the-south-asian Life & Times               July - September 2010




 Editor's Note


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Jodhpur Royals

Rajmata Krishna Kumari photographed in 1938 by Yevonde
Photo courtesy- National Portrait Gallery, London

Affectionately known as ‘Baapji’, Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar-Jodhpur was four years-old, when he assumed his title and accompanying responsibilities in May 1952. Officially, maharajas do not exist anymore - their hereditary titles and privy purses were abolished by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1971. Socially, however, the use and power of the title has not diminished – people still choose to address him so, and many of his erstwhile subjects still bow to touch his feet.

His ancestor Rao Jodha founded the city of Jodhpur in 1459 and Maharaja Gaj Singh came to the throne when his father, Maharaja Hanwant Singhji, died in an air crash - a two-passenger plane, which he was piloting himself. The other passenger also died in the crash. Gaj Singh was a carefree four-year-old at the time (1952), looked after by an English nanny. The realm he inherited was larger than many a country in Europe.

Read the entire article in the print issue of The South Asian Life & Times




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