On Shrimant and the Indian state recognizing royal titles

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.

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6 Comments

  1. Are you sure she is not facing a gender-identity issue? ‘Shrimant’ for those with rudimentary Hindi or Sanskrit refers to a male and not a female. May be there is more to it than meets the eye.. thank God..

  2. hiya

    Yashodhara scindia is a fool according to me, and an extrememly foolish politician!

    Unlike you im a hardcore royalist and my blog is about royals around the world. But here i think she has behaved stupidly and frankly i dont even think her nephew Jyotiraditya scindia has behaved in a better manner.

    He shoulod have stayed out of it instead of commenting – after all he is acting hypocritically as well.

    Did you know that his family sponsored school’s website clearly states him his wife and his mother with all the royal titles possible

    So mr scindia i think your just a farce! your politically savvy and smarter then your aunt , but just the same i cant respect a man who is so hypocritical!

  3. Nikhil, why not add an ’email this’ tag at the end of each post? That makes it easy for readers to tell others about specific posts and of course does some subtle promotion for the blog too? Thanks.

  4. bullcrap.
    dont see what the fuss is all about. if she is the kind of twerp who thinks she should be respected just because she has “royal” blood, then, it is our duty to respect that desire.
    join me in calling her creative variations on the theme. shrimutt, shributt… it is a winwin. we will have fun. and i am betting that shrimutt vijayaraje ‘sinned here’ will never figure it out anyway.
    cheers
    shekhar

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