The podcast 'The King Speaks from' takes you through royal legacy
In this new podcast series, daughters of Jayachamaraja Wodeyar, Kamakshi Devi and Indrakshi Devi, explore the unexplored parts of the life of their father - the last ruling Maharaja of Mysore
BENGALURU: Once among the most prosperous and ‘model’ princely states in British-ruled India, the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore benefitted from rapid industrialisation and social reforms at the turn of the 20th century. While the legacy of the man largely responsible for that progress, Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV is well documented in the public sphere, his successor, HH Jayachamaraja Wodeyar, is mostly known for presiding over the state at a time of great turbulence both within the country and outside, and eventually over the state’s accession into the Indian Union.
A new podcast called The King Speaks from MAYA Films hopes to change that perception by offering listeners an insight into Jayachamaraja Wodeyar’s relatively short reign, and his life in the aftermath of India’s independence. “Following the centenary celebrations of his birth in 2019, we wanted to preserve his legacy. So as a tribute, we decided to have this foundation in his name, and bring out some events every year during his birth anniversary,” says Kamakshi Devi, third daughter of Jayachamaraja Wodeyar, adding, “We found that a lot of people wanted to know more about my father. So it is also our duty as a family to bring out whatever knowledge we have, and share it with everyone.”
Featuring speeches that the Maharaja delivered over two decades, starting with his coronation speech in 1940, the podcast has original audio speeches from the Maharaja himself, as well as speeches read by the members of the royal family. “We chose speeches, because it’s the closest one can get to understanding his thoughts and viewpoints. We wanted to let people know his expressions, what he thought about all the things he was interested in,” says Indrakshi Devi, the Maharaja’s second youngest daughter, adding that the series will help people get a better picture of the Maharaja’s reign. “When he became the Maharaja, the world was its most troubled state, the Second World War was in progress, while India’s freedom movement escalated. So it was not an easy time for him,” she says.
While much more is known about his public life, Kamakshi Devi rues that little is known about his personal facets. “My father was very well-read, and had an incredible musical talent, composing 94 kritis not just in Kannada but also in Sanskrit, he was a very humble man,” she adds.
Bengaluru used to be a cherished getaway for the Wodeyar family in the past, and eventually became home. But times in old Bangalore, where freedom and fun were uncurtailed, bring back a rush of memories. “We looked at Bengaluru as an exciting place, because it is here that we had the freedom we didn’t have in the Mysore Palace which was open to the public. During holidays or weekends, we would come here and go shopping,” says Indrakshi Devi.