She could not ascend the throne because of Doctrine of Lapse
CHENNAI: While Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi is well known for having lost her kingdom to the British under the Doctrine of Lapse, another princess who suffered the same fate, Vijayamohana Mukta Bai, is hardly known outside Thanjavur.
On Thursday, Shrimanth Babaji Rajah Chattrapathy Bhonsle, senior Prince of Thanjavur, released ‘Vijayamohana Mukta Bai,’ a fiction authored by B. Surendar, a native of Thanjavur and editorial director of a magazine conglomerate in the United Arab Emirates.
The eponymous heroine of the book was the daughter of Shivaji II, the last king of the dynasty, and was set to ascend the throne in 1855. But the British applied the doctrine that kingdoms whose rulers did not have a strong line of male succession would come under British rule and ended the reign of the Thanjavur Marathas.
Set in the tumultuous period just before the Great Revolt of 1857, the book is based on interviews with the descendants, and documents, manuscripts and historical works. Speaking at the function, the author said: “I am primarily a journalist, so I mainly depended on journalistic tools, including interviews, visits to places connected with the history, long conversations with historians, especially N. Murugesan and M. Akhila, to get all the facts right.” Written in the form of diary, the book, which took six years to complete, deals with palace intrigues and machinations of the East India Company to gain control of the land of the Marathas, says the author. Along the way, he provides details of the social and cultural landscape of Thanjavur in the mid 1850’s. Mr. Bhonsle, a descendant of the princess, said Vijayamohana was a pioneer in the dynasty. The eight-year-old daughter of Mr. Surendar, Karunya, received the first copy.