Bengaluru: Close on the heels of the abrogation of Articles 35A and 370, BJP Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy has exhorted the Narendra Modi government to restore privy purses. Here is the full text of his tweet.

So, what are privy purses and how did they operate?

Well, privy purse was the money paid to rulers of the erstwhile princely states. This was an agreement made to first integrate themselves with India in 1947. And later when they would merge their states with India in the year 1949, they would lose all their ruling rights.

According to online sources, after the 26th Amendment in 1971, their privileges and allowances from the Central Government ceased to exist. However, privy purses were continued for life for individuals who had held ruling powers before 1947.

What was the amount given and what was it based on?

Now if you move on to the question of the factors that determined the amounts given, it depended on the allowances the then princely governments were providing the rulers and their families.

It is interesting to note that in as many as 565 princely states the amount ranged from Rs 5000 per annum to several millions.

And 102 princely states received privy purses of Rs 1 lakh which could be raised to Rs 2 lakh, except for 11 states.

The Government of India also generally reduced the allowances with every succession in the family.

The abolition of the privy purse

Through the 26th Amendment, these rulers, their titles and princely states were officially derecognised. The then Prime Minister argued that all were equal before the Indian law and that paying the rulers wold only mean special treatment and a burden on the taxpayer.

Though many tried to protest it, they did not succeed.