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Meet the Raja of Ayodhya

April 21, 2009
Syed Firdaus Ashraf and photographer Hitesh Harisinghani meet Raja Bimlendra Pratap Mohan Misra of Ayodhya, the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate from neighbouring Faizabad.

Dressed in a spotless white kurta and pajama, he gets up from the sofa and serves us tea and biscuits as the women in the house bring refreshments to the drawing room.

"Please have it," he says.

Does he not feel odd to serve biscuits and tea to guests? After all, he is the Raja of Ayodhya. Raja Bimlendra Pratap Mohan Misra shrugs.

"I never considered myself a raja. I have always lived like a commoner. For the people of Ayodhya, I am their Pappu bhaiyya. The last raja of Ayodhya, according to me, was my grandfather, Raja Jagdambika Narayan, and he died in 1981."

"My grandfather taught me to be humble with others and I have always been so. I never disrespect my elder servants. I always call them chacha or else take their names in respect. These are values my grandfather taught me."

Image: Raja Bimlendra Pratap Mohan Misra.

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