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Biography, Autobiography, Journal and Anecdotes

Part I - Biography


Nowhere was social reform carried on with more energy than in the State of Baroda. The Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad, and before his accession the Prime Minister Sir T. Madhari Rao, recognized clearly the necessity of overstepping the barriers that stood in the way of progress, and saw that means must be taken to bring to the country a measure of prosperity, for lack of which it was sinking to a depressed and dependent state. On the initiative of the latter, schools were opened and education encouraged.

The aims of Maharaja Sayajirao can best be given in his own words:

"India must cease to be an agricultural country and must make her place among the commercial and manufacturing nations. I can conceive of no loftier mission than this, to teach philosophy to the West and learn its science, to impart purity of life to Europe and attain to her loftier political ideal, to inculcate spirituality to the American mind and acquire the business ways of her merchants."
                    [Inaugural address, delivered in Calcutta in 1906 at the Industrial conference]

 Schools were opened and attendance was encouraged, so that by 1904 education could be made compulsory. Encouragement was given to agriculture and to the mechanical arts, the greater part of the revenue being spent on this. The Baroda College was opened in 1882, the Kala Bhawan, the Temple of Art, had been founded earlier. The hopes of renascence and projects of reform that were coming to men's minds in India in those years found welcome in Baroda, where also men of talent and worth were sure of recognition.