On In History & Religion

This Ancient King Photographed The Dark Side Of Prostitution In A Beautiful Way 

SEX WORKER, PROSTITUTES, TAWAIF...!There are various names to describe a woman who is into such business. We see them as someone who has brought shame to the society. It wouldn't be wrong to say that they had to endure a lot and that is all because of the work they did. It might come as a shock to most of us that despite having such narrow-mindedness around them, there were some people in ancient India who tried to bridge a gap and break certain stereotypes relating to prostitution.One such eminent personality was Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II of Jaipur, who is also known as the Photographer Prince. He took certain revolutionary steps along with following his passion. This made him a forward-looking ruler and, we as the torchbearers of this generation must read about him. WittyFeed brings to you a story that will make you rethink how we have been considering things all this time. 

The ruler who loved to photograph.

As per historical pieces of evidence and remains, an article in Tribune India states that he was born in 1835. This King improved the way Jaipur was seen by tourists and other rulers. He ruled with much flair but something else was his passion.

He encouraged his people to follow what they love.

Maharaja was a big fan of music and art but photography was his passion. Yes, this ruler from the 19th century was a lover of photography in an era where people were not even aware of this phenomena. He had a special division for photography and pictures in his palace, read about it in the next slide.

He had a Tasveer Khana.

Following the administrative pattern of the Mughals at Delhi, Maharaja had eighteen administrative divisions, of which Tasveer Khana (the picture department) was his special favourite.

Maharaja didn't settle, he kept on updating it.

In the 1860s, the Maharaja invited a British artist-photographer Mr T. Murray, to come and help him with the development of his Tasveer Khana. Ram Singh got deeply interested in photography under the encouragement of Murray, and it obviously became his first love. His passion for photography was beyond imagination.

He took his camera wherever he went.

Maharaja acquainted himself with new and emerging technologies. He also acquired the available things for use and took his camera along with him wherever he went. Be it Calcutta, Banaras or Agra, Maharaja took portraits of people, views of the city taken from carefully chosen angles; landscapes; photographs of himself and some other people too.Who were they? Read in the next slide.

He photographed prostitutes as models.

Maharaja encouraged people of all occupations and backgrounds, he made prostitutes, who were considered as someone without virtues as models, pose for his cameras. Want to know what gifts he gave to people? Read further.

He used glass plates to click pictures.

According to an article in Dainik Bhaskar, out of all the people he had met and photographs he had clicked, Maharaja had a special connection with Gauhar Khan who was his favourite model. He also used glass plates to click pictures and got nostalgic after looking at the final results. 

He gifted photographs to people.

We all love getting gifts but how many of us willing give gifts? This King loved gifting people, but his gifts were as unique as he was. These days we make DIYs for friends on their birthdays, but its origination had been done ages ago, be it Thakurs, merchants or moneylenders, he captured everyone in the frame and then presented the pictures to them.

This was found in an exhibition.

According to India Times, an exhibition showed Ram Singh's camera (bought in 1864 for Rs 250, it is recorded) complete with a set of diaphragms and lenses with a lot of equipment that also included the Prince's personal diary.Note: The image is used for the depiction purpose only.

I think this deserves million standing ovations.

Knowingly or unknowingly, Maharaja created a great impact on lives of many while he was simply following his passion for photography. I think people and rulers were scarce and India needed more of them. Note: The image is used for the depiction purpose only.That's all, folks. Like and share the story with your friends.You can also write to me at muskan@wittyfeed.com