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"Dynasties Don't Exist Anymore"

Dressed in a Brigitte Singh designer salwar kameez, sindoor and solitaires firmly in place, beaming father Bhawani 'Bubbles' Singh sitting alongside, a very radiant, confident, articulate Rajkumari Diya Singh

"Dynasties Don't Exist Anymore"
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

Why such a violent reaction to your marriage?

I don't understand why it's become such a big issue. People have married inter-caste before. People have married outside their caste also in the royal family.

Are there divisions within the royal family that outsiders are exploiting?

One doesn't know.

Have you ever discussed this issue with your grandmother, Rajmata Gayatri Devi?

I haven't. But my parents have.

What was her reaction?

(Bhawani Singh interjects) Well, I'll tell you. Her reaction was, why don't you get it done and over with?

What's your reaction to suggestions made to your father that he adopt one of your uncle's sons?

Dynasties don't exist anymore. The issue is really for my parents to decide. I can't really comment on something like this.

When did your marriage happen?

(Smiles) Which one?

The first one...

That was in Feb '94 in Delhi. We had an Arya Samaj marriage first, after which we got it registered in court.

What decided you in favour of your husband over other suitors?

We were very fond of each other. He's intelligent, receptive, a quick learner. That was the main thing. You don't think of these things when you get involved. You don't choose things. It happens over a period of time.

What's your reaction to threats to excommunicate your family?

I think they're carrying things a bit too far. We got letters saying we'll burn your Delhi house, the City Palace. Come with two busloads to the venue to disrupt the wedding.

Narendra Singh Rajawat, president of the Rajput Mahasabha, alleges your mother was very rude to him over the phone from Delhi...

That's not true. In fact NS barged into my Dad's office without an appointment on the 26th, started shouting saying 'what is this you're doing?' He also spoke to my mother on the phone. Said something he shouldn't have.

Like suggest you convert to Islam in case you want to do this?

Yes. Said 'you people should become Muslims' among other things.

Did he ever try and talk to you?

Yes. His wife and he came to the City Palace in August last year. My husband and his family were being harassed. Rajput Sabha people would keep calling saying he should come to the Sabha, explain. My husband asked me to tell my family to talk to him. I told my mother who spoke to Rajmata. Rajmata told him I was involved with so 'n so. Rajawat was quiet and even went and told the Sabha it was a personal matter and they should not interfere. Last year I met him and his wife again. Told them I was determined to marry this person and my parents were not supporting me. They said get your parents on your side, the community can be handled. They said do social work. That will help.

Did the Rajput Mahasabha people ask you to have a reception instead of marriage so as not to set a bad precedent for the community?

I don't agree.

Shaadi karo ya reception , it's the same thing. I asked my parents 'do you want to go all out?' Actually they didn't. The wedding should have happened in Jaipur. We didn't call too many people. In marriages of our type we call thousands of people. We just had close friends. Mostly relatives. Barely 200 people.

You would have preferred the wedding to be at Jaipur?

Yes. We decided otherwise because of all these problems.

(BS interjects) We plan to have a reception there. Sometime around Diwali.

What are your husband's plans?

He's into construction. He's also doing law. Contrary to reports, he was never our chauffeur. He worked in our Trust office for three months.

Was your father-in-law a security guard at the Palace as some news-reports have stated?

Never. He worked in my father's political office when my father fought an election.

Do you think you, with your advantages, would give your husband a complex?

Not yet.

Did it feel good to be given away by your parents?

Very good.

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