Kashmir, the mountainous region divided between India and Pakistan, continues to be one of the most contested areas between these two countries. Part of the conflict is due to religion: While a large percentage of the population is Muslim, Kashmir is also home to a large and important Hindu community and was formerly ruled by a Hindu maharaja.

At the time of British colonial withdrawal from the subcontinent, there were two classes of states in the British Indian Empire. The first were the states of British India, which were ruled directly from London, with the Viceroy in New Delhi serving as the representative of the British Crown. The second were the “princely states,” which enjoyed national autonomy as long as they accepted the Crown as the ...

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