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20th Century Portraits Catalogue

Ganga Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner (1880-1943), Indian Ruler and General

Born in Bikaner, Rajputana; became the twenty-first ruler of Bikaner in August 1887 and was invested with ruling powers in 1898; he was regarded as a progressive ruler, who promoted water supplies, railways, hospitals and schools, as well as a representative assembly in 1913; a keen soldier, he placed the resources of his state at Britain’s disposal in 1914, and himself served in France and Egypt; a member of the Imperial War Cabinet and a signatory of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919; the first Indian to be given the rank of general in the British army; elected first chancellor, a post he held for five years, of the Indian Chamber of Princes; attended the first Round Table Conference in London in 1930, where he supported the scheme for an all-India federation, although the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939 put an end to these negotiations; died in February 1943 in Bombay.