Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXVII No. 12, October 1-15, 2017

The Vizianagaram Royals

Viz Treaty-1- Title page copyMy grandfather, Dr. K.N. Kesari (1875-1953), was a friend of the princely Vizianagaram family and the printing press that he set up in the 1920s, Lodhra Press, was involved in reprinting a report in 1938 that was originally compiled in 1894 and went by the tortuous title: “Vizianagarm Treaty of November 15th 1758 and the end of the fifteen years’ war between the English and the French for the Sovereignty of India, from 1744 to 1759 , A.D. with a sketch account of the noteworthy facts connected with the Vizianagarm Family”. 

I send herewith images of the title page, preface, the last page of the main text and an appendix giving a brief history of the Vizianagaram Family. 

From the preface it would appear that the report was prepared originally in 1894, in response to a communication received by the then Maharaja from the British India Government for the insertion of the Vizianagaram Treaty of 1758 in Aitchison’s Treaties*.

Viz Treaty-2- Preface copy
Viz Treaty-3-Last page copy
Viz Treaty- 4- Brief History copyThe report itself is a brief history of India of the 18th and 19th Centuries (mostly dealing with the shenanigans of the princely rulers and their dealings with the British and French colonial powers of the time) with extensive quotations from chronicles of Indian history by British writers such as Meadows Taylor, Robert Orme, Henry Beveridge and Macfarlane, and even an odd quote from Thomas Babington Macaulay. In another dimension the report is a fervent plea by the ruler of a princely state to the British powers-that-be to confer the privilege of including the Vizianagarm Treaty of 1758 (with the British) in Aitchison’s Treaties, considering the unwavering loyalty displayed by the Vizianagarm Family to the cause of enhancement of British power in India. Inclusion in Aitchison’s was probably reckoned as the acme of recognition of a ruler’s loyalty to the British Colonial power.

The report aptly concludes with the valediction “Your most obedient servant”. Indeed!

The present Union Civil Aviation Minister belongs to this lineage. And then who can forget the one and only ‘Vizzy’, the Maharajkumar of Vizianagaram who used to inflict his unique brand of cricket commentary (with more off-field rantings than descriptions about what was going on in the field) over All India Radio on hapless listeners in the 1940s and ’50s?

K. Balakesari
22, Westcott Road, Chennai 600014

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