Posted on: 23 April 2013

As unfair as it can get...


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?

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Considering the phenomenal contributions of the Mysore dynasty to this nation the cavalier attitude of successive govts. is most reprehensible.

Governments have forgotten the contribution and help rendered by the Princely States. We need to get this straight, that the India which we see today would not have existed without the generosity showed by Maharajas. All my Best wishes to HH Mysore. May he win over his rights.

..the government is of the people who are there to snatch even a smallest piece of land from the POOREST OF THE can we expect them not to plunder the vast lands of the Mysore Maharaja's Grandson or whosoever he is..and to hell with the sacrifices made by the Royal family of Mysore...Of course Goddess Chamundeshwari of Mysore is seeing all these evil things against the Royal family's descendants...and she shall teach a lesson to the plunderers...who are ill-treating the Royal family...

What's happening with members of Royal family of Mysore is wrong, unfair and unfortunate I think. This family contributed significantly in many parts of this state during 600 years of rule. It deserves gratitude. Most of the times good people are troubled in our democracy. I don't know why.

I think there is another side to this story. As I recall the sons of the Last king were delinquent in paying their taxes and that is when the problem began and has escalated to this.

Shameful act by the Indian Govt.... I hope justice prevails

All the successive goverment of karnataka are hypocritic and senseless.

Thanks RBSC for posting the above article. I feel one need not confuse the problem with the Contributions of the Royal Family. It is simple, The Royals all over India accepted the call of the National leaders and surrendered their sovereignty and became citizens of the Republic . Now can you enact a special Laws and Rules to confiscate their private properties ? In this case, Bangalore Palace consisting of over 450 acres is being taken over by paying to Income Tax and other claimants 11 crores and Mysore Palace consisting of around 70 acres for 32 crores ( Including all the movables also). It means any political property enjoying majority can legislate and take any individuals property at their sweet will. So if you are a MS Ramiah or a Khoday or a Mallya, you can have your property whether it is 5 acres or 500 acres as long as you know how to manage the system. Why you can even be Maharaja of Gondal and enjoy your Jaya Mahal Palace. But sadly if you are a Wadiyar the rules of the game is different! Lo ! Even the HC upholds such a law. Where do we go ! At the same time Center is contemplating a new Land acquisition law to pay more realistic price and compensation! If this is not discrimination and malicious then what else is ? Imagine what a flood gate it will open if the Supreme Court upholds such a legislation ? I am afraid it will bring death knell to similarly placed properties all over the country.

Guys, No govt will take step.such as this. There are always two sides of coin. The rate of resolving pending legal cases is worrying though.

the earlier maharajas worked for praja. today's neo maharaja politicians are not statesmen but rapacious self centred scoundrels.

The present Govt is outdo all the good things their predecessors did. Lack of vision, myopia and greed has done them in. Going by the post, and no other matter beyond this, I would think that the local govt is at fault.

@ Megha Shyam.... I wonder what you mean by delinquent ? Yes there is another side to this story ! But not as you perceive it ! In the first place Wealth Tax, Income Tax comes under Central Govt. Departments and there are adequate provisions under the relevant acts to recover tax dues. A jurisdictional Tax Recover Officer (TRO) is empowered to even auction the properties in question. But this relentless and ruthless attempt to expropriate the private properties of the legal heirs of the Late Maharaja is by the successive State governments. As such there is no nexus.

eh. .... its Kali Yuga just look around a bit / soon you will have to 'pay' dubbel tax on whats still left ... just because you are Who you are ..... ha.

Re : “the vast tracts of land my grandfather gifted away to the government in Bangalore and Mysore”…there is more to it... The idea of a research institute like the IISc was conceived by JN Tata and Swami Vivekananda. and followed J N Tata’s initial proposal to pledge a substantial part of his wealth towards creating a research institute or university. Both Tata and Vivekananda died before all this. It was then Burjoji Padshah (involved in all JN Tata’s projects after his death), a ward of JN Tata, with his erudition and wide-ranging knowledge of a remarkable spectrum of subjects, corresponded with Lord Curzon. The measures, Lord Curzon introduced to reform university education and promote technical training bear the stamp of a courageous vision, although they confirmed his anti-Indian bias by excluding Indian intellectuals from membership of the commissions on university education. For the scheme to materialize two conditions had to be met. First, the British Viceroy in Delhi agreed for the annual support. Second, identification of a location and a land grant was crucial to the implementation of the scheme. The Viceroy’s office then spoke to the Maharaja of Mysore for the grant of land. Much favour was forwarded by the British India Govt. to the Maharaja (discussed earlier in a different thread) before the grant of land from the Maharaja of Mysore was realized in 1907.

Mysore was one of the most progressive states before independence. Thanks to the Royal family of Mysore and the wonderful Dewans it appointed. Not only allocation of land for IISc and other places, if we look at many establishments and constructions in that area, it's contribution stands tall and can't be ignored.

Re: " the cavalier attitude of successive [ Indian ] govts [ toward the pre-1947 aristocracy] is most reprehensible." ... Agreed... But isn't this the attitude of the ' round-head' rather than that of the 'cavalier ' ?

The families generosity extended to all communities thanks to the noble family for their gift of land to the Children's Welfare Society which is now The Cathedral High School on Richmond Road.Principal Cathedral High School.

Thank you for this bit of information.

That is only one side of coin. How your grand father and his great grand father got these property. We all know how King of India had obtain property. Do some work for your families and country. I belong to a family who has more then 2000 acre of land under my grandfather's name and left behind in Pakistan now i am leaving in a rented flat with my family. What should i do???

What can one expect from crooks elected by us - except that they come up with scams almost on a weekly basis ..... disgusting attitude from ungrateful

The politicians want the land to sell it off and make money. Many times I think that the Kings of India were much better than the democratically elected thugs we have now. They were much better and much more decent Rulers.

I can totally empathize with the difficulties the royals of mysore are facing. Their generosity is quickly forgotten, and their image is falsely tarnished by the so called unscrupulous politicians all because they are seen as an indirect likely threat to their votebanks.

You should be allowed to retain the Palaces ! Afterall you are entitled to pvt property.

This stupid politican are just meant to grab everything in the name of democracy.............!!!!!!!!!

Honor the treaty o Govt of India for one day each of you will be where the Royals are today

I certainly hopezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz you secure the right people to right this wrong........

Msg from Raja Chandra @ Megha Shyam.... I wonder what you mean by delinquent ? Yes there is another side to this story ! But not as you perceive it ! In the first place Wealth Tax, Income Tax comes under Central Govt. Departments and there are adequate provisions under the relevant acts to recover tax dues. A jurisdictional Tax Recover Officer (TRO) is empowered to even auction the properties in question. But this relentless and ruthless attempt to expropriate the private properties of the legal heirs of the Late Maharaja is by the successive State governments. As such there is no nexus.

Mr. Rakesh Vaid.. I emphasize with you and the horrors partition wrought on unknown millions. At the same time my nephews in-laws still live in Pakistan and enjoy their property ! That is life and its vicissitudes. Regarding your other question about how the Mysore Maharaja's acquired their properties, i At the time of Instrument of Transfer in 1881 , one of the several conditions attached to the investiture was: " A Clear distinction was to be drawn between the private fortune of the Maharaja and the public revenues of the State , so that no appropriation of public money could be made otherwise than under the rules and by the regularly constituted authorities entrusted with its expenditure" Mr. V.P. Menon, who as the Secretary to the Ministry of States signed the agreement dated 23-1-1950 states thus in his book : Integration of the Indian states- 1999 re-issued edition by Orient Longman Ltd, Page: 338: - " In Mysore the demarcation of between the state and the Maharajah's personal properties did not present any difficulty. This had been settled many years ago. When in 1799, on the defeat of and death of Tippu, the ruling family was restored, they were practically destitute and the long period of direct administration of the state by the British from 1831 to 1881 did not help them by any means to build up some sort of private fortune. Whatever wealth they now may have was built up by the present Maharajah and his predecessor: and it must be said to their credit that they have always contributed considerable sums towards charities , by way of donations and in a remarkable degree for the beautification of Mysore and Bangalore."

In fact the first offer to the Hon' secretary of the provisional Committee for the IISC was made by He Highness Vani Vilas Sannidhana when she was the Regent Queen of Mysore during the minority of her Son. on 25-5-1900, Mysore Durbar wrote to the Committee that Mysore was prepared to afford a liberal support in case the Institute is established at Bangalore and that they accordingly have decided to offer a sum of 5 Lakhs of Rupees for initial expense on account of Buildings etc together with a free grant of about 300 acres in extent. But not until the scheme took concrete steps. British even wanted the land ceded to the control of Civil and Military station of Bangalore. Accordingly Mysore Durabr ceded a total of 3710acres and 16 guntas of land to C&M Station in 1907/08. In 1908 Mysore also granted 5 Lakhs as originally promised towards Buildings. In addition a regular annual income for the upkeep of the institute was also provided. On 1-2-1911, Maharaja HH KRW IV laid the corner stone of the IISC .