Sayajirao of Baroda
Sayajirao III, at the young age of thirteen, became Ill' Maharaja of Baroda and thus stepped into an inheritance offabulous wealth and power. The boy a peasant upbringing, whom the British had 14siduously brought up to play the role of an obedient Prince, instead, showed himself to be doggedly independent. An enlightened Head of SIBIC, he made the welfare of his people his topmost concern at a time when such concepts were new, even in the western world. He introduced reform after reform-political, social, administrative educational-such as were not seen in other parts ul'lndia till well after Independence. It was within his domain that some of the first uncertain stirrings of the Independence struggle manifested themselves.
liven that fierce patriot, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar thought that in Baroda an Indian could live with self-respect.
Sayajirao III, was styled by the British as 'Fnrzand-i-Khas' or 'Favourite Son'. He finds a place in the history of the freedom movement in ludia as well. The role played by him in this and is revealed here for the first time on evidence based on secret records in British archives.