List Showing Names, Titles, Modes of Address of Sovereigns, Ruling Princes, …. ALQABNAMAH


List Showing Names , Titles, and Modes of Address of the More Important Sovereigns, Ruling Princes, Chiefs, Nobles, Etc. Having Relations with the India Government. ALQABNAMAH. Corrected Up to the 5th October 1935. Confidential. Govt of India Press [New Delhi] 1935. Folio, hard backed. iii.173pp. Colophon: GIPD-S2-163(C) F&PD-12-12-35-80. Original printed blue paper covered boards with cloth spine(C, stitched through punched holes (probably originally designed so that pages could be inserted or replaced from titme to time in the manner of some military and political manuals), the boards very worn and the cloth spine largely disintegrated, front board detached, the work is quite worn, having been very much a working copy. This copy is stamped on the front cover “COPY NO 61” (the entire print run was only 80) and is further marked in ink “Political Dept (Issue Branch) Political Supdt. Copy (1)”. An old library stamp to the title page [FOREIGN AND POL. DEPT, LIBRARY – SIMLA]. The work is divided into four sections: 1. LIST OF INDEPENDENT STATES [Nepal, Siam, Tibet]; 2. LIST OF PROTECTORATE RULERS [Bhutan, Chitral, Hunza, Muscat & Oman, Qaiwain, Al-Hauta, Shihr, Qishn, Abu Dhabi, Al Qara];3. LIST OF RULING PRINCES AND CHIEFS IN INDIA WITH TITLES AND MODES OF ADDRESS [211 entries]; 4. MISCELLANEOUS [Indore, Loharu, Aga Khan, Arcot, Travancore, Mysore, Muhammesah, Zanzibar]. The information is given in tabular form under the headings: Names of State; Name and address [meaning the form in which he was addressed – Your Highness, etc|] of Ruler in Persian; Name and address of Ruler in English; Commencement and conclusion of letter in English and colour of Crest; Highest British Authority by whom hitherto addressed; No of Guns in salute(Permanent/Personal); Remarks. This copy has been much used and there are numerous highly illuminating manuscript additions, alterations, and amendments (honorary ranks, promotions, new titles, orders, changes in forms of address, etc) added to many entries in pencil and both black and red ink. There are also some typed notes (one, for instance, dealing with the viceroy’s decision about the succession to a state whose ruler had died without adopting an heir) tipped in or attached. Three printed lists of amendments (13-15 of 1942/3/4) are loosely inserted. The niceties and subtleties of diplomatic convention are here formalised and recorded in a form which is seldom seen outside high official circles. Many Indian Rulers were particularly fastidious about titles and forms of address and often fiercely competitive (for example the endless wrangling by the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala over the number of guns used for his salute and his rivalry with other senior Maharajas, such as Bikaner), which is reason enough for the confidential nature of this printing of such potentially contentious material. One can well appreciate the need to know who had previously written to a ruler as an address from the Agent to the Governor General would imply an enhanced status to one who had previously only been addressed by a Resident. The detailed forms of greeting and conclusion reveal a myriad of conventions and delicate grades of friendship or familiarity. To Dungarpur the Viceroy remains “with much consideration Your Highness’ sincere friend” whereas to Jaipur he desires “to express the high consideration which I entertain for Your Highness and to subscribe myself Your Highness’ sincere friend”. Some of the forms of address are wonderfully grand and all-embracing, none more so than this one required by the Regent of Tibet ” The Exalted Presence of Lotus-footed Golden throne of the Great Retting Hutuktu, His Highness the Regent of Tibet, the Protector of all the living beings of the Snowy Country.” The added remarks are mainly notes about the origin of titles but there are also some very individual notes and warnings such as that for Indore which notes “The title ‘Sir’ is not to be employed in addressing His Highness (vide File No 976-H of 1923). No doubt that dusty file gives details of the dreadful faux pas of Indore. Colours of Kharita bags and fastenings are also given. A remarkable survival. There is a copy of the same date in the India Office Library’s successor at the British Library and the odd copy in university libraries the book is extremely scarce. From the number of corrections and alterations, including three printed annual liss of addenda [nos 13-15 of 1942-44] which are here loosely inserted, it would appear that this work was not produced very often, This may in fact be the last copy that was printed as the British Empire in India was already in its twilight by the end of World War II

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