Thakore Saheb insisted upon looking after everything himself and had
divided his hours of business, fixing a time for Government work
Education interested him. Science attracted him specially. He had
built up a splendid library and was a constant reader.
his education in Rajkumar college and particularly his tour in
Europe from which he had returned some nine months prior. While
grappling with administration problem, the Thakore Saheb earned to
improve his own intellectual equipment. Reading in the quest of his
studies did not satisfy him. The advice that, ‘Dr. Mackby had
given him in 1883 to come to Oxford some day and be attached for
some time to one of the college to complete his education’ kept
echoing in his memory. He longed to study medicine.
He asked himself why he should not proceed to Britain and
make a systematic study of medicine. It would satisfy his heart’s
desire and at sometime fit him to be a better ruler.
One great difficulty
stood in his way. The medical course at a University was lengthy.
Even though he would use his absence to secure education that would
directly and, even more so, indirectly benefit his people, he felt
that he could not remain away from them for years. But could he not
go away for a short time and learn at least the rudiments of
medicine and surgery and, upon his return, extend his knowledge by
continuing his studies at home?
He was quite sure that
the plan was feasible. In Penzonji he had a Chief Karbhari who was
both capable and trustworthy. He also had confidence in the
officials at the head of the Revenue, Judicial and other
Departments. They would have no difficulty in carrying on the
day-to-day administration during his absence. Papers involving
questions of importance could be sent to him and he could telegraph
his orders in cases of urgency.
Instead of interposing any
objection, the Governor of Bombay smoothed his way. Sir James
Fergusson had taken almost a paternal interest in him ever since he
first met him in 1884 and had honoured him by appointing him, on
January 1, 1885, a Fellow of the Bombay University.
March 26th 1886, The Thakore Saheb sailed from Bombay.
Mr. P.S.V. Fitzgerald accompanied him (Deputy of Bombay Governor) as
his cicerone. He proceed to Edinburgh, he had been great impressed
by the facilities given by the university. There, he made up his
mind that he would not accept no indulgence from the authorities on
account of his rank. He would insist upon living and working as any
other student. Practical work held a greater interest for him than
theories. Now and again events occurred that distracted his mind
from medical studies. Hardly had he, for instance, settled down to
serious work when he received news of a daring out prisoners from
the jail in Gondal where the bandits found guilty of looting
Bhalgamda had been incarcerated.
prisoners who ran away from the jail were caught and punished. Among
them two were killed. It was a great comfort to Thakore Saheb that
he had left an experienced and strong official in charge of state
who could be dependent upon to rise to such an occasion. Mr. Bezonji
was, infect so devotee to him that he dilled with affairs on his own
18 months later the member of his order in Kathiawad requested him
to represent them at Jubilee function of Queen Victoria. The Jubilee
celebration attracted the visitors from all parts of the world. He
met some of them and took the opportunity to learn from them how
administration and regulation was carried in their own countries.
In anticipation of celebration
the Queen empress had constituted and extended the order of Indian
Empire. Bhagvatsinhji named figured at the head of India’s deemed
worthy of admission ‘The most eminent order of the Indian Empire
as knight commander’. He had the additional owner of being invited
by her majesty, who pinned the insignia upon his breast with her own
hand. From the Jubilee celebration in London, Bhagvatsinhji went
back to his studies with renewed zest. He had been his own master
degree but his concept
of Rajas obligation to his studies would not let him to do
so. Teachers and fellow students alike were sorry to part from him
own the eve of the departure from Edinburgh University, he received
the degree of LLD on April 20th 1887.