The Prince of Arcot 2

I recently posted about the new website of the Prince of Arcot, and mentioned that I hadn't found a mention of the Arcots' original palace in Chennai, the Chepauk Palace. In today's The Hindu, S. Muthiah has a small piece about the palace and the Nawabs of the Carnatic, who became Princes of Arcot: From Carnatic to Arcot.

Chepauk Palace

Someone commented on my earlier posting that all royal titles have been abolished in India. But the Prince of Arcot is a little different, as Muthiah points out:
The cost of building the [Chepauk] palace and keeping the ever-so-popular, generous and gracious but ambitious Nawab Wallajah in the lifestyle he wished, was enormous. And to meet his requirements, he borrowed heavily from the sahibs of a Fort where private trading was rampant...

The Carnatic Debts was one of the major scandals of the 19th Century and the debate in Parliament, with Edmund Burke leading the eloquence, is reported to have been one of the high points of British parliamentary history. The British Government eventually agreed to settle the multi-million pound debt in exchange for the title of the Carnatic, which stretched from southern Orissa to Cape Comorin.

The age of empire had begun - as did, in time, a special treaty arrangement honoured to this day by the government recognising the Prince of Arcot and the Carnatic Stipends as a special arrangement in the Indian polity.

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