Early Life of Maharani Gayatri Devi
Prince Jitendra Narayan of Cooch Behar, was Maharani Gayatri Devi's father, and was the younger brother of the Crown Prince or the Yuvraja. Princess Indira Raje of Baroda was her mother and she was known for her exquisite beauty and had been a renowned socialite. After the death of her uncle, her father ascended the throne. Maharani Gayatri Devi studied at Shantiniketan, and later in Europe, where she travelled with her mother and siblings; there she took formal education to develop secretarial skills in London. The Jaipur Royal Family of Maharani Gayatri Devi lived a lavish life, the men hunting in their forests, spending summers in Europe and the women educating the royal children at elite schools in England, entertaining streams of famous visitors at their desert palaces and generally living the classically colourful life which was normal for Indian royals.
Maharani Gayatri Devi was a particularly ardent horse rider. She had one child, Prince Jagat Singh of Jaipur, Raja of Isarda, who was later granted his grandfather's fief as an additional title. When Maharani Gayatri Devi later became the Rajmata, her son Jagat Singh became the half-brother to the present Maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai Bhawani Singh of Jaipur. Maharani Gayatri Devi was once honored in Vogue magazine's Ten Most Beautiful Women list. Maharani Gayatri Devi funded and established several schools for girl's education in Jaipur, most prominent of which is the Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls' Public School. She also promoted the dying art of blue pottery in Rajasthan.
Political Career of Maharani Gayatri Devi
In 1947, after independence and partition of the country, and later the abolition of Royal rights and privy purses in 1971, Maharani Gayatri Devi opted for a career in Parliament in 1962 and won the constituency in the Lok Sabha in the world's largest avalanche, as said by the Guinness Book of Records. Maharani Gayatri Devi continued to hold this seat on 1967 and 1971, known as the Swatantra Party and standing against the Congress Party. This infuriated Indira Gandhi, who hit back in 1971 by abolishing all privy purses, and stopping all royal rights, flouting the treaties agreed upon in 1947. Maharani Gayatri Devi was unfortunately linked up with the violation of tax laws, and served 5 months in Tihar Jail. She retired from politics after that experience, and showed her interest in writing. Maharani Gayatri Devi published her autobiography - A Princess Remembers, in the year 1976. She also came into the focus of the film 'Memoirs of a Hindu Princess', directed by Francois Levie.
In 2006, India's first 3D documentary movie was based on the life of Maharani Gayatri Devi - 'Rajmata Gayatri Devi's Legacy'. The documentary also contained some videos along with high-end 3D animation that were recreated according to the script developed from the book written by Dharmendra Kanwar.
Maharani Gayatri Devi died on 29th of July 2009 because of lung failure.
(Last Updated on : 08-04-2013)
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