My school teachers and my school text books always told me that India had been ruled by the British.

But through my travel and the books that I have stumbled upon and read, reveal that nearly half of present-day India – the regions marked in yellow in the map above – was never ruled by the British.  These states did not come ever come under the British rule.

Why then, was this not highlighted by the textbooks of primary school and secondary school history – a subject that was compulsory for 10 years of my basic schooling?

I first became aware of this fact only when my guide in Ladakh mentioned in passing, the fact that Ladakh was never under the Raj. And for a while I thought that this was an exception that applied only to Ladakh.  But now I see that this ‘exception’ applies to roughly half of…

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