Ganga Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner(1880-1943), Indian Ruler and General
Sitter in 11 portraits
A descendant of the Rajput royal family, Singh was born in Bikaner (present day Rajasthan, India). In 1888 he succeeded his brother Dungar Singh, becoming the twenty-first Maharaja of Bikaner, assuming full ruling powers in 1898. He championed the need for water supplies, railways, hospitals and schools. Regarded as a progressive ruler he introduced a representative assembly in 1913. The first Indian prince to fight for the British Empire overseas, at the outbreak of World War I he voluntarily placed the resources of his state at Britain's disposal. An accomplished soldier, he served in China, France and Egypt. He was the only non-white member of the British Imperial War Cabinet during the First World War, the only Indian signatory of the Treaty of Versailles (1919), and the first Indian to be given the rank of General in the British Army. In 1921, he was elected first chancellor of the Indian Chamber of Princes, a post he held for five years.
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