A Friend Reminisces - The New Indian Express

A Friend Reminisces

Published: 12th December 2013 08:12 AM

Last Updated: 12th December 2013 08:12 AM

“He was not just a descendant of the royal family. He was like a grandson,” historian P V Nanjaraj Urs describes the bond he shared with Wadiyar.

The septuagenarian cherishes the time he spent with the simple, straightforward and hardworking Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar.

“Though Wadiyar lived at the palace and had everything, he was like an orphan during difficult times. He was not in a position to share his sorrows with others. I was fortunate he confided in me,” Urs said.

“After the last Dasara, the prince held my hands for 20 minutes and spoke to me. He said he had new plans and asked me to be with him. He has now left us suddenly...” Urs’ voice trails off.

‘Financial Crises Troubled Him’

Urs said Wadiyar faced financial crises as Siddaramaiah took  over Mysore and Bangalore palaces during J H Patel’s tenure.

“Siddaramaiah, who came from a socialist background, took over the palaces saying they were public property. It is unfortunate that Wadiyar passed away before a decision was made,” Urs said.

He said the termination of the practice of ‘Raja Dhana’ in 1970 cut off one of the royal family’s sources of income. The Union Government had also levied estate tax of `300 crore, he said.

“The Wadiyar family fell on hard times  when Jayachamarajendra was alive and they had to sell off many properties. When Kumaraswamy was the chief minister, he had promised to hand over the palaces to the family. There is no progress in so far,” Urs said.

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