The Maharaja of Bikaner

The Maharaja of Bikaner

Product ID: 32668

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Author: Hugh Purcell
Publisher: Rupa
Year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 187
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788129124685


A biography of Maharaja Ganga Singh, one of the most pragmatic rulers that India has ever known.

Dynamic, enigmatic and a spirited public figure, Ganga Singh (1880-1943), the twenty-first maharaja of Rajasthan, was one of the last Indian princes to play an important role in the politics of the British Empire. He lent his support to the British Army in both the World Wars by fighting on the Western Front and in Egypt. A soldier in his own right, he commanded his own camel corps, the Ganga Risala, and became the first ever Indian general of the British Indian Army - a contribution that was rewarded by invitations to London for the Imperial War Conference in 1917 and the Paris Peace Conference in 1918, where he signed the iconic Treaty of Versailles.

At home, Ganga Singh built the famous Gang Canal, which transformed Bikaner from a town plagued by famine and poverty to a thriving centre of trade. Against the backdrop of the Home Rule Movement, he managed to persuade the British to include India in the League of Nations - no mean feat, as India was not an independent nation at the time.

In The Maharaja of Bikaner, Hugh Purcell profiles one of the most pragmatic rulers that India has ever known and, in the process, chronicles the role of the Indian princes in the British Empire.


'He is a figure out of the Arabian Nights with jewel-studded turban, an exceedingly handsome countenance and upright bearing.'


Prologue: 1919

I. The Life and the Land
1. The Maharaja of Bikaner and the Indian Princes
2. The Indian Army in the First World War
3. SP Sinha and the Indian National Congress
4. The Imperial war Cabinet and Conference, March – May 1917
5. The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms

II. The Paris Peace Conference
6. The Call to Peace
7. The Paris Peace Conference India and The League of Nations
8. The Paris Pease Conference India and the Ottoman Empire

III. The Legacy
9. Reform and Revolt, 1919-24
10. Towards Independence : The Rise of the Congress Party
11. Towards Independence : Bikaner and The Fall of the Prices

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