Raja Bahadur Kirtyanand Sinha
Raja Bahadur Kirtyanand Sinha (1880-1938) was the more prominent and better educated son of Raja Lilanand Singh. He was a Bachelor of Arts from Allahabad University, and was famous for his many pursuits including shikaar (hunting), Polo, as also for the role he played in the contemporary public life. He wrote three books: Purnea, a Shikarland; Shikar in Hills and Jungles; and Homeopathic Practice.
He made a contribution to the establishment of T.N.B College in Bhagalpur which was in need of funds having been established in 1880s. The Raja made a contribution of "60 acres of land and 6 lakhs of rupees in cash for the construction of building and other developmental work". For this contribution and other acts of charity, he was awarded the title of "Raja" in June 1914.
On 9 July 1917, he was appointed as a government nominee to the Champaran Agrarian Committee which had been set up to resolve the issue of indigo planters in Champaran following the famous Champaran Satyagraha Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha by Mahatma Gandhi. In this committee, he worked with Mahatma Gandhi, and for his work in the Committee he was awarded the title of "Raja Bahadur" in 1919.On the request and appeal made by Sri Braj Mohan Thakur, Raja Bahadur Krityanand Singh along with Raja Tank Nath Choudhary created separately a chair of Maithili in Calcutta University This went a long way in advancing Maithili as a language.
He was one of the founders of the Bank of Bihar, which survives even now as the Bihar State Cooperative Bank Limited. He also started a Banaili Iron and Steel Works in Sitarampur in Asansol, referred to in the book on Indian Economy written by eminent historian Amiya Kumar Bagchi and also in a book Bihar published by the National Book Trust. This venture, unfortunately, as the noted historian Amiya Kumar Bagchi observes, did not survive the Great Depression.
The Raja, along with Maharaja of Darbhanga Maharaja of Darbhanga#cite note-56, hosted the first flight expedition over the Mount Everest in 1933 Maharaja of Darbhanga#cite note-56. "The Raja of Banaili, a cheery personality, who had shot over hundred tigers, offered us his fleet of motor-cars, remarking that, if possible, he would like to retain one or two of his own. He had seventeen. He seemed astonished, as if at an unusual display of moderation, when only three cars and a lorry were required." (Quoted in Everest - The Mountaineering History by Walt Unsworth from First Over Everest, The Houston-Mount Everest Expedition 1993 by Air Commodore PFM Fellowes et al.).
The Raja is credited for issuing the first official state invitation to the great maestro duo of Ustad Salamat & Nazakat Ali Khan of the Sham Chaurasia gharana in 1934. Ustad Salamat Ali Khan was then 11 years old and Nazakat Ali Khan was 13 years. They were invited to perform at the Dussehra festival in Champanagar Deorhi (Palace) and the royal host liked their rendition of Malkauns so much that he would not let them leave Champanagr. The duo stayed under the patronage of the Raja for a few months, and some believe that their Basant Bahar composition "Des des ki thi jung dushman sab har gaye" is in the praise of the Raja.
Another great musician, Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan of Khurja, served as a court musician in the darbar of the Raja. Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan also gave music lessons to Raja's eldest son, Rajkumar Shyamanand Sinha.
Raja Bahadur Kirtyanand Sinha stayed in public life until his death in 1938. His place of residence remained the Champanagar Deorhi in Purnia inherited from his father. This Deorhi has remained the most enduring of the deorhis of Banaili Raj and to this day is inhabited by the descendants of the Raja.
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