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Fashioning a National ArtBaroda's Royal Collection and Art Institutions (1875-1924)$
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Priya Maholay-Jaradi

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199466849

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199466849.001.0001

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Manoeuvring Baroda and the Nation in British India

Manoeuvring Baroda and the Nation in British India

Sayajirao Refashions Baroda

(p.1) 1 Manoeuvring Baroda and the Nation in British India
Fashioning a National Art

Priya Maholay-Jaradi

Oxford University Press

Set against princely India’s reorientation towards English–Indian hybrid lifestyles as well its English–Indian political indoctrination, this chapter traces Sayajirao’s favourable response to both cultures and political systems. In his zeal to secure locally viable institutions, Baroda’s reforms—seemingly cast in the mould of a bourgeois colonial modernity—actually culminate in a pragmatic exchange of best practices and critical regeneration of European and native systems. Through analysis of biographies, speeches, and administration reports, the chapter presents the mentoring of a minor prince as statesman, his position as the inheritor of a leading princely state, and his arrival as an astute commentator and ideologue of nationwide concerns in the face of colonial rule. As the maharaja begins to be claimed as a potential national leader, a parallel narrative highlights the assimilative nature of Baroda’s cultural projects and their underlying ideas that transcend geopolitical boundaries to stand in as potential national models.

Keywords:   societal modernization, bourgeois modernity, alternative modernity, hybrid lifestyle, prestige consumption, statesman, indigenous/local, reconfiguration, khangi department

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