Jaipur: The love story of Jaipur’s last Maharaja Brig Bhawani Singh’s daughter Diya Kumari and her husband Narendra Singh has had it’s highs and lows. Diya Kumari did not consider her marriage less than a fairy tale.
In the family court of Gandhi Nagar at Jaipur, Diya and Narendra had filed a divorce petition on September 6, 2018, 21 years after their marriage. The court granted them divorce on Tuesday.
In 2018, they had said that it was an extremely personal matter for them and hence they did not wish to comment further except that they had jointly and mutually decided to part ways.
The only daughter of (late) Bhawani Singh and Padmani Devi, Diya, fell in love with Narendra Singh, who was from a modest family, and married him in 1997 amid a controversy. She entered politics in 2013 and won her first assembly election as BJP candidate in 2013 from Sawai Madhopur seat.
Read in Diya’s words how the love between the two had blossomed amidst opposition and controversies.
Diya was 18 when she first met him
“I was 18 when I met Narendra Singh Rajawat for the first time. He was neither my cashier nor my ADC or chauffer as was reported in media. He is a CA and had his own construction business. We met for the first time in 1989 when Rajiv Gandhi asked my father to contest from Jaipur. Narendra Singh’s father Thakur Budh Singh is from Sawai Madhopur and he had helped father in campaigning. At that time Narendra, a commerce graduate, was doing CA, and had joined the SMS Museum Trust for the work experience.
The first time we met was at the palace. Narendra had come over for some work related to accounting. I really enjoyed talking to him and his simplicity and caring nature touched my heart although it was not like love at first sight.
It was only after three months, when he left, that I felt I wanted to meet him more frequently. Whenever he came to Jaipur, we used to meet at a common friend’s place.”
Narendra’s parents were also upset with the relationship
“When I accompanied my parents on a trip abroad, I felt for the first time that I could not live without him. This feeling was deeper than a mere friendship.
When I shared this with my mother she was shocked and disturbed. She felt I would get over this phase and so did not tell my father about it. We started meeting outside Jaipur, generally in Delhi. Narendra’s parents also learnt about our relationship and they were also very upset and angry.”
Diya and Narendra married secretly
“I was the family’s only child and felt guilty on seeing my mother unhappy on my account. For a few months I maintained distance from Narendra. That was the worst phase of my life. I used to make blank calls only to hear his voice. But one day, I talked with him over the phone.
We got married without informing our parents as they were still thinking that I would come out of this. After 6 years of togetherness, we got married in Arya Samaj temple in 1994. Then we got the marriage registered in court. We thought we would tell our parents later, but before I could tell anything, my father posted as High Commissioner in Brunei, suffered a stroke.
Mother and I had to go to Singapore for his treatment. When we returned to India, I told my parents about my decision, but for two years I did not tell them that we were already married.”
Told parents two years after marriage
“In November 1996, I finally told my mother that I was married and Narendra told his parents. In 1997, mother told my father about our relationship. He was very furious but accepted my decision and came to terms with the fact that I had chosen my life partner.”
We started receiving all sorts of threats
“Publicly, our marriage and reception took place in August 1997. And soon after announcement of wedding date, we started receiving all sorts of threats. I have the title of a princess, but I have not been brought up like a princess. My upbringing was like that of an ordinary child. I was surprised with this kind of reaction from the community. Who I decide to marry is a personal decision; I don’t see how and why it should affect anybody else. It is my life and I have every right to do as I please with it. I was just 16 when a marriage proposal came from a royal family but my parents said I was too young even for an engagement.”
(All the details are based on interviews given by Diya to different media houses in the past)