(Last Updated on : 11/04/2012)
Lakshman Singh, formally known as His Highness Rai-i-Rayan Maharawal Shri Sir Lakshman Singh Bahadur, was the last ruling Maharaja or Maharawal of the princely state of Dungarpur
. He ruled over the territory from the year 1918 to 1989. He was also a former Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha
and speaker of the Rajasthan
Legislative Assembly from the year 1977 to 1979. Singh was the brother of the President of the International Court of Justice, Nagendra Singh.
Early Life of Lakshman Singh
Maharawal Shri Lakshman Singh was born on 7th March 1908 at Udai Villas, Dungarpur
, in the state of Rajasthan
. He was the eldest son Sir Vijaya Singh, Maharawal of the princely state of Dungarpur, and was also the heir apparent. After the death of his father Maharawal Vijaya Singh, Lakshman Singh succeeded him and ascended to the throne. As he was merely 10 of age at the time, thus he ruled under the regency of the Dungarpur political agent and was invested with full ruling powers when he attained the age of majority in the year 1928.
Rule of Lakshman Singh
His Highness Rai-i-Rayan Maharawal Shri Sir Lakshman Singh Bahadur was appointed as a member of the standing committee of the Chamber of Princes
from 1931 to 1947. He was knighted with the Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India
(KCSI) in 1935 and was appointed as the Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire
(GCIE) in the year 1947. After the country achieved independence from the British Government of India, Lakshman Singh established an interim legislature for Dungarpur, along with other rulers and formed the United State of Rajasthan on 25th March 1948. This later modified into the Greater Rajasthan Union in the next year and the princely state of Dungarpur acceded to the Union of India 30th March 1949.
Maharawal Lakshman Singh served as a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, for Aspur, from 1952 to 1958. He was later appointed as the President of the Swatantra Party in Rajasthan from the year 1961 to 1969. In 1962, Singh was appointed as the President of the All India Kshatriya
Mahasabha and served the position until his death. He was also the MLC for Chittor in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly ands served as the speaker from 1977 to 1979. Moreover, from 1962 to 1979, he served as the leader of the opposition party.
Personal Life of Lakshman Singh
On 8th February 1920, His Highness Maharawal Lakshman Singh was married to Biswanji Maharani Shri Brijraj Kunwari Ba Sahiba of Bhinga, at Benares (now Varanasi). The royal couple had two daughters. Lakshman Singh was married for a second time with Rathorji Maharani Shri Manhar Kunwar Ba Sahiba of Kishangarh and had 3 sons and 2 daughters.
He was officially stripped of his titles and honours in 1971 during the mass dereofnition of former Indian princes during the Indira Gandhi regime. He died at the age of 81 on 6th June 1989 at Udai Villas in Dungarpur, after a reign of 71 years. Maharawal Shri Lakshman Singh was succeeded by Mahipal Singh II, his eldest son, as the titular Maharawal of Dungarpur.
Titles of Lakshman Singh
Lakshman Singh, Maharawal of the princely state of Dungarpur held several titles through out his reign which are mentioned below-
* Maharajkumar Shri Lakshman Singh Sahib Bahadur, Yuvaraja of Dungarpur (1908- 1918)
* His Highness Rai-i-Rayan, Mahimahendra, Maharajadhiraj Maharawal Shri Lakshman Singh Sahib Bahadur, Maharawal of Dungarpur (1918- 1935)
* His Highness Rai-i-Rayan, Mahimahendra, Maharajadhiraj Maharawal Shri Sir Lakshman Singh Sahib Bahadur, Maharawal of Dungarpur, KCSI (1935-1947)
* His Highness Rai-i-Rayan, Mahimahendra, Maharajadhiraj Maharawal Shri Sir Lakshman Singh Sahib Bahadur, Maharawal of Dungarpur, GCIE, KCSI (1947- 1989)
Honours of Lakshman Singh
Lakshman Singh was honoured a number of times by the British administration. These are discussed as follows-
* King George V Silver Jubilee Medal (1935)
* Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India- KCSI (1935)
* King George VI Coronation Medal (1937)
* Indian Independence Medal (1947)
* Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire- GCIE (1947)