Past in Perspective

“We trust that the present occasion may tend to unite in bonds of close affection ourselves and our subjects….to add to their prosperity, and advance their welfare, are the ever present aims and objects of our Empire”

–Inscription from the message of Queen Victoria at the Durbar of 1877

British colonial empire took India into its fold during the second part of 1700’s through the East India Company. The control was consolidated for the next hundred years and was only formalized after the Indian Revolt of 1857. After 1857, the Crown told an active role in the matters of the colony. Institutions of British democracy were introduced in the region, albeit at a slow pace and with a very limited franchise and real representation. During this, three “Delhi Durbars’ were organized in 1877, 1903 and 1911 respectively. This was the time when the monarch would met the local rulers and have an audience with the common people of India. The last Durbar was organized on 7th of December in 1911.

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