'Courtesy' visit of Amit Shah to Palace sends out a subtle message

'Courtesy' visit of Amit Shah to Palace sends out a subtle message

Member of the erstwhile royal family Pramoda Devi Wadiyar has made it amply clear that neither she nor her son Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, have any political aspirations as of now. However, the 'courtesy' visit of BJP president Amit Shah, along with the state leaders to the Mysuru Palace, has been successful in sending out the message to those concerned, subtly.

Director of Arasu Mandali Sangha Mahesh Raje Urs said, "The writing on the wall is clear, as to who uses every opportunity to insult and belittle the Wadiyar kings and their contributions for the welfare of the people of the erstwhile Mysuru state. Once, when then Mayor M J Ravikumar appealed to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to conserve the Devaraja Market building, without demolishing it, citing that it was constructed by the Tenth Chamaraja Wadiyar, Siddaramaiah hit back saying, the building was not constructed with the money from his pocket. It was the people's money," he said.

"In front of the Mysuru Palace, before the statue of the same Chamaraja Wadiyar, the government has erected a LED Display Wall to publicise Siddaramaiah's contributions for the development of the people and the state. Did Siddaramaiah spend for these projects and schemes from his pocket? Is it not people's money," he asked.

"It has to be recalled that the Mysore Palace (Acquisition and Transfer) Act, introduced when J H Patel was chief minister, was the handiwork of then deputy chief minister Siddaramaiah. There have been instances over the past five years, with Siddaramaiah as chief minister, when the Wadiyar kings were attacked subtly. Siddaramaiah went to the extent of comparing his own achievements to that of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, who was described as 'Rajarshi' by Mahatma Gandhi himself. This was condemned by former minister V Srinivas Prasad also, recently," Urs pointed out.

An office-bearer of a political party, who wished to remain anonymous, said, "I have faith in democracy. I do not patronise royalty. I know that the kings enjoyed lavish lifestyle with tax-payers' money. But, what are the politicians doing nowadays? Are they not amassing wealth by illegal means? I might be leading a simple life because I did not get any power, despite being in politics for over three decades. But, what with those who have enjoyed government powers? Earlier, we had just one king, who knew he is born rich and will die rich. He did not have greed. Now, we have hundreds and thousands of such kings. Even if a person is elected for a short-term, he or she will make the maximum possible money within that span of time."

"The particular leader misses no opportunity to insult the Wadiyars. Should he not be thankful to the Wadiyars, who established schools and other educational institutions across the then eight districts (now 13) in the state? If not for the schools established by the Wadiyars, could he have access to education, due to which he has now become a leader of the state," he asked.

Shalva Pille Iyengar, a historian, said, "Royalty is gone, we should be happy that we are able to rule ourselves. It is unfortunate that we have not been able to choose the right kind of leaders to represent us. So, let us hope for a better future."

"Given the kind of leaders we have today, we cannot compare them with the Wadiyar kings. Not much is talked about the Wadiyar kings up to 1796. But, since the coronation of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in 1799, all his successors have been benevolent and able administrators. When Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya founded the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, he consulted Mahatma Gandhi for a chancellor. Gandhi said, 'a person who is filthy rich, but does not use it for himself, a person who has enormous powers, but, never misuses them, and a person who has wisdom and knowledge, but humble, would be the ideal chancellor'. Later Gandhi said, 'in the entire Indian sub-continent, one person, who has all these qualities is Nalvadi. Hence, Nalvadi became the founding chancellor of the BHU. Can you find a single leader like this, in present times," he asked.

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