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Maharaja Sir Tej Singh Prabhakar, KCSI (17 March 1911 – 15 February 2009), was the last ruling Maharaja of Alwar.

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Maharaja of AlwarEdit

Tej Singh, a remotely related cousin of the previous ruler, Sir Jai Singh Prabhakar, was selected by the British to rule Alwar, as Sir Jai Singh had been deposed by them for gross misrule. Initially he had limited administrative control, but was given executive authority eventually in the last days of the British Raj by the Viceroy of India in 1944.[1]

Sir Tej Singh (like Sir Jai Singh) was a supporter of Hindu nationalism through the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, and hosted the Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha of which he served as president in 1947. He opposed Mahatma Gandhi's Non-cooperation movement. There is speculation that he supported and funded the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.[2] He appointed Dr N.B. Khare as his prime minister who failed to prevent, and some say encouraged pushing, Alwar into sectarian violence that saw Muslims forcefully converted, forced out, and in some cases murdered during the Partition of India.[3] He was accused but found innocent of playing a role in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi,[1] with a claim (never upheld) that the revolver used in the assassination came from Sir Tej Singh. His association with the implicated Hindu Mahasabha and a prominent suspect at the time, Dr N.B. Khare (his Prime Minister), added to the suspicion.[4] The issue remains controversial to this day.[5][6]

Sir Tej Singh ruled for a decade, from 1937-1947, with administrative control only granted in 1944,[1] before the coming of Indian independence in 1947.

In 1948, possibly under pressure during the Gandhi assassination investigation,[1] Sir Tej Singh agreed that Alwar be merged with other Eastern Rajputana princely states to form the Matsya Union; the union merged into that of Greater Rajasthan the following year. After 1948, Sir Tej retired to his New Delhi residence, Alwar House, where he lived for the next six decades, visiting his former kingdom but rarely.

DerecognisationEdit

Sir Tej Singh was formally stripped of his titles in 1971 as part of the mass derecognisation of the royal families. During the Indian Emergency, tax inspectors under the Indira Gandhi regime forcibly searched the Alwar palaces.

Sir Tej Singh died at Alwar House, New Delhi, on 15 February 2009, a month shy of his 98th birthday. He was cremated at Delhi. At his death, he was one of the last surviving princely rulers of the old Indian Empire and was the last living member of the Order of the Star of India. He was succeeded as Maharaja of Alwar by his grandson, Jitendra Singh.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1931, Tej Singh married Chand Kanwarji of Jodhpur (d. 1998). The couple had two sons and three daughters:

  • 1. Pratap Singh (17 June 1938 – 27 March 1976). Killed under mysterious circumstances at Alwar during the Indian Emergency. Married on 26 April 1962 to the Princess of Bundi Mahendra Kumari, MP (6 February 1942 – 27 June 2002), and had one son and one daughter:
    • Jitendra Pratap Singh (12 June 1971-), who succeeded as HH Raj Rishi Sawai Maharaja Jitendra Pratap Singh Veerendra Shiromani Dev Bharat Prabhakar Bahadur, Maharaja of Alwar upon his grandfather's death on 15 February 2009 (see article)
    • Minakshi Kumari.
  • 2. Yashwant Singh (19 September 1939-). Married Brinda Kumari (1942-), and has one son and two daughters:
  • 3. Pratap Kumari
  • 4. Bhanu Kumari
  • 5. Man Kumari

TitlesEdit

  • 1911-1937: Sri Tej Singh
  • 1937-1941: His Highness Raj Rishi Sri Sawai Maharaja Tej Singh Veerendra Shiromani Dev Bharat Prabhakar Bahadur, Maharaja of Alwar
  • 1941-1943: Lieutenant His Highness Raj Rishi Sri Sawai Maharaja Tej Singh Veerendra Shiromani Dev Bharat Prabhakar Bahadur, Maharaja of Alwar
  • 1943-1944: Lieutenant His Highness Raj Rishi Sri Sawai Maharaja Sir Tej Singh Veerendra Shiromani Dev Bharat Prabhakar Bahadur, Maharaja of Alwar, KCSI
  • 1944-1945: Captain His Highness Raj Rishi Sri Sawai Maharaja Sir Tej Singh Veerendra Shiromani Dev Bharat Prabhakar Bahadur, Maharaja of Alwar, KCSI
  • 1945-1946: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Raj Rishi Sri Sawai Maharaja Sir Tej Singh Veerendra Shiromani Dev Bharat Prabhakar Bahadur, Maharaja of Alwar, KCSI
  • 1946-1950: Colonel His Highness Raj Rishi Sri Sawai Maharaja Sir Tej Singh Veerendra Shiromani Dev Bharat Prabhakar Bahadur, Maharaja of Alwar, KCSI

Effective 1950, Article 18 of the Constitution of India abolished non-academic and non-military titles.

HonoursEdit

(ribbon bar, as it would look in 1950)

       

         

Preceded by
Jai Singh Prabhakar Bahadur
Maharaja of Alwar
1937 – 1971
1971 – 2009 (titular)
Succeeded by
Jitendra Singh

ReferencesEdit