The Rajasthan State government run Central Museum in Jaipur is still popularly known as the Albert Hall. It was designed by architect Sir Swinton Jacob inspired by the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, in the Indo – Sarcenic style and opened as a Museum in 1887. It was built to commemorate the visit of Albert,... Continue Reading →
Part 5: Rajmata’s legacy Rajmata started the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya, in memory of her departed husband in 1984... A true warrior, lover of freedom, Rajmata Gayatri Devi has empowered generations of women, men, society, state and a country like India. The links to all the 5 parts are given at the end of this post. Please comment on the blog posts. Thank you for reading 🙂
Part 4: Rajmata other love: the City Palace Museum, Jaipur I am lucky that I knew Rajmata slightly personally. She had heard of my father in London where he was pursuing his Phd at SOAS and on his return to his job as Deputy Keeper at the Indian Museum, Kolkata, she had tried to contact him. My father’s evil boss had thrown away Rajmata’s letters of invitation so when my father received a call from someone calling himself Maharaj Prithviraj from Jaipur inquiring why the letters were not replied to, Baba thought it was a prank by his evil boss. Then Maharaj Prithviraj met with him and that started a lifelong bond between them.
Part 3: A passionate affair begins The MGD School is located at Sawai Ram Singh Road on 26 acres of land, you cannot miss it. It houses separate buildings for the senior and junior schools, has two large playing grounds, a big stadium, a rose garden, a swimming pool, two basketball courts, a music and art room, five hostels for different ages, and a hostel for female faculty, several labs, an extremely well stocked library and an infirmary for the unwell girls. It still remains a girl school, a sanctuary for many.
Part 2: The Gayatri Devi ‘Aandhi’
...And, she arrived. In style.
Not because of her beauty, garments, jewellery, handbags, perfumes or shoes. But because when she reached Jaipur for her marriage, it is believed, she had told her husband that she would not follow him by three steps as all Rajasthani women had to but she would walk beside him. He agreed but also told her to be patient as it would take his court some time to accept someone like her.
The word sends a shiver and thrill down every MGDian! For us, there is only one person who has earned this reaction. She is Rajmata Gayatri Deviji Sahiba, Queen Mother of the erstwhile royal state of Jaipur, the present capital of Rajasthan. Though she left us in 2009 she will continue to live in every breath we take, for generations …
This series of five posts is a tribute to Rajmata, written to share with the world who she really was and what she represented for little girls from Rajasthan, a western desert of India, recognised for its valour, colour and cultural heritage. It is also a state that, today, even nearly 75 years after India’s independence has one of the highest crime rates against women, an alarming number of child marriages and dowry deaths, and continues to practice the heinous crime of female foeticide (the killing of the girl child in the womb or immediately on birth, before they even take their first breath).