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Raj (1989)

by Gita Mehta

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
272372,306 (3.36)6
"In the story of Princess Jaya of Balmer Gita Mehta offers a panoramic view of the pain and pageantry attending the demise of royal India. Raised traditionally, Jaya is also schooled to follow modern politics as the royal houses of India, struggling for autonomy within the British Empire, are drawn into global affairs. After her brother dies fighting at Aleppo and her father is poisoned, Jaya is wed to a prince of another kingdom, who forsakes her for an extravagant life in England and Europe. She bears a son, whom she raises to be Maharajah, but in the paroxysm of the nationalist movement and the bloodshed between Hindus and Muslims, both son and husband are doomed. As Maharani, Jaya signs the Instrument of Accession in 1950; as an individual, she stands for election, hoping to carry out the mission of leadership to which she was born. Grounded in details of ancient royal tradition and Hindu ritual, Jaya's story counterpoints a vanished way of life against the complex political realities involved in the passing of the Raj and the birth of the modern nations of India and Pakistan."… (more)
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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
This novel chronicles the life of Jaya, an Indian princess traditionally raised in a time of change and upheaval. Jaya is born in the 1890s, when British rule in India is well-established, and during her lifetime, Jaya sees this authority challenged and crumble. Jaya tests her own strength, as she experiences a loveless marriage and the struggles of motherhood, but also when she becomes the regent of an Indian kingdom after her husband's death. Raj is an interesting portrait of Indian royalty during the struggle for independence and the collapse of the British empire. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Dec 21, 2011 |
A big, rambling novel that was more interesting in describing the Indian cultures that led to the Raj than the main plot. ( )
  Perednia | Oct 6, 2011 |
Raj is a (fictional) tale of princess of Balmer, and later regent Maharani of Sirpur, trying to save her kingdom first from the grasps of British empire, and then from the "reformists". "Raj" holds the promise of a great novel in first few chapters. It has a really interesting plot and characters. It talks about an interesting time of power struggles. But, it somewhere falls behind in creativity. The novel gets slow and repetitive at times, describing similar events and feelings. Overall, it does just ok, decent for one time read. ( )
  shweta81 | Jun 3, 2008 |
Showing 3 of 3
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mehta, GitaAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Längsfeld, MargareteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wielek-Berg, W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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On a cold January morning when Jaya was five years old, her father insisted she accompany him into the jungle.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"In the story of Princess Jaya of Balmer Gita Mehta offers a panoramic view of the pain and pageantry attending the demise of royal India. Raised traditionally, Jaya is also schooled to follow modern politics as the royal houses of India, struggling for autonomy within the British Empire, are drawn into global affairs. After her brother dies fighting at Aleppo and her father is poisoned, Jaya is wed to a prince of another kingdom, who forsakes her for an extravagant life in England and Europe. She bears a son, whom she raises to be Maharajah, but in the paroxysm of the nationalist movement and the bloodshed between Hindus and Muslims, both son and husband are doomed. As Maharani, Jaya signs the Instrument of Accession in 1950; as an individual, she stands for election, hoping to carry out the mission of leadership to which she was born. Grounded in details of ancient royal tradition and Hindu ritual, Jaya's story counterpoints a vanished way of life against the complex political realities involved in the passing of the Raj and the birth of the modern nations of India and Pakistan."

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Book description
Haiku summary
Princess Jaya's life
Duty to kingdoms and men
Dusk of British Raj
(suniru)

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