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Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Photographs II Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Photographs II H.H. BHOPAL SINGH (1884 - 1955)
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Signed Portrait of H.H. Bhopal Singh Maharana of Udaipur; a very fine albumen and gelatin silver print, mounted on Vernon & Co., Bombay, India with gilded Court of Arm on top with gilding, signed bottom left, H.H. Bhopal Singh 17/11/1923.
Maharana Bhupal Singh1930-1955 AD (74th custodian)
Maharana Bhupal Singh who succeeded Fateh Singh formally ascended the gaddi in 1930 had been exercising power since 1921 as a result of British intervention. With a vision to lead in an age of turbulence. Maharana Bhupal Singh as the ruler of Mewar guided its destiny through India’s most momentous period, the Independence from British Imperial rule. Like Rana Pratap’s heroic defence against the Mughals, Maharana Bhupal Singh’s vision was born out of a deep sense of patriotism and pride in upholding the core values of Suryavanshi Kings. Confined to a wheelchair with a crippling spinal disorder, the Maharana’s personal courage at all times exemplified the triumph of the human spirit.
He was aware of the dynamic social changes sweeping across the country and encouraged the orderly growth of social and political movements. Like his famous ancestors who were relentless reformers in the field of education, the Maharana established the Rana Pratap Hindi University at Chittor and an Agricultural College at Udaipur. Schools, especially for girls, were set up. He reformed the judicial powers in his state. He also paid a lot of attention to irrigation works and began the construction of the Bhupal Singh Dam. By 1935, he had set up fifteen dispensaries in various parts of his town. He reformed the local coinage too. (Hooja: 2006, p.1019-1014).
He was a committed environmentalist, organising long-term afforestation programmes for the Aravalli Hills. Sustained industrial activity made the Mewar economy more vibrant in his reign. The modern exploitation of the long known and famous Zawar mines rich with their zinc, silver and lead content began during his reign. With Independence, came Maharana Bhupal Singh’s finest hour. The ruler, who stood to lose the entire governance of his kingdom, became the first State to merge with the indian Union. His historic words echoed the glory of Rana Sanga and Rana Pratap: “Today is a day of which to be greatly proud. India is independent. It brings to fulfilment the 1500 years’ struggle and endeavour of my forefathers. It becomes my holy duty, on behalf of my ancestors, to hand over to the leaders of free India, this cherished and sacred Flame of Freedom to the country as a whole.”
Maharana Bhupal Singh, acting honourably as the Diwan of Eklingji, served the interests and welfare of his people even though it spelt the end of Mewar’s sovereignty, which began with Guhaditya and was proudly defended for 1500 years. The grateful Government of India nominated him as “Maharaj Pramukh”, the only title of its kind in whole of India .