‘Nominating successor is linked to the issue of having possession of palace’
Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, wife of the last scion of the royal family late Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, linked the issue of succession and conduct of Dasara to the withdrawal of the Mysore Palace (Acquisition and Transfer) Act, 1998.
At a press conference at the Amba Vilas Palace here on Saturday, though Ms. Wadiyar gave an assurance that there would be no immediate disruption in the traditional festivities and customs associated with Dasara, a part of the State’s cultural legacy, she did not want the heir designate to undergo the torment of fighting the legal dispute pertaining to the palace and other properties.
Ms. Wadiyar, who became emotional and paused for extended periods to regain her composure, said the issue of nominating a successor was tied up inextricably with the issue of having possession of the palace to continue the legacy.
“Unless this (palace issue) is sorted out, the continuance of the customs and traditions related to all religious festivities unique to the royal family hangs in the air,” she said. “Dasara festivities are an integral part of the religious customs and traditions unique to the royal family of Mysore. It cannot be performed anywhere other than the palace,” she added.
She hinted that the private Dasara would be held as usual, but the question of conducting the durbar and the symbolic ascending of the throne, which is part of the tradition, has not been thought of.
But the crux of the issue revolved around the legal dispute over acquisition of their property by the State government, and Ms. Wadiyar minced no words when she said no royal family in the country has been subjected to harassment and humiliation at the hands of the State government as the Wadiyars. “The Mysore royal family has been singled out,” she said, adding: “We definitely deserved better treatment from the State government.”
In reply to a query, Ms. Wadiyar said though successive governments had promised to resolve the issue, there has been no action.
“Promises are made during Dasara to solve legal issues amicably to secure our cooperation for the festivities, after which there is no word from the government. But we cannot be rigid in not extending cooperation as the State festival and the religious sentiments of the people would be affected,” said Ms. Wadiyar.