AMU Professor Speaks On Darbhanga Raj At A Book Release In Patna

AMU Professor Speaks On Darbhanga Raj At A Book Release In Patna

Aligarh, Oct 6 (TNA) “One of the most meticulously organized administrative structures in its time, the Darbhanga Raj donated lavishly for centres of learning, for education, literature, culture and health. In October 1945, Darbhanga Maharaj Kameshwar Singh visited AMU and contributed a donation of Rs. 50,000/- for the establishment of the Medical College of AMU. His immediate predecessor, Maharaj Rameshwar Singh had contributed a donation of Rs 20,000/- to the MAO College in June 1912.”

This was stated by Prof. Mohammad Sajjad, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University, while addressing as the chief guest at a book launch ceremony of the book, “The Crisis of Succession: Palace Intrigues”, authored by Tejakar Jha. The book release ceremony was organized by Prof Hetukar Jha Memorial Trust at the House of Variety, Regent Cine Complex, East Gandhi Maidan, Patna.

The book, based on some of the Darbhanga Raj diaries, including of two Maharanis (wives) of Maharaja Kameshwar Singh, and some of the primary sources, attempts to understand the circumstances after his death and how it was reduced to merely a property that eventually led to the decline of the great Raj.

He pointed out that the last three Maharajas of Darbhanga, Lakshmishwar Singh, Rameshwar Singh and Kameshwar Singh had a vision of agricultural, industrial and infrastructural development of the region (2400 square miles, 6 districts in the early 20th century, with an annual earning of Rs 40 lakhs from land revenue). The Darbhanga Zamindars were visionary enough to have diversified their economy in trade, commerce and industry, besides the rich land revenue. They could therefore contribute towards education, learning and health facilities.

However, the book, Prof. Sajjad claimed, is less about the decline of the Raj, and more about raising questions about the mystery around the death of the 54 years old, last Maharaj of Darbhanga, Kameshwar Singh (1 Oct 1962), who was a Rajya Sabha MP at the time when he passed away. The questions that the book raises about the death, push the story towards a strong possibility that he may have rather been killed by his people whose aspiration to become the successor was not to be fulfilled.

“Post-death power-play suggests that the ‘Will’ of the Maharaj may have been manipulated wherein the most crucial issue of succession is elusive in the ‘Will’. Thus, the ‘institution’ stood reduced into mere property, to be taken away by the greedy people around,” he added.

Elaborating on the decline of the Darbhanga Raj, Prof Sajjad underscored that an important factor behind the decline was that the Raj women didn't have modern education and outlook, administrative skills and vision of development. Thus, "Palace Intrigues" became almost inevitable.

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