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John McLeod 2 The Making of Jhallesvar Genealogy In 1983, I was an undergraduate at the University of Toronto. I had recently embarked on a new project to occupy what little spare time I had between my studies and my duties as a member of Canada’s army reserves: to compile genealogies and short histories of the families that ruled the princely and chiefly states of modern India and Pakistan. Today, much of this information is readily available on the internet. That was not the case 32 years ago, when it had to be extracted from old books, archival records, and personal correspondence with members of the ruling families. The John P. Robarts Library at my university has an outstanding collection of published materials that helped me enormously in my quest, and I began planning future trips to archives in Britain and India. But I could find very little information on the ruling families of India in the years since they gave up their ruling powers in 1948-1949. In most cases, I did not even know the name of the current head of the family. But I did know that in the 1960s, a prince called the Maharaja of Dhrangadhra had spearheaded the formation of an organization called the Consultation of Indian States in Concord for India, which I had seen described as a “Princes’ trade union.” And so on a whim, in November 1983 I found his address in Who’s Who and wrote to him to ask whether he could help me. Figure 2.1: Major H. H. Jhallesvar Mahamandalesvar Maharana Sriraj Meghrajji III, Maharaja Sriraj of Halvad-Dhrangadhra KCIE, FRAS, FRAI, ARHistS, Blitt [Oxon] February 15, 1942-August 16 1947. Unauthenticated Download Date | 10/28/17 1:08 PM 22   The Making of Jhallesvar Genealogy Our first interchange of letters marked the beginning of a correspondence that lasted almost thirty years, first by post or telegraph, and from 2002 by email. Over the years, our correspondence developed into a friendship (symbolized for me when he began addressing me as John and signing his letters Bava, or grandfather). The topics of our letters eventually ranged far beyond Indian genealogy. We found we held similar views on many subjects, history, politics, and much else. I visited him at his palace in Dhrangadhra and his house in Pune, where I have vivid memories of grand conversations on history and genealogy over our evening drinks. Figure 2.2: Letter from Bava to John McLeod, February 24, 1984. Unauthenticated Download Date | 10/28/17 1:08 PM  The Making of Jhallesvar Genealogy   23 I started graduate school, and continued to hone my interest in the Indian princes and chiefs (which became the subject of my doctoral dissertation). Here Bava gave me enormous guidance, putting me in touch with other scholars who had studied the same topic (some of them are friends to this day). In the thirty years since then, I have been privileged to travel through the old princely world of India, both in different parts of the subcontinent and beyond. In the process, I have met scholars, princes, and princesses who have taught me and walked with me in this fascinating intellectual quest. I have been fortunate to have had the privilege of writing about many facets of princely Indian life: articles on the Imperial Delhi Durbar of 1911 (1986 J. Mcleod), Hindu princely genealogy of the British period (1986 J. Mcleod), the Tripura succession dispute (1988), the conferral of English honors on India princes (1993 and 1994), and modern Indian kingship as seen in the career of one Prince (1995), and my book Sovereignty, Power, Control: Politics in the States of Western India, 1916-1947 (2007). Building on my immersion in India princely history, I also branched out into studies of non-Princely Indians who reached the highest levels of British society and politics (1997, 2007), and of the Mughal Emperors (1996, 2007). My work on Indian princes of African descent led me into studies of ethnography and anthropology, as did my interpretation of bardic poetry (2001, 2006, 2007 and 2008). The ever increasing diversity of sources that I have encountered in my research on this field of history constantly reminds me of the centrality of genealogy, the archive and the place of memory. In 1987, Bava put me in touch with his second son, Jayasinhji, who at that time, like me, was a graduate student; my friendship with Jayasinhji has continued ever since, as we have received our doctorates and taken up positions at American universities, and Jayasinhji is the editor of this volume to which he invited me to contribute. All the while Bava remained a friend and mentor. My last email from him is dated April 28, 2010, about three months before his death. But although we corresponded on many topics, Bav

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