Mysore Maharaja Jayachamaraja could be best described as the most eminent monarch-democrat, President Ram Nath Kovind said at his centenary celebrations on Thursday.
The President gloriously invoked Jayachamaraja as an exceptional ruler and an able administrator at the illuminated and decked up Amba Vilas Palace in Mysore, located 150 km from Bengaluru.
Soon after being crowned the Yuvaraja on September 8, 1940, Jayachamaraja enforced a reformed constitution in the Mysuru state and proclaimed that "The torch of constitutional progress has been handed down to me as a family heritage. It is my ambition, as I am sure it is yours, to ensure that its light does not grow dim but will burn ever brighter with the passage of time... "
The President highlighted that the ruler of the Myusuru state was one of the first kings to join the Indian union through the Instrument of Accession, soon after India achieved independence.
"He should be thus regarded as the icon of India's transition to democracy," the President said.
After merging with India, Jayachamaraja was appointed Rajpramukh till November 1956.
Later, owing to his fame, he was made the Governor of the newly carved out Mysore state, to hold that position till May 4, 1964.
"Can we think as to what is unique about this land that nourishes the best of social values and impulses? That was exactly what drove a Maharaja to put his people first," lauded Kovind pointing out to the democratic ethos deeply rooted in Karnataka.
Further talking about Jayachamaraja, the President praised him for incorporating the local traditions and also adopting the good attributes of Western civilisation.
Kovind compared Jayachamaraja to Mahatma Gandhi, who also similarly married tradition with modernity
The 25th Wadiyar king of the Mysore princely state during the British rule was born on July 18, 1919 and died on September 23, 1974.
Jayachamaraja's father Narasimharaja Wadiyar passed away when he was only 21, who soon faced another tragedy in the death of his uncle Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar.
Mysuru titular king Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja, queen mother Pramoda Devi, princess Trishika Kumari and royal members of the Wadiyar clan graced the occasion.
The city of palaces and the cultural capital of the southern state just hosted the world famous 10-day Dasara festival on Tuesday, with a victory parade from the palace to the Bannimantap grounds across the city.