The princely state of Jammu and Kashmir merged with India in 1947. Two years later, Karan Singh, the son of the state's last maharaja, Hari Singh, was appointed its regent. After eighteen years at the helm—during which he was, successively, regent, Sadar-i-Riyasat and governor of Jammu and Kashmir—Karan Singh became a member of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's cabinet as minister for tourism and civil aviation. Karan Singh worked closely with Mrs. Gandhi for almost the entire duration of her tenure as prime minister of India. They held each other in high esteem and shared great rapport as cabinet colleagues as well as mutual regard on a personal level.
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