Early life of Karni Singh
Karni Singh was born as Prince Karni Singh on 21st April in the year 1924 in the Princely State of Bikaner. Karni Singh did his first schooling at Bikaner, after which he attended St Stephen's College, Delhi, and St Xavier's College, Mumbai where he graduated in Bachelor of Arts with Honours in History and Politics.
Personal Life of Karni Singh
On 25th February 1944, Maharaja Karni Singh married Sushila Kumari of Dungarpur, and they had one son and two daughters. One of his daughters, Princess Rajyashree Kumari was also a first class shooting sportswoman who received the Arjuna Award in the year 1968.
Defense Career of Karni Singh
Karni Singh gave active service in the Second World Warin the Middle East with his grandfather, H.H. General Sir Ganga Singh, the 23rd Maharaja of Bikaner. Prince Karni succeeded his father, H.H. Lieutenant-General Maharaja Sir Sadul Singh in the year 1950.
Political Career of Maharaja Karni Singh
In the year 1952, the young Maharaja Karni Singh was elected as a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha (Lower House) of India from Bikaner constituency as an independent candidate, serving on several consultative committees of different ministries; he held the seat until 1977. In the year 1964, Maharaja Karni Singh received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Bombay University, for his thesis on "The Relationship of the Bikaner Royal Family with Central Authority (1465-1949)". Maharaja Karni Singh was an ardent supporter of the Rajasthani Language and argued for its inclusion in the 14th schedule of the Indian Constitution.
Sporting Career of Maharaja Karni Singh
Maharaja Karni Singh attended his last Olympic Games in the year 1980. He won the National Championship in Clay Pigeon Trap and Skeet 17 times. He represented India at all levels of international competition. He was the first Indian to compete at five Olympic Games 1960 to 1980, missing the Games of 1976, representing India at clay pigeon shooting at the Summer Olympics in Rome, 1960, Tokyo, 1964 (Captain), Mexico, 1968, Munich, 1972, and Moscow, 1980. His best positions in competition were 8th in 1960 and 10th in 1968. Maharaja Karni Singh represented India in the World Shooting Championships at Oslo in 1961. In the next year he won a silver medal at the 38th World Shooting Championships in Cairo, after tie for first place, captaining the Indian team. He also competed in the World Shooting Championships at Wiesbaden in 1966. Again, he captained the team at Bologna in 1967 and San Sebastian in 1969. Maharaja Karni Singh competed in the Asian Shooting Championships at Tokyo in 1967 and at Seoul in 1971, where he won a Gold Medal. Maharaja Karni Singh won a Silver Medal at the Asian Games in Tehran, 1974, and another in the Asian Games at Kuala Lumpur in 1975. In the year 1981, Maharaja Karni Singh won the Welsh Grand Prix for clay pigeon shooting- the North Wales Cup and the North West of England Cup. He was the first person, who was awarded with the Arjuna Award in shooting field in the year 1961. All of his shooting experiences have been recorded by him in a book named ‘From Rome to Moscow’. Along with that, he was also a sharp player of tennis, golf and cricket; he also held the license of a private pilot.
Memberships of Maharaja Karni Singh
Maharaja Karni Singh was a member of the Asiatic Society of India, the National Sports Club of India, the Cricket Club of India, the Western India Automobile Association, the Bombay Natural History Society, the Bombay Flying Club, the Bombay Presidency Golf Club, the Delhi Golf Club, the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (of which he was an Honorary Life Vice-President), the Willingdon Sports Club, and the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club.
Honours Given to Karni Singh
The honours, which have been given to Dr Karni Singh are- Grand Commander of the Order of Vikram Star (Bikaner), Order of Sadul Star (Bikaner), Order of Star of Honour (Bikaner), Africa Star (Second World War campaign medal), India Service Medal, Arjuna Award for shooting sports, 1962.