in a Dogra Rajput family, his father was Mian Kishore Singh Jamwal. He joined the army of Ranjit Singh in 1809 and was sufficiently successful to be granted a jagir worth 12,000 rupees and 90 horses. In 1808, following another conflict, Jammu was annexed by Ranjit Singh. Raja Jit Singh, expelled, found refuge in British India, received in appendage the estate of Akhrota. Ranjit Singh appointed a governor to administer the newly conquered area, expanded in 1819 with the annexation of Kashmir by a Sikh force. In 1820, in appreciation of services rendered by the family, by Gulab Singh in particular, Ranjit Singh bestowed the Jammu region as a hereditary fief upon Kishore Singh.
Apart from their sterling services, the family's intimate association with the region commended Kishore Singh's candidature to the Lahore court. In 1821, Gulab Singh captured conquered Rajouri from Aghar Khan and Kishtwar from Raja Tegh Mohammad Singh; that same year, Gulab Singh took part in the Sikh conquest of Dera Ghazi Khan. He captured and executed his own clansman, Mian Dido Jamwal, leading a rebellion against the Sikhs. Kishore Singh died in 1822 and Gulab Singh was confirmed as Raja of Jammu by his suzerain, Ranjit Singh. Shortly afterward, Gulab Singh secured a formal declaration of renunciation from his kinsman, the deposed Raja Jit Singh; as Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh was one of the most powerful chiefs of the Sikh Empire. Under the Imperial and Feudal Army arrangement, he was entitled to keep a personal army of 3 Infantry Regiments, 15 Light Artillery Guns and 40 Garrison Guns. In 1824 Gulab Singh captured the fort of Samartah, near the holy Mansar Lake. In 1827 he accompanied the Sikh Commander-in-Chief Hari Singh Nalwa, who fought and defeated a horde of Afghan rebels led by Sayyid Ahmed at the Battle of Shaidu.
Between 1831-39 Ranjit Singh bestowed on Gulab Singh the jagir of the salt mines in northern Punjab, the nearby Punjabi towns like Bhera, Jhelum and Gujrat. In 1837, after the death of Hari Singh Nalwa in the Battle of Jamrud, the Muslim tribes of Tanolis, Dhunds and Sudhans rose in revolt in Hazara and Poonch. A local chieftain named Shams Khan led the revolt against the regime and captured several hill forts. Gulab Singh was given the task of crushing the rebellion. After defeating the insurgents in Hazara and Murree hills, Gulab Singh stayed at Kahuta for some time and promoted disunion among the insurgents, his forces were sent to crush the insurgents. Shams Khan and his Sudhan lieutenants were captured and put to death with some cruelty; the contemporary British commentators state. On the death of Ranjit Singh in 1839, Lahore became a center of conspiracies and intrigue in which the three Jammu brothers were involved, they succeeded in placing the administration in the hands of Prince Nau Nihal Singh with Raja Dhian Singh as prime minister.
However, in 1840, during the funeral procession of his father Maharaja Kharak Singh, Nau Nihal Singh together with Udham Singh, son of Gulab Singh, died when an old brick gate collapsed on them. In January 1841 Sher Singh, son of Ranjit Singh tried to seize the throne of Lahore but was repulsed by the Jammu brothers; the defense of the fort was in the hands of Gulab Singh. After peace was made between the two sides, Gulab Singh and his men were allowed to leave with their weapons. On this occasion, he is said to have taken away a large amount of the Lahore treasure to Jammu. Subsequently, Gulab Singh conquered the fort of Mangla. Meanwhile, in the continuing intrigues at Lahore, the Sandhawalia Sardars murdered Raja Dhian Singh and the Sikh Maharaja Sher Singh in 1842. Subsequently, Gulab Singh’s youngest brother, Suchet Singh, nephew, Hira Singh, were murdered; as the administration collapsed the Khalsa soldiery clamored for the arrears of their pay. In 1844 the Lahore court commanded an invasion of Jammu to extract money from Gulab Singh, reputed to be the richest Raja north of the Sutlej River as he had taken most of the Lahore treasury.
However, the Gulab Singh agreed to negotiate on his behalf with the Lahore court. These negotiations imposed an indemnity of 27 lakh Nanakshahee Rupees on the Raja. After the Anglo-Sikh wars, under the Treaty of Lahore the defeated Lahore court was made to transfer Jammu to Gulab Singh. Lacking the resources to occupy such a large region after annexing portions of Punjab, the British recognized Gulab Singh as a Maharaja directly tributary to them on payment of 75 Lakh Nanakshahee Rupees for the war-indemnity; the angry courtiers of Lahore incited the governor of Kashmir to rebel against Gulab Singh, but this rebellion was defeated, thanks in great part to the action of Herbert Edwardes, Assistant Resident at Lahore. This arrangement was formalized in the Treaty of Amritsar in 1846. In the second Sikh War of 1849, he allowed his Sikh soldiers to desert and go to fight alongside their brethren in Punjab; the treatie
Hotan County is a county in the southwest of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and is under the administration of the Hotan Prefecture. The southernmost county-level division of Xinjiang, it contains an area of 41,128 km2. According to the 2002 census, it has a population of 270,000. India claims a portion of Hotan County as Aksai Chin
Sikhism, or Sikhi Sikkhī, from Sikh, meaning a "disciple", "seeker," or "learner") is a religion that originated in the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent around the end of the 15th century, has variously been defined as monotheistic and panentheistic. It is one of the youngest of the major world religions, the world's fifth largest organized religion, as well as being the world's ninth-largest overall religion; the fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, divine unity and equality of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder's life. In the early 21st century there were nearly 25 million Sikhs worldwide, the great majority of them living in Punjab, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Sikhism is based on the spiritual teachings of Guru Nanak, the first Guru, the nine Sikh gurus that succeeded him.
The Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, named the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib as his successor, terminating the line of human Gurus and making the scripture the eternal, religious spiritual guide for Sikhs. The Guru Granth Sahib is notable for being written by the founders of the religion, for including works by members of other religions. Sikhism rejects claims; the Sikh scripture opens with Ik Onkar, its Mul Mantar and fundamental prayer about One Supreme Being. Sikhism emphasizes simran, that can be expressed musically through kirtan or internally through Nam Japo as a means to feel God's presence, it teaches followers to transform the "Five Thieves". Hand in hand, secular life is considered to be intertwined with the spiritual life. Guru Nanak taught that living an "active and practical life" of "truthfulness, self-control and purity" is above the metaphysical truth, that the ideal man is one who "establishes union with God, knows His Will, carries out that Will". Guru Hargobind, the sixth Sikh Guru, established the political/temporal and spiritual realms to be mutually coexistent.
Sikhism evolved in times of religious persecution. Two of the Sikh gurus – Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur – were tortured and executed by the Mughal rulers after they refused to convert to Islam; the persecution of Sikhs triggered the founding of the Khalsa as an order to protect the freedom of conscience and religion, with qualities of a "Sant-Sipāhī" – a saint-soldier. The Khalsa was founded by Guru Gobind Singh; the majority of Sikh scriptures were written in the Gurmukhī alphabet, a script standardised by Guru Angad out of Laṇḍā scripts used in North India. Adherents of Sikhism are known as Sikhs, which means disciples of the Guru; the anglicised word'Sikhism' is derived from the Punjabi verb Sikhi, with roots in Sikhana, Sikhi connotes the "temporal path of learning". The basis of Sikhism lies in the teachings of his successors. Many sources call Sikhism a monotheistic religion, while others call it a monistic and panentheistic religion. According to Eleanor Nesbitt, English renderings of Sikhism as a monotheistic religion "tend misleadingly to reinforce a Semitic understanding of monotheism, rather than Guru Nanak's mystical awareness of the one, expressed through the many.
However, what is not in doubt is the emphasis on'one'". In Sikhism, the concept of "God" is Waheguru considered Nirankar and Alakh Niranjan; the Sikh scripture begins with Ik Onkar, which refers to the "formless one", understood in the Sikh tradition as monotheistic unity of God. Sikhism is classified as an Indian religion along with Buddhism and Jainism, given its geographical origin and its sharing some concepts with them. Sikh ethics emphasize the congruence between everyday moral conduct, its founder Guru Nanak summarized this perspective with "Truth is the highest virtue, but higher still is truthful living". God in Sikhism is known as the One Supreme Reality or the all-pervading spirit; this spirit has no gender in Sikhism. It is Akaal Purkh and Nirankar. In addition, Nanak wrote; the traditional Mul Mantar goes from Ik Oankar until Nanak Hosee Bhee Sach. The opening line of the Guru Granth Sahib and each subsequent raga, mentions Ik Oankar: ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ॥Transliteration: ikk ōankār sat-nām karatā purakh nirabha'u niravair akāl mūrat ajūnī saibhan gur prasād.
"There is one supreme being, the eternal reality, the creator, without fear and devoid of enmity, never incarnated, self-existent, known by grace through the true Guru." Māyā, defined as a temporary illusion or "unreality", is one of the core deviations from the pursuit of God and salvation: where worldly attractions which give only illusory temporary satisfaction and pain which distract the process of the devotion of God. However, Nanak emphasised māyā as not a reference of its values. In Sikhism, the influences of ego, greed and lust, known as the Five Thieves, are believed to be distracting and hurtful. Sikhs believe the world is curren
The British Raj was the rule by the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. The rule is called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India; the region under British control was called British India or India in contemporaneous usage, included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, called the princely states. The whole was informally called the Indian Empire; as India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, 1936, a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. This system of governance was instituted on 28 June 1858, after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria, it lasted until 1947, when it was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states: the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.
At the inception of the Raj in 1858, Lower Burma was a part of British India. The British Raj extended over all present-day India and Bangladesh, except for small holdings by other European nations such as Goa and Pondicherry; this area is diverse, containing the Himalayan mountains, fertile floodplains, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, a long coastline, tropical dry forests, arid uplands, the Thar Desert. In addition, at various times, it included Aden, Lower Burma, Upper Burma, British Somaliland, Singapore. Burma was separated from India and directly administered by the British Crown from 1937 until its independence in 1948; the Trucial States of the Persian Gulf and the states under the Persian Gulf Residency were theoretically princely states as well as presidencies and provinces of British India until 1947 and used the rupee as their unit of currency. Among other countries in the region, Ceylon was ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens. Ceylon was part of Madras Presidency between 1793 and 1798.
The kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan, having fought wars with the British, subsequently signed treaties with them and were recognised by the British as independent states. The Kingdom of Sikkim was established as a princely state after the Anglo-Sikkimese Treaty of 1861; the Maldive Islands were a British protectorate from 1887 to 1965, but not part of British India. India during the British Raj was made up of two types of territory: British India and the Native States. In its Interpretation Act 1889, the British Parliament adopted the following definitions in Section 18: The expression "British India" shall mean all territories and places within Her Majesty's dominions which are for the time being governed by Her Majesty through the Governor-General of India or through any governor or other officer subordinates to the Governor-General of India; the expression "India" shall mean British India together with any territories of any native prince or chief under the suzerainty of Her Majesty exercised through the Governor-General of India, or through any governor or other officer subordinates to the Governor-General of India.
In general, the term "British India" had been used to refer to the regions under the rule of the British East India Company in India from 1600 to 1858. The term has been used to refer to the "British in India"; the terms "Indian Empire" and "Empire of India" were not used in legislation. The monarch was known as Empress or Emperor of India and the term was used in Queen Victoria's Queen's Speeches and Prorogation Speeches; the passports issued by the British Indian government had the words "Indian Empire" on the cover and "Empire of India" on the inside. In addition, an order of knighthood, the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, was set up in 1878. Suzerainty over 175 princely states, some of the largest and most important, was exercised by the central government of British India under the Viceroy. A clear distinction between "dominion" and "suzerainty" was supplied by the jurisdiction of the courts of law: the law of British India rested upon the laws passed by the British Parliament and the legislative powers those laws vested in the various governments of British India, both central and local.
At the turn of the 20th century, British India consisted of eight provinces that were administered either by a governor or a lieutenant-governor. During the partition of Bengal, the new provinces of Assam and East Bengal were created as a Lieutenant-Governorship. In 1911, East Bengal was reunited with Bengal, the new provinces in the east becam