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Updated: January 11, 2012 15:11 IST

Bhawani Singh's grandson crowned Maharaja of Jaipur

Mohammed Iqbal
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Padmanabh Singh being greeted by the royal household staff after his coronation at City Palace in Jaipur on Wednesday. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras
Padmanabh Singh being greeted by the royal household staff after his coronation at City Palace in Jaipur on Wednesday. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras

Teenager Padmanabh Singh — grandson of the erstwhile Jaipur ruler, the late Brigadier Sawai Bhawani Singh — ascended the titular throne of the Pink City at a magnificent coronation ceremony at the City Palace here on Wednesday.

Brig. Singh died on April 17 at the age of 80 after a prolonged illness and on completion of the mourning period Padmanabh was coronated.

Brig. Singh had adopted Padmanabh, son of his daughter Diya Kumari, as the heir to the Kachwaha Rajput dynasty at a grand ceremony in November 2002.

Padmanabh, 13, lit the funeral pyre of Brig. Singh at the royal family's crematorium at ‘Gaitore Ki Chhatriyan' here last week. The unassuming teenager was called from Mayo College in Ajmer, where he is studying, to join the mourning.

Wednesday afternoon's solemn ceremony was attended by a galaxy of scions of the erstwhile royal families — the former Rajasthan Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje and present Arts and Culture Minister Bina Kak were among them.

Padmanabh's coronation in the royal grandeur was followed by the presentation of a guard of honour by an imperial contingent and salute by firing of cannon 12 times. The newly designated titular Maharaja took the salute with poise while holding a sword.

Padmanabh, who has inherited the vast wealth of the former Jaipur rulers, will also squarely face legal disputes pending in connection with a huge chunk of properties. Many of the royal buildings have been given on lease to the State government for a token amount.

Members of the royal family are involved in litigation over distribution of ancestral palaces and enormous wealth in the form of gold, silver, precious gem stones, artefacts and antiques. Brig. Singh's stepmother, the late Gayatri Devi, was one of the litigants.

Brig. Singh's decision to declare Padmanabh his successor met with opposition as the young crown prince's father, Narendra Singh, had been a member of the royal household staff. The late Maharaja's two stepbrothers had stoutly opposed the move, leading to a rift within the family.

Some Rajput groups called upon Brig. Singh's wife Padmini Devi after the Maharaja's death to select a successor from among the sons of his stepbrothers or from any royal family of the erstwhile Rajputana. According to them, Padmanabh's coronation would “break the royal lineage” and damage the princely State's dignity.

The adoption ceremony for Padmanabh was the second at the City Palace after a gap of 81 years. Brig. Singh's father, Sawai Man Singh II — originally from Isarda — was also adopted at the same venue by the then ruler Sawai Madho Singh II in 1921. Brig. Singh, born in 1931, was the natural successor of Man Singh II.

After the coronation ceremony and other rituals, the titular Maharaja Padmanabh went straight to the city deity Govind Deoji's famous temple in the Walled City here. He was accompanied by his parents and Padmini Devi.

The Hindu has done the good job by publishing the article on the coronation.Rajputana is the legendary part of India by history,by tradition,by culture and by heritage of golden past.The rulers of Rajputana have much contribution to the development and modernization of today's democratic India.The grand Aravalli witnessed their past gloriuos services provided to the people within and beyond the boundary.The heroism and the patriotism of the past rulers are really remarkable in the annuls of the history of mighty India.We feel proud of magnificent Rajputana and its Maharana and Maharaja including their present generations.Some pessimistic people may be envy to,but that does not matter.

from:  Tariq Aziz
Posted on: Jan 5, 2012 at 20:37 IST

India is alive and vibrant because of the events coming from different corners of our country. Also, many of us still attach great importance to our rich traditions and there is no harm in providing coverage of events of this nature. while it may be trivial to some, to others, this event could be of great significance.

from:  sudhakar singh
Posted on: Oct 12, 2011 at 12:00 IST

I don't understand where all this negativity is coming from,Hindu just reported a changing of guard in India' history the column itself is pretty plain not celebratory.Maharajas and kings have been in existence all over the world.The Indian royalty had half of their riches and properties snatched away in 1947 and utter negligence from the govt.they r left to carry on the traditions and ceremonies without any any help from the govt.In the States where these royalty exists the people are still dependent on them.why do we forget royalty like in Britain or the politicos all over the world who are feeding on the Tax payers money with no regard for the sufferings of Them.Indian tourism depends on these traditions N cultural occasions full of pomp N Grandeur.As for people bowing to them,we Indians who Demand the same treatment from our domestic servants have no right to Raise a finger at someoneelse. For me the more imp. question is why cant in this progressive age a daughters son inherit ?

from:  Teena
Posted on: Aug 27, 2011 at 17:06 IST

I'm of Indo/Pakistan decent, born in England. I have over the years read with great interest the history of the Indian Sun Continent, its truly amazing. Like all extinct monarchies, the Indian monarchies power has been erroded over time, where they survive today some are worthy, others are not. The ancestors of the new Maharaja established the throne, they have in their time done a great deal for India. They have no real powers now, although the locals may still look up to them, what they have is some respect that they earn from the public and public services by using their positions for the benefit of others. They are entitled to retain their properties and titles, everyone is free to accept this or move along. I personally feel that some of the past and present Maharaja's have done much to help their fellow humans and do not mind what they call themself. I wish the new Maharaja well, he has done nothing wrong, he has no choice and was born into this family.

from:  F Hussain
Posted on: Jul 1, 2011 at 02:50 IST

mr. sanjay for your kind information mahaveer chakra is the second highest gallantary award being confered on armed forces personnels for outstanding work of bravery during the war with other nations and late maharaja bhawani singh ji did that extra ordinary thing risking his life. the steps taken by late indira gandhi were in violation of the contract reached between the princes and the indian govt.and any authoritarian govt can do that.

from:  jasveer singh
Posted on: Jun 19, 2011 at 17:02 IST

First of all, about the Privy Purses: They were meant to protect the princes' many dependents who had no other source of income and for whom the privy purses were primarily intended(read widows, palace eunuchs, young children,etc)
There is nothing wrong with a bit of pomp and show. In fact thats all there is now for these royal descendents. And not all kings are tyrannical. Our own Indira Gandhi was a pseudo dictator who suppressed the Opposition by declaring an Emergency and jailing politicians and civilians without trial. The erstwhile Maharani Gayatri Devi was herself jailed in Tihar jail along with Bhawani Singh for 156 days. If a democracy can get overturned by an elected leader who later rigged elections(including striking off Rajput names in the polling list) for her own benefit and snatched away a Privy Purse and titles which were formally agreed upon to be with the royals for life back in the 1950s in return for their land(a very sensible if not poor compensation)then I just don't see the difference between monarchy and democracy. You could argue that such things can't happen now, but corruption is widespread what with Mr Minister A Raja and DMK daughter Kanimozhi, along with countless other beareaucrats. The Maharajas made far better leaders. And Bhawani Singh's father, Sawai Man Singh II was a just leader who fought in all the major wars alongside his soldiers. Yes he was flamboyant and went to London every summer. But don't we vacation too? In short, the Maharajas were electric personalities who appeased the kingdom as well as ruled it justly. But today's leaders are just wanting to make all the money they can till their term ends.

from:  Charvi
Posted on: May 20, 2011 at 20:18 IST

This is our history our heritage unless some of you want to forget , may be you would like to forget who your parents were. It is our history ,The one taught in schools in India is not our history it is political misfortune. I am glad Hindu newspaper published it to remind everyone that these were these rulers who gave their states and joined the Dominion of India. Let us not forget forget their contribution to what is present India our India. There were about 678 princely states who willingly acceded to India for a small privy purse.

from:  Balvir Singh
Posted on: May 8, 2011 at 04:51 IST

I'm a Kachwaha Rajput and this news is of very high priority to me. Its more important than any national or international news as its regarding the new Head of my Dynasty. And for all those who are crying about abolishment of titles, you should have attended school, read the constitutional amendment, what was removed was the privy purse, not hereditary titles that have been passed on since over 1 thousand years.

from:  Sangram Singh
Posted on: May 1, 2011 at 05:38 IST

Maharaja Bhawani Singh was a great person, and people of Jaipur loved him. People like Sanjay do not have any rights to comment such rubbish without knowing the facts. First he should read and find out about the amount of respect Bhawani Singhji and his family has in Jaipur.

from:  Poorna
Posted on: Apr 29, 2011 at 20:33 IST

Well Sanjay for your kind information just go and see history and specially read about H.H Maharaj Bhawani Singhji of Jaipur and do read what all he have done for India. He could have lived in luxary but he still join Indian army to help his county and he got mahaveer chakra. It's not a small thing. Before saying something we should know what are we blabbering.

from:  Divya
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 18:58 IST

There is nothing wrong in giving information, but of what use is this information is? It serves no purpose. How can somebody still assume pompous titles like 'KING/MAHARAJA/PRINCE etc' today? Its insane to say the least. The picture accompanying the news presents a pathetic, old mindset which deserves serious condemnation. And for the British public and media going gaga over the so called 'ROYAL' wedding, there is nothing else to be expected from them which never abolished monarchy, while many of its former colonies which it claimed to rule in the name of 'white men's burden' rightly did so, displaying the difference in outlook.

from:  Abhilasha Bisht
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 18:53 IST

i am very astonishing that how can people like above are saying that goverment should stop these ceremony by law as a citizen of india there is right given to every one to follow his tradition with full grace . and not only hindu but many newspaper and media are covering. The royal wedding of England will covered by BBC . I do not think that it harms democracy.

from:  Ajay Pratap Singh
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 17:31 IST

India is alive and vibrant because of the rainbow of events coming from different corners of our country. Also, many of us still attach great importance to our rich traditions and there is no harm in providing coverage of events of this nature. while it may be trivial to some, to others, this event could be of great significance.

from:  Kumaran
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 14:17 IST

What's wrong in giving the information of the coronation of a prince in India. 'The Hindu' is certianly not 'celebrating' it; like the respected BBC is doing for Prince Williams wedding. Be sensible guys.... Not everything around you needs your criticism.

from:  Ranga
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 13:32 IST

The commenter has a misplaced idea of what a Republic means. It means there is no monarchic or titular head of state, for example England, where the Queen in still the Head of the State. A small princely erstwhile royal family has every right to exist along side every other citizen of this country. And everyone has a right to publicly continue their tradition. I do not see a threat to India as a Republic by such news coverage. in fact it only depicts India's rich heritage that is being continued.

from:  Dharmendra Chatur
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 13:27 IST

This article as well as the snap paints a very sorry and ridiculous picture of India. Are we living in medieval era? How come this new prince be called as a king of Jaipur at all? Where is the throne? whom is he supposed to rule? Most of the maharajas have just looted the public except for some like Bhawani Singh, who at least got a gallantry medal winner in Indo-Pak 1971 war and deserved some respect as a soldier. Indira Gandhi should be commended to dismiss the privy purses of all these so called maharajas. Unfortunately it seems, some of the maharajas have not stopped dreaming yet? Govt should make sure that no such ceremonies are allowed. India is a republic. Thats all.

from:  Sanjay
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 13:16 IST

India is a secular democratic republic. This guy is only a figure head.

from:  Shyam
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 12:24 IST

Mr Krishnan. I agree with you. There are rulers, from the past or those that have been elected by us.

from:  Sundar
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 12:14 IST

I was under the delusion that India was a Republic! This article, with absolutely no mention of India, has convinced me of my error.

from:  Krishnan
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 09:19 IST

I am amazed in this day and age, a sensible mainstream newspaper like 'The Hindu' gives coverage to an event that is an insult to a republic such as ours. The correct coverage would have been for an Hindu editorial questioning such events and placing it in the context of the laws of the land.

from:  A. Christy Williams
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 07:22 IST
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