The last Prince, the transition to politics

Madhavrao Scindia, the son of the last Maharaja of Gwalior, was born today in 1945. He would serve dedicatedly in politics once his kingdom lost its privileges
A stamp of the Gwalior prince; Source: Wikipedia

A stamp of the Gwalior prince; Source: Wikipedia

The age of the Maharajas had come to an end in India - not with a bang, but with a whimper, as they were made part of the Indian Union - most willingly, some unwillingly. After hanging on the coats of the privy purse, even that was given up by the late 1960s. In this context was born Madhavrao Scindia, the son of the last ruling Maharaja of Gwalior, Jivajirao Scindia. Maharajas could afford to educate their kids at schools bearing their name, and the best universities which existed. Thus, Scindia, born on the 10th of March 1945, would graduate from the Scindia School and then Oxford.

By this time, 1971 had arrived. The Princes had all been stripped of their privileges, and they made the next logical move - a transition into the new, democratic world of party politics. His mother had taken up politics back in the 60s, and Madhavrao would do the same.

Scindia would remain on a streak, winning the Lok Sabha elections 9 times from his home state, and never once being defeated. He was shifting alliances between the Jana Sangh, (owing to their family hatred of the congress due to its banning of princely privileges), an independent candidacy, and the Congress too, by 1980. He was the Congress candidate from Gwalior for a long time, and in 1984, would also get a taste of how ministries were run.

His big assignments came during his time as a Railways Minister till 1989, and then as a Minister for Civil Aviation in the early 1990s. He would resign over an aeroplane crash in 1992, which was ironic, since his death was due to a plane crash in 2001 over the area of Mainpuri in UP. By that time, he had been trying to sort out his political options of whether to rebel, be a part of the United front, or be on its cabinet or not.


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