In the service of Mysore

In the service of Mysore

PRINCELY ADMINISTRATION Diwans of Mysore had contributed significantly to the growth and development of the then princely state. S Narendra Prasad takes a leaf from history and narrates one of the lesser known TRA Thumboo Chetty,
who retired as the acting Diwan

Trichinpoly Rayaloo Aroghea-swamy Thumboo Chetty was born in 1837 in Chennai. He was appointed as a Shirastedar
in the Office of the Judicial
Commissioner of Mysore State, in 1867,

after his education and early postings in Madras and other places. In 1868, he was promoted as Assistant Superintendent. In accordance with the changes brought in by Judiciary he was appointed as one among the Judicial assistants for eight
districts. Hence, he took over in 1869 and posted to Kolar district. 

He served in the Kolar district for three years. His devoted work attracted the
attention of Sir Richard Meade, the then Commissioner of Mysore. Influenced by his hard work, the Commissioner made him in-charge of the Revenue Sub-Division of Bangalore. 
After some time, he was transferred

to Tumkur as Judicial Assistant. Very
soon, he returned to the Subordinate Court in Bangalore. Later, he became Head Shirestedar. Around this period, Mysore was severely affected by famine
and drought. The Commissionerate

constituted a committee to examine the possibilities of cutting administrative costs. 
Being the efficient administrator, that he was, Thumboo Chetty became the member of five different committees. He recommended various measures to reduce the cost. Lord Lytton, the then Viceroy General presented him a medal in

recognition of his service. In April, 1879, he was appointed as the District and
Session Judge, thus becoming the first
native to hold the post.

In 1881, in a dramatic turn of events, Chamaraja Wodeyar X took over the reins of administration as Maharaja of Mysore. A council called ‘Maharaja’s Executive
Council’ was constituted. This consisted of three members and Thumboo Chetty was appointed as the ex-officio senior member.  The other two were Poorna
Krishna Rao and Attupakam Ratna

Sabapathy Mudaliar. Diwan C V Rangacharlu, was the ex-officio president of this council. 
As its member, Thumboo Chetty’s

contribution is highly valued. Diwan
consulted him regularly owing to his vast administrative and judicial experience.  But the Diwan, who was a distinguished statesman and a great administrator, did not live for long. He died after a brief

illness. With the death of the Dewan,
speculations and calculations emerged in Mysore, about his successor. It was the
beginning of Madrasi and Mysorean conflict. There were three contenders
including Thumboo Chetty. But it was Sheshadri Iyer who was appointed as the Diwan. As an expert in the field of

judiciary legislative matters, financial
aspects and local governance, Thumboo Chetty suuported the new Dewan by
giving suggestions and observations.

In 1894 the Maharaja took his last breath at Calcutta. Since his elder son was still a minor, Her Highness Maharani Vanivilasa Sannidhana, Kempananj-

ammani was named Regent. To help and advice her in administration, abody called “Regency Council” was constituted. Chetty who had been elevated as the Chief Judge, of the Chief Court of Mysore was

appointed as a member and continued for two terms. The Maharani valued his views in administrative and judicial matters. 

Thumboo Chetty discharged the duties as officiating Diwan thrice on different
occasions. Once he was made in-charge of the Palace. He was the acting Diwan when he retired in 1901.

Public service
His penchant for social development
before and after retirement is evident by his active participation in various
programmes.  He was an active member of the ‘Friend In Need Society’.
He worked as the President and trustee of ‘Rai Bahadur Dharma Ratnakara A Narayanaswami Mudaliar Charities

Managing Committee’. He served as the founder President of Devaraj Bahadur Charity Fund.

He supported the cause of female
education and also served in the Luntic Asylum. He took initiative to implement  “Mysore Insurance System” in 1891.

He also supported western education. During famine, he motivated the public to go liberal with the Indian Charitable Relief Fund. He supported social reforms and was of the opinion that no real social

reform was possible without the intelligent co-operation of the female members in the society.

A few months before his death, he
attended the meeting of advisory

committee formed in connection with the collapse of a firm. The firm was M/s
Arbuthnot and Company which was a household name in South India. He drew his last breath on 20 June, 1907 at his
residence in Bangalore.

He was a contemporary of three
generation of rulers of Mysore. He
personally knew all the commissioners and residents. Being a great friend of the first three Diwans of Mysore from 1881, he was not only a great administrator, but also a legal luminary and a social reformer.

He was honoured by the Government of India with the title “Companionship of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) and “Rajamantra  Pravina” by the Maharaja of Mysore. His service for 12 years to Government of Madras and 34 years in Mysore State was remarkable.

Thumboo Chetty Palya (named after this great statesman), in Bengaluru, is a
reminder of his contribution to the city.

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