I was rather shocked to see this mentioned on the front page of the Times of India, frankly, though I am no constitutional expert, I do believe that the following goes against the spirit of the constitution, wherein all citizens must be equal in the eyes of the state:
More than 55 years after royal titles were abolished under the Constitution , the BJP government in MP has said that one of its ministers will be officially addressed as ‘Shrimant’ — a title of the Scindia royal family.
On October 19, the MP government approved tourism minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia’s demand. It slipped out an official gazette notification that ‘Srimati’ Yashodhara Raje Scindia, sister of Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje, henceforth be addressed as ‘Shrimant’ Yashodhara Raje Scindia.
“In the list of cabinet ministers, honourable minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia’s name will be replaced as Shrimant Yashodhara Raje Scindia as per the notification of 19.10.06,” the order said.
While the state (and the people) often do not go by the constitution, I see a major difference between someone being addressed as ‘His/Her Royal Highness’ because of his/her lineage (for example, in the case of Madhavrao Scindia, Jyotiraditya Scindia or the Wodeyars from Mysore) informally, and the state officially recognizing these people as royalty (which doesn’t exist in India post independence).
If Yashodhara Raje Scindia is officially and legally (by filing an application in the court) changing her name to ‘Shrimant Yashodhara Raje Scindia’, then it is another matter altogether.
No! to royal titles, I say.