Congress in Himachal asks party to desist addressing ‘Raja Sahib’ as Raja Sahib

Shimla: Its going to be a habit hard for congressman to kick up of not using Raja Sahib title before any individuals names in accordance with a diktat issued by the AICC organizing committee, for former chief minister Virbhadra Singh is not just a Raja but has been publically addressed just so for about three decades here.

Talking about the directive, Kaul Singh Thakur, Pradesh congress president said, “AICC organizing secretary Janardhan Trivedi has written to all state congress presidents that party workers be asked not to address any congressman by adding the titles of Raja, Rani, Kanwar or Tikka.”

“I have passed on the instructions to district and block units as well as heads of other frontal organizations. Addressing individuals with these feudal titles will not be allowed at any party functions that are held in the state,” said Kaul Singh.

While Virbhadra loyalist say that it is another attempt to belittle and sideline the senior leader, others say that the diktat is only an indicator of leadership change the party is trying to usher in the state.

However, this is not the first time the title Raja Sahib and its association with five time former chief minister Virbhadra Singh has been in the news for the wrong reasons.

Being the scion from the royal house of Bushair, with palaces at Rampur and Saharan, Virbhadra Singh is perhaps the last Raja who signed the agreement of accession with the union of India after attaining Independence in 1947.

However, a film titled ‘Kohram’ that was released in 1999 had raked up a controversy in the hill state for the villain of the film was not only named Virbhadra Singh but also was addressed as Raja Sahib, in close resemblance that was certainly not coincidental with the former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.

The city then had witnessed violent protests over screening of the film. Seeking a restraining order against screening of the film, Virbhadra Singh had petitioned the High Court that the villain of the film not only bore his name but was also addressed as Raja Sahib, which was deliberately done to tarnish his image as he was popularly known as Raja Sahib both inside and outside the state. Allowing the petition the court had banned film.

With the new party diktat of not using feudal titles, it remains to be seen whether a whole generation of congressmen used to publically addressing the former chief minister as Raja Sahib are able to gather courage and discard use of the royal title.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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5 Comments

  1. says: Avnish Katoch

    I dont think it is about leadership change at all. Feudal system ended in India in 1947. I wonder why still people have same old mentality. No past Raja needs to be called Raja at all.

    People called Virbhadra a Raja because coming from a financially strong family he controlled politics of power. Those who wanted to rise in this system, did call him Raja and in fact bowed in front of him and always treated him like a royal! I still remember when in our High School he came for our annual function, he just fell in sleep in front of huge crowd (I am sure due to tough hilly travel he was tired) but still local speakers kept praising him. I wonder if he even cared for those words!

  2. says: Rajneesh

    Nice daring to say, gone are the days of Rajas but followers are still there to bow. People bow and bent due to expectations from the position only.. not because Virbhadra Singh was from Royal Family. Once ex CM is away from influence of power and position, same public and followers will have no time to ask how is he..Rising sun is worshiped everywhere..

    Politicians have a knack to collect mob psychology..know how to control , twist and turn it..once the remote is in their hands..they can sleep for eternity without bothering someone else can change channels that don’t praise them !

  3. With the change of dictatorship during 1947, and democracy stalled in India on 15th August, 1947, there should not have any ” Rajas, Ranis, Kanwars and Tikkas. But the some people whose vested interests are connected with such high dignituries , they are the one who exploited the general public and made flutterings to get their work done by one way or the other.
    Mr. Vir bhadra Singh Former Chief Minister for five times is a highly respectable person in the hearts and mind of the people . He had so many times addressed the public not to say to him ” Raja Sahib” but despite that the people whose vested interests are connected, always exploited the General Public on such old lines.
    Interestingly, I appreciat Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal , when he took over as Chief Minister for 2nd time, announced on electronic and print media that no one should offer him flowers garlands, Flowers Guchha’s, and no one should touch his feet. Despite the announcement , still , all this is being done by the public and every body can see it daily on different channels of the electronic media.
    Thus it is quite difficult , how the people can be abstructed from such habits. They have to take personal/ public / works from the Chief Minister, who so ever be the Chief Minister or Minister and they can do any tactices of getting the work from such high dignatries. Sita Ram Dhiman, Sr. BSP, Leader, Himachal Pradesh

  4. says: M.S. Thakur

    We can stop the partymen but can’t stop the public who is associated with him for last couple of decade …

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