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Glimpses into the life of an administrator

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Meenakshi Hooja

Meenakshi Hooja (nee Mathur) was born at Jhalawar on 26th June, 1952 and after spending early years of her childhood at Jhalawar, Bikaner and Ajmer moved to Jaipur with her parents and family.
Meenakshi taught Political Science at the University of Rajasthan before joining the Rajasthan Cadre of Indian Administrative Service in 1975.  She served on many important positions in Government of Rajasthan and Government of India.
She is widely travelled in India and abroad and was a visiting fellow at Queen Elizabeth House, Oxford in 1999-2000.  Post retirement, she was a Member of the Central Administrative Tribunal.
She has written on a number  of development and administration  related subjects  She has also so published books of poetry in Hindi and English.

My father, Shri Khemchand, was born on 10th April 1911 in a leading family of Alwar to his parents Smt Lakshmi and Shri Ramchandra.

Our babaji
Shri Ramchandra. My grandfather. Alwar. About 1920s.

Grandmother
Smt. Lakshmi. My grandmother. With her great-grandson, Gaurav. Front of our home B-87 Ganesh Marg, Bapunagar, Jaipur. September 1979.

He received his initial education at Mission School, Alwar and did his graduation and post-graduation from St. Stephens College, Delhi. Through a competitive exam, he got selected to the Alwar State service in 1935 and served the Alwar State. He got selected to the IAS, Rajasthan cadre where he held a number of distinguished assignments and retired in 1969 as Secretary PWD, Irrigation and Power.

With PM Nehru
Shri Khemchand, Collector Udaipur, with Prime Minister Nehru with garland, when Nehru visited Udaipur. Early 1950's


Shri Khemchand presiding over a Republic Day function as Collector Bikaner. Mid 1950s.


Shri Khemchand, third from left, in a group with Rajasthan Chief Minister Sukhadia, fourth from right. Jaipur. Mid-1960s.

Apart from his dedication to his work, which was well acknowledged he had varied interests including cricket, tennis, shooting, chess, bridge and horse riding. He was well versed in English, Hindi, Persian and Urdu and was very fond of sher-o-shayari.


Shri Khemchand, first from left. A picnic in Bikaner. Mid 1950s.

In 1937, he married Ms Dayavanti from Agra. They had six sons and two daughters who all got good education and placements and are today spread over different parts of India and the world. While Smt Dayawanti, our mother unfortunately died early in 1980, Shri Khemchand lived unto a long age of 93 endearing himself to all the family, especially grandchildren.

Shri Khemchand had a passion for keeping his records and documents and taking notes and maintaining diaries, many of which we saw after he left us in Feburary 2004.All these papers were in little boxes and trunks which we have now chosen to call "Trunks of Wealth". This compilation of records was an attempt made in 2005 to collect and publish these documents.

The first volume relates to Shri Khemchand's education and service in Alwar days and brings out his achievements through the letters and references especially as Nazim and Collector and District Magistrate in Alwar.

A perusal of these documents, 38 in all gives us a glimpse not only about shri Khemchand Chand but also the times before Independence and soon thereafter when Alwar became part of the United State of Matsya formed on 18th March 1948 till the period it further integrated into the United State of Rajasthan/ Greater Rajasthan on 19th May 1949.

The complete set of documents is attached as a pdf file.

While all the documents have their own significance, I have selected a few to give a general idea of the contents.


Published on January 23, 1935 in the Alwar State Gazette Extraordinary. This is signed by F.V. Wylie, a Britisher who the Prime Minister in the Government of the Maharaja, Alwar. The document is the list of Naib Nazim candidates in which Shri Khemchand is at serial No 3. Based on this list, Shri Khemchand Chand's first job was in March 1935 as Extra Naib Nazim, Rajgarh.

Appreciation Certificate granted to Shri Khemchand in August 1944 for meritorious services to Alwar State.

Another Sanad presented to Shri Khemchand- this one is from the Indian Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen's Board. 1945..

The United State of Matsya Gazette dated 19th June 1948 appointing Shri Khemchand to hold charge of the current duties of Collector and District magistrate Alwar. It is issued by Shri K B Lall, Administrator, United State of Matsya. Matysa was later merged into Rajasthan.

Appreciation Letter issued by Shri Shobha Ram, Prime Minister, United State of Matsya on 1st May 1949.

Telegram dated 21st may 1949 appointing Shri Khemchand as Member Unification Laws Committee. Such committees were set up to integrate the laws, which were then prevailing in the different Princely states in Rajputana, which joined to form Rajasthan.

Epilogue

Shri Khemchand played an important role in the merger process of Alwar State into Rajasthan. He was assigned important postings like Secretary to Prime Minister (Alwar) and Collector and District Magistrate Alwar (twice) and Bharatpur. It is now my aim to relook at this process by studying the orignal documents in the archives in Alwar, Delhi and available with the family.


© Meenkashi Hooja 2018

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