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Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III

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Item Code: HAO267
Author: V.K. Chavda
Publisher: National Book Trust, India
Language: English
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9789354912047
Pages: 175
Other Details 7.5x5.5 inch
Weight 200 gm
Book Description
About the Book

Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III (1863-1939) was the Maharaja of Baroda State from 1875 to 1939. He is known as the maker of modern Baroda. He made a lifelong effort to live up to the expectations of his benefactors and people. He tried to give a face-lift to the State of Baroda.

In tune with the progressive ideas emanating from the national movement of India, the present biography provides a glimpse into the various reforms that he brought in different fields like education, administration, revenue, sanitation, irrigation, transportation, etc. and paved the way for the development of Baroda as one of the most modern cities of India.

About the Author

Vijay Chavda was Reader in Modern History at the Maharaja Sayajirao University. He studied at the Bombay School of Economics and Sociology. His doctoral thesis on the Gaekwads and the British (MS University, Baroda) and on India, Britain, Russia: A Study in British Opinion, 1838-1878 (Leeds University) have been widely acclaimed.


In what is now called Gujarat State on the western coast of India, till recently there was the native State of Baroda which merged after independence with old Bombay State in 1949. It was a Maratha kingdom, whose origin lay in the history of the 18th and 19th centuries of this part of the country. The arrival of the Marathas on their plundering forays in Gujarat added much to its already fluid political condition. The foundation of the kingdom of the Gaekwads indicated their desire to settle down here in Gujarat, but they being only one of the contending powers trying to establish their supremacy, peace could not reign there. Peace came only with the English becoming the supreme power in the first quarter of the 19th century. The English brought with them the modern concepts of both State and kingship. When ruler after ruler in Baroda failed to conform to this modern concept, at last they produced their own nominee, and he was Sayaji Rao III, who came to the Baroda throne in 1875. With Sayaji Rao the modern period in the history of Baroda and to an extent in that of Gujarat begins.

Beyond their wildest expectations, the English found in Sayaji Rao, a ruler who was more than a match to them. Not only did he become an independent- minded ruler, but also he went farther than the Indian Government on the path of progress. More than that, he turned out to be a nation-builder, to the great surprise and even chagrin of the British. During his long rule of 63 years, the native State of Baroda and its Gaekwads were known in many parts of the world. In his time his State registered all-round progress, Baroda became the cultural capital of Gujarat, if Ahmedabad could be called its economic capital. People loved Sayaji Rao and he loved and cared for his people. He gave his people better life and held out a promise for the best. And what surprising is that being a native ruler, he did hesitate to demand a better deal for the people of India in their fight for freedom. Of course, he had his limitations. But the very fact that even the British came to suspect him frequently for aiding, according to them, the 'seditious movement is sufficient to prove his sympathy for the national cause. He, therefore, naturally became one of the torch-bearers of the independent India to come.

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