Kittur Rani Chennamma's descendents cry hoarse

The descendants of Rani Chennamma, by all appearances, seem to have been forgotten by the State government.

They were neither invited to the recently concluded Kittur Utsav nor their names found a place in the invitation.

The 11 families identified as successors of the queen reside at Kittur and Khanapur in the district and at Gadhinglaj in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra.

Uday Desai, a resident of Khanapur and ninth-generation descendant of Rani Channamma, lamented the turn of events.

“The successors of the Wadiyar family are invited for the Dasara celebrations in Mysore. Descendants of Tipu Sultan who live in Kolkata are also extended invitations. But this is not the case with us. We want the government to treat us on a par with successors of other royal families,” he said.

He revealed that Surekha Desai, a successor, was given an invitation card and promised a vehicle to pick her up for the celebrations, but that none ever turned up.

Long neglect

He also alleged that the descendants had not been paid compensation promised in 1968.
Desai said they had been allotted 108 acres of land at Khanapur but was quick to point out that it wasn’t the compensation since money was paid towards the land.

In 1968 when Tatyasaheb Desai was the head of the descendants, the compensation sum was estimated at Rs 11 crore.

“Nothing has progressed since and the amount has grown to Rs 110 crore with 11 families expanding,”  Desai said.

He said they would have to look at legal options if the family’s demands continue to be ignored.

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