As Mysore observes a spontaneous bandh, as plebs and celebs spill platitudes, as newspapers and TV channels plunge into panegyrics, Dr Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi of the department of history at the Karnataka state open University provides a much-needed critique of Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, the last scion of the erstwhile royal family of Mysore, in The Indian Express:
“Wodeyar’s more notable public preoccupation in the last decade had been the legacy of his family. He spiritedly contested a script written by Lingadevaru Halemane, a Marxist playwright and linguist, which was to be used for a “sound and light” show at the Mysore palace.
“Wodeyar contended that his family’s history and accomplishments ought to be highlighted as the singular factor in creating modern Mysore.
“He demanded that everything else, including the contributions of people such as Sir M Visvesvaraya or the history of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, be deleted from this hour-long show. Halemane’s script was altered several times but Wodeyar wasn’t satisfied.
“Even though the “sound and light” show has been occasionally held, it hasn’t become a permanent feature at the Mysore palace. Wodeyar’s resistance has been a determining factor.
“Wodeyar’s inheritance was immense. His legacy isn’t. His royal counterparts from northern Indian states have had greater success both in politics and especially in business. Such success may have eluded him but in Mysore he remained a simple, decent but significant presence, especially during the annual Dasara celebrations.”
Read the full article: Mysore ‘last prince’
Also read: Tell the full, fair, undistorted story: Wodeyar
Srikantadatta Wodeyar: part of Mysore’s royal history or not?
A gourmet or gourmand as one would call this person based on one’s perception. The era of Maharajas might have ended but their contribution in establishing Karnataka as a modern state can’t be undermined. First University to be set up outside British Varsity was at Mysore, First region in India to establish the representative council and the first state to introduce reservations for the downtrodden. Who can forget KRS dam and the power generation station at Shivansamudram?
The royal scion Srikanta Datta Narasimharaya Wodeyar was a simple decent man unlike his flashy counterparts from the North. He may not have been as successful in politics or business unlike his counterparts from Rajasthan.
May your soul rest in peace!
Come on PDCS, what a lie!
Dr Lingadevaru Halemane is not around to provide his side of the story, but we(Churumuri too) closely followed the issue.
Wadiyars problem with the content was that it did not have more than a sentence and a half about Wadiyars and their contributions.
Though Wadiyars are generally less enthusiastic speaking about MV(because they think they have been unfairly painted to be not meritocratic by intellectuals and historians, whereas MV resigned to protest the tokenism in the name of emancipation), they do not have problems with references to Visvesvaraya and Prof Nanjaraje Urs(almost the family historian, relative of the Wadiyars) too did not have any problems if the Sound & Light show, stated the facts about Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and continued narrating about Wadiyars according to the chronology.
He left behind around 200 Rolls Royce and Bentleys. Please take his Lambhorgini Mourabagelo parked in Mumbai
And Wodeyar thought that he deserved more. He wanted more and more, but there is no record of him giving in any real sense. He wanted palaces, cars, clothes; he craved petty power with his remarkable lack of imagination, with no compassion and no intellect. No compassion, no meritocratic ideals, he was a wanton prince.
Srikanta Datta Narasimha Raja Wodeyar Bahadur did nothing for the people. Nothing. Nothing for Mysore, even his sitting on the throne and howdah weighed it down to silliness. He was a heavyweight of nothingness but lard.