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Home Nonfiction Biographies & Memoirs Sayajirao Gaekwad III: The Maharaja of Baroda
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Sayajirao Gaekwad III: The Maharaja of Baroda
by Uma Balasubramaniam
4.8 out of 5
Synopsis" Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda state towered over all the other rulers of princely states in British India.
The book not only documents how a Maratha farmer’s son became a maharaja by a twist of fate, but also reveals interesting details about how the ‘favourite son' of the British Empire found himself on the brink of being deposed by the British. Extensively researched and engagingly written, the book unearths secret records from the India Office in London and discloses the role played by Sayajirao in India's fight for freedom.
Despite failing health and great personal tragedies, Sayajirao governed the state with remarkable zeal and had many firsts to his credit. As early as 1881, he opened several schools for girls and a training college for lady teachers. In 1893, he introduced free primary education for children and became the first Indian ruler to do so. He banned child marriage and untouchability and promoted inter-caste marriage and widow remarriage widely.
This is a biography of a great ruler whose legacy does not lie just in great institutions like the Laxmi Vilas Palace, Ajwa reservoir, Kala Bhavan, Central Library of Baroda, Baroda College (now MS University of Baroda), Baroda Museum and Bank of Baroda, but in the scale, nature and foresight of his endeavours.