With the abolition of princely privileges in India, the splendour of the Maharajahs is vanishing.?
With the abolition of princely privileges in India, the splendour of the Maharajahs is vanishing. But at least one state, Mysore, is keeping up some of the former glory as a tourist attraction. One such example is the festival of Dussehra.
SYNOPSIS: In India, the splendour of the Maharajahs is vanishing by government decree. But at least one state, Mysore, is trying to keep up some of the former glory as a tourist attraction.
India is a land of festivals but perhaps the best known is Dussehra, which is celebrated across the county in memory of the exploits of the Goddess Durga.
Legend has it that on the tenth day of the period known as Dussehra, the goddess killed a demon king in battle. From that time, the tenth day has been regarded as an auspicious occasion.
Indian kings should march to a new war on the day. It is also regarded as a good time to start any new venture, to make new friends. In Mysore state, the Maharajah used to celebrate Dussehra by riding forth from his palace on a elephant. But, with the abolition of the princely privileges, this has changed. Now, a statue representing Mother India has replaced the Maharajah, but the procession goes on.
The decision of India's parliament to abolish the princely privileges ended a battle that had gone on for years. From now on, Maharajahs are known simply as Minister. They have no special purses or privileges such as gun salutes, duty-free exemptions and their own railway carriages. They are no longer exempt from income taxes.
It is estimated that the government of India will save more than two and a half million pounds by the abolition of the purses alone.