Madhavrao Scindia

Madhavrao Jivajirao Scindia (10 March 1945 – 30 September 2001) was an Indian politician and a minister in the Government of India. He was a member of the Indian National Congress party.

Madhavrao Scindia
Maharaja of Gwalior
Madhavrao Scindia Manmohan Singh at The Doon School.jpg
Scindia (L) with Manmohan Singh at The Doon School Founder's Day in the late 1980s
Gwalior State
Tenure16 July 1961 – 1971
PredecessorJivajirao Scindia
SuccessorTitle abolished
Minister of Civil Aviation
In office
Prime MinisterP. V. Narasimha Rao
Preceded byHarmohan Dhawan
Succeeded byGhulam Nabi Azad
Minister of Tourism
In office
Prime MinisterP. V. Narasimha Rao
Succeeded byGhulam Nabi Azad
Minister of Human Resource Development
In office
Prime MinisterP. V. Narasimha Rao
Preceded byP. V. Narasimha Rao
Succeeded byP. V. Narasimha Rao
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Railways
In office
22 October 1986 – 1 December 1989
Prime MinisterRajiv Gandhi
Preceded byMohsina Kidwai
Succeeded byGeorge Fernandes
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
Preceded byVijaya Raje Scindia
Succeeded byJyotiraditya Scindia
In office
Preceded byNarayan Shejwalkar
Succeeded byJaibhan Singh Pavaiya
In office
Preceded byAcharya Kripalani
Succeeded byMahendra Singh Kalukheda
Personal details
Born(1945-03-10)10 March 1945
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died30 September 2001(2001-09-30) (aged 56)
Mainpuri district, Uttar Pradesh, India
Political partyIndian National Congress
SpouseMadhavi Raje Sahib Scindia
RelationsSee Scindia family
ChildrenChitrangada Singh (born 1967)
Jyotiraditya Scindia (born 1971)
Residence(s)Jai Vilas Mahal, Gwalior

Scindia was the son of Jiwajirao Scindia, the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Gwalior during the British Raj. Upon the death of his father in 1961, and under terms agreed to during the political integration of India, Scindia succeeded to a privy purse, certain privileges, and the use of the title "Maharaja of Gwalior,"[1] which lasted until 1971, whereupon all were abolished by the 26th Amendment to the Constitution of India.[2][3][4]

Early lifeEdit

Scindia was born in a Royal Maratha family, to the last ruling Maharaja of Gwalior, Jivajirao Scindia. He underwent his schooling in Scindia School, Gwalior and thereafter went for higher studies in Winchester College and at New College, Oxford.[5]

On his return from the UK, Scindia followed the political tradition set by his mother Vijaya Raje Scindia by joining politics. He was elected to the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian parliament) in 1971 from Gwalior on a Bharatiya Jana Sangh ticket.[5][dubious ]


Electoral victoriesEdit

A nine-term member of the Lok Sabha, Madhavrao Scindia never lost an election since 1971,[citation needed] when he won for the first time from Guna constituency at the age of 26. He contested the election on the ticket of Bharatiya Jan Sangh (the precursor of the present day Bharatiya Janata Party), which his family had long patronised. When the emergency was declared, he fled the country and went into self-imposed exile in the UK. After he returned to India , he resigned from the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. He contested from Guna constituency as an Independent candidate and won the seat a second time in spite of the wave in favour of the Janata Party. In the 1980 election, he switched allegiance to Indian National Congress and won from Guna a third time. But in 1984, he was nominated as the Congress candidate from Gwalior in a last-minute manoeuvre to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party's Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and won by a massive margin. After that Scindia contested from either Gwalior or Guna and won on each occasion.

Madhavrao Scindia's postage stamp released by India Post, Government of India

Ministerial appointmentsEdit

The 1984 election brought Scindia his first experience as a Minister. He made his mark as an excellent administrator during his stint as Railways Minister (22 October 1986 – 1 December 1989)[6] in the Rajiv Gandhi Ministry.

Prime Ministers P. V. Narasimha Rao made him Minister for Civil Aviation. He faced a turbulent period of agitation by the staff of the domestic carrier, Indian Airlines, and as part of a strategy of disciplining the workforce, he leased a number of aircraft from Russia. Early in 1992 one of these aircraft crashed, though without any loss of life, and Scindia promptly submitted his resignation. Although not known to be too finicky about such notions as ministerial accountability, the prime minister accepted his resignation. Scindia was later reinducted into the Cabinet in 1995 as Minister for Human Resource Development. Scindia is also credited with setting up the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (IIITM) at Gwalior as an institution of repute, which got renamed after Atal Bihari Vajpayee as ABV-IIITM.

Opposition YearsEdit

After the INC lost power in 1989, Scindia became a prominent member of the opposition. In 1990, after VP Singh’s government fell and the INC gave external support to the Samajwadi Janata Dal (Rashtriya) government of Chandra Shekhar, Scindia was appointed President of the Board for Cricket in India (BCCI), a post he held until his 3-year term expired in 1993.

Rebellion and returnEdit

In 1996, after being falsely accused of bribery by the then-PM PV Narasimha Rao, he left the INC and founded the Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress (MPVC).He along with Arjun Singh and other Congress dissidents had the opportunity to be part of the United Front (U.F.) government at the Centre. Although his Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress was part of the U.F., Scindia himself opted to stay out of the Cabinet. In 1998, just before the Lok Sabha elections that were to be held that year, he merged the MPVC into the INC. He won the 1998 Lok Sabha election from Guna.


Madhavrao Scindia died at the age of 56, in a plane crash in Motta village, which is on the outskirts of Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh, on 30 September 2001. The plane caught fire when it was above Bhainsrauli village.[7]Being viewed as a future prime ministerial candidate before the 1999 Lok Sabha elections in the aftermath of the controversy over Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin, was on his way to address a rally in Kanpur.[8]

All eight people on board the private plane (Beechcraft King Air C90) died in the crash. This included his personal secretary Rupinder Singh, journalists Sanjeev Sinha (The Indian Express), Anju Sharma (The Hindustan Times), Gopal Bisht, Ranjan Jha (Aaj Tak), pilot Ray Gautam and co-pilot Ritu Malik. The bodies were charred beyond recognition and taken by road to Agra, from where a special IAF aircraft, sent by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, brought the remains to Delhi. The remains of Madhavrao Scindia were identified by his family, with the goddess Durga locket that he always used to wear.[9]

The autopsies were conducted and other legal formalities completed at AIIMS New Delhi by Professor T D Dogra.[10] His son Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia was symbolically appointed the head of the family.[11]


  • 1945-1961- His Highness Yuvaraja Maharaj Shrimant Madhavrao Scindia Bahadur.[citation needed]
  • 1961-1971- His Highness Ali Jah, Umdat ul-Umara, Hisam us-Sultanat, Mukhtar ul-Mulk, Azim ul-Iqtidar, Rafi-us-Shan, Wala Shikoh, Muhtasham-i-Dauran, Maharajadhiraj Maharaja Shrimant Madhav Rao III Scindia Bahadur, Shrinath, Mansur-i-Zaman, Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior.[citation needed]



Madhavrao Scindia
Born: 10 March 1945 Died: 2 October 2001
Preceded by — TITULAR —
Maharaja of Gwalior
Reason for succession failure:
Monarchy abolished in 1948, and title, privileges, and privy purses abolished in 1971
Succeeded by



  1. ^ Ramusack, Barbara N. (2004). The Indian princes and their states. Cambridge University Press. p. 273. ISBN 978-0-521-26727-4. The crucial document was the Instrument of Accession by which rulers ceded to the legislatures of India or Pakistan control over the defence, external affairs, and communications. In return for these concessions, the princes were to be guaranteed a privy purse in perpetuity and certain financial and symbolic privileges such as exemption from customs duties, the use of their titles, the right to fly their state flags on their cars and to have police protection. ... By December 1947 Patel began to pressure the princes into signing Merger Agreements that integrated their states into adjacent British Indian provinces, soon to be called states or new units of erstwhile princely states, most notably Rajasthan, Patiala and East Punjab States Union, and Matsya Union (Alwar, Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karaulli).
  2. ^ "The Constitution (26 Amendment) Act, 1971",, Government of India, 1971, retrieved 9 November 2011
  3. ^ Ramusack, Barbara N. (2004). The Indian princes and their states. Cambridge University Press. p. 278. ISBN 978-0-521-26727-4. Through a constitutional amendment passed in 1971, Indira Gandhi stripped the princes of the titles, privy purses and regal privileges which her father's government had granted.
  4. ^ Schmidt, Karl J. (1995). An atlas and survey of South Asian history. M.E. Sharpe. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-56324-334-9. Although the Indian states were alternately requested or forced into union with either India or Pakistan, the real death of princely India came when the Twenty-sixth Amendment Act (1971) abolished the princes' titles, privileges, and privy purses.
  5. ^ a b "Madhavrao Scindia". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  6. ^ Railway Ministers. Irfca. Retrieved on 14 November 2018.
  7. ^ Bhainsrauli village[1]
  8. ^ Madhavrao Scindia Dies In Plane Crash
  9. ^ Goddess Durga Locket
  10. ^ "Madha vrao Sindia killed in plane crash". The Times of India. 1 October 2001. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  11. ^ "The Scindia Dynasty. Genealogy". Royal Ark. Archived from the original on 10 March 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  12. ^ JBR, PurushottamShamsher (1990). Shree Teen Haruko Tathya Britanta (in Nepali). Bhotahity, Kathmandu: Vidarthi Pustak Bhandar. ISBN 99933-39-91-1.


  • Sanghvi, Vir; Bhandare, Namita (2009). Madhavrao Scindia: A life. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-670-08254-4.