As unfair as it can get...
A ROYAL’S LAMENT
ML Varchus Vin SS RajeUrs, grandson of the last Mysore king Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar and nephew of scion Srikantadatta Wadiyar, speaks out against what he sees as an ungracious government determined to snatch away Palace Grounds from his family’s control.
After the demise of my grandfather, Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar (1919-74), my uncle, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar and his five sisters—my aunts—are living a life of litigation. Government after government has been working away at us and they have made our lives hell, particularly over the last six months.
The fact is: the government is trying to take away the Bangalore Palace Grounds, the last and only bit of property in Bangalore left for us by our grandfather.
In 1950, the Mysore royal family was the first among the royal families in India to sign an agreement to join the Union of India. My grandfather had the vision that democracy was the future, and accepting such an order was in the best interests of the public-and he did so with grace.
In 1950, the Union of India signed an agreement with the Mysore state, as it did with other princely states, that a list of properties would be drawn up, and those classified as public would go to the Union of India, and those classified as private would remain with the royal family.
My grandfather was remarkably generous—he listed nearly 200 properties as public and gifted them away to the government. He listed only the Palace Grounds in Bangalore and the palace in Mysore as private properties, and was allowed to retain them under that treaty. That is the reason we have legal and titular hold over the Bangalore Palace Grounds and the Mysore Palace, the only two residences we have in Bangalore and Mysore since then.
Everybody has forgotten the vast tracts of land my grandfather gifted away to the government in Bangalore and Mysore—what you see today as the Indian Institute of Science, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Tuberculosis Institute, soap factory, and the Suttur Mutt (in Mysore) were all private properties gifted away. In return, are we not entitled to hold just one tract of land in the form of the Bangalore Palace Grounds?