Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar
|Died||10 December 2013 (aged 60)|
|Children||None. Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar adopted after his death by his widow.|
Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar (20 February 1953 – 10 December 2013) was an Indian royal, politician, and fashion designer, who served as a Member of Parliament from Mysore constituency. He was the son of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, the last ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore, British India.
As a fashion designer, he promoted the sale of Mysore silk saris under his brand, Royal Silk of Mysore. In the second half of the 20th century, the South Indian silk industry was revived, and Mysore State became a top silk producer in India.
Born in 1953 as the only son of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar and his second wife, Maharani Tripura Sundari Ammani, Srikantadatta Wadiyar succeeded his father as the head of the Wadiyar dynasty after his father's death on 9 September 1974.
He continued the traditional customs of the royal family from 1974 until his death on 10 December 2013. Srikantadatta Wadiyar's wife, Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, adopted Yaduveer Gopalraj Urs, who was renamed Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, as her son, on 23 February 2015.
Srikantadatta Wadiyar studied in the private royal school at the Mysore Palace and completed his secondary school education in 1967. He took horse riding lessons from the Government Riding School, Mysore.
He had a British and an Anglo-Indian nanny who groomed him. Mr. Watsa was a mentor to him during his formative years. He joined Maharaja's College, Mysore, in 1968 to pursue his one-year pre-university course and later earned a degree in Bachelor of Arts in 1972, pursuing it from 1969 to 1972, majoring in the English literature and political science.
His minor subject was sociology. His second language was Kannada, tutored by Prof. K. Venkataramappa. He did his master's degree in political science at Manasa Gangotri, University of Mysore, from 1972 to 1974. He studied a course in law as an open-university student.
Throughout his college career, he was an avid cricketer and had a collection of cricket bats signed by international test cricket players. He also studied Western classical music and Carnatic classical music. In his youth, he had studied the Vedas as well. He was awarded gold medal for securing the first rank in Master of Arts in Political Science. His wife, Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, is a post-graduate in Hindi.
His love of cricket led him to captain his university's team and later prompted his involvement in leading the Karnataka State Cricket Association as its president.
He was married to Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, from the Bettada Kote Ursu family of the Mysore State. They had no children. Although he never had any legal or official title related to his role as head of the erstwhile royal family, people referred to him with respect and esteem as Maharaja.
Wadiyar was the only brother of 5 sisters: Princesses Gayatri Devi, Meenakshi Devi, Kamakshi Devi, Indrakshi Devi, and, the youngest, Vishalakshi Devi.
He celebrated the royal tradition of Mysore Dasara by performing all the rituals which were conducted by his ancestors—the rulers of the erstwhile princely state of Mysore. He conducted a khasgi (private/special) durbar during the festivities, where he ascended the golden throne at the Amba Vilas Hall of the Mysore Palace.
Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar said in an interview that he was an atheist for a brief period. He then resumed his Hindu theistic principles.
Wadiyar was a longtime member of the Indian National Congress. He participated six times in elections for Member of Parliament representing the Mysore Parliamentary Constituency. He won four time as the INC member, and lost twice; once as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate and once more recently as a Congress party candidate.
In 1984, Wadiyar first stood for Lok Sabha elections on an Indian National Congress ticket and defeated independent candidate K. P. Shantamurthy. He joined the BJP in 1991, but lost the elections badly to Chandraprabha Urs of the Congress. He moved back to the Congress Party, and won Lok Sabha elections in 1996 and 1999, but lost the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
On 10 December 2013, Wadiyar died from cardiac arrest aged 60 at Vikram Hospital, Bangalore. He was cremated with full state honours at Madhu Vana, the burial ground of the royal family. On the day of his demise, the whole city of Mysore shut its business voluntarily in respect. When Siddaramaiah was the Chief Minister of Karnataka, he declared a two-day mourning ceremony and a state government holiday. In addition, lighting of his Mysore Ambavilas Palace was halted for thirteen days as a symbol of grief. He was mourned by his wife Pramoda Devi Wadiyar.
Wadiyar died without a heir; so, during the royal Dasara celebrations of 2014, his nephew Chaduranga Kantharaj Urs performed the rituals while the "khasgi" (private) durbar was conducted by placing the "Pattada Katti" (royal sword) on the throne.
The Karnataka State Cricket Association, of which Wadiyar was elected president just a few days before his death, named the Karnataka Premier League tournament after him. The University of Mysore Platinum Jubilee Cricket Stadium, later known as Gangotri Glades Cricket Ground, was named in Srikantadatta Wadiyar's memory. A sand sculpture of Srikantadatta Wadiyar was etched. A wax sculpture of his like was also created by wax-sculptor Shreeji Bhaskaran.
In 2014, India Posts issued a special cover depicting the private durbar of Srikantadatta Wadiyar.
His wife Pramoda Devi Wadiyar became his successor and legal heir. She adopted Yaduveer Gopalraj Urs in February 2015 as her son and renamed him Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar. She conducted the anointment ceremony of her son, thereby delegating him to conduct and continue the religious rituals as per customs of the Wadiyar family.