Platform for erstwhile royal houses floated

The royals have floated a outfit, "Kings Chamber of India", at the initiative of Ravi Varma Raja, a senior member of Kurumbranad royal family, once a principality of north Kerala.
An immediate demand of the forum is enhancement of allowance for royal houses known as "malikhan", which has been continuing at the same rates fixed by the Britishers to those princely states that accepted the suzerainty of the colonial power, Raja said.
Raja, who registered the outfit under the Charitable Societies Act, claimed his initiative had the support of a large number of royal houses, including some from northern states like Uttar Pradesh.

The response to the outfit has been positive and encouraging, he said.India had over 600 princely states before independence, many of them smaller having their power limited to a few villages. But there were also powerful states like Travnacore, Gwalior and Jaipur, where the rulers set a model of welfare state before the advent of democracy in the country, he said.

It was rather unfortunate that those who lost their power and pelf had not been properly taken care of by the governments since independence despite the stark reality that a majority of their descendants are facing financial crunch in the absence of any state support like adequate pension or reservation in jobs for their children, he said.
"For instance, my family is still getting a paltry sum of Rs 50 as malikhan, fixed in 19th century by the British Government as Crown Representative Political Pension, came to be known as 'malikhan'. The amount was fixed when many of the princely states accepted the British colonial power, as 20 per cent of the prevailing tax revenue of each state, Raja said. "We are not going to make any undue demands. Our pleas are simple and genuine like restoration of basic privileges taken away over the decades without bothering about our actual situation", Raja said.

While former members of parliament or state assemblies get invited to national celebrations like Independence or Republic days, erstwhile royal houses were totally ignored. Similarly, they don’t have any concession or quota in government guest houses, despite the fact that many of these structures were originally palaces, he said.
Financial assistance from government to protect temples, places of worship and heritage structures associated with royal times was another demand of the Kings Chamber of India, he said.

Striving to work for the unity, integrity and secularism of the country would be an article of faith for the organisation, he said.

Raja said he had already met several of the heads of royal families or made contact through letters. He would be touring all over the country to enroll members of all the royal houses. Later, a convention would be convened, preferably in New Delhi, which would work out a charter of demands to be submitted to the Central and state governments.

Comments (+)