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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Scindia history ! ~ Rajamata of Gwalior was co-founder of BJP

வரலாறு முக்கியம் அமைச்சரே !  every heard of ‘chrysocracy’ ? – the noun would mean – rule by the wealthy.  Its etymology is from Greek  chryso- (gold) + -cracy (rule) and is a synonym for  plutocracy.

Parbati River is a river in Madhya Pradesh, India that flows into the Chambal River.  On its bank lies city of Guna that has played important role in Indian politics and governance.  In 1984 sympathy wave arising out of ghastly assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi  struck the opponents.  Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was a winner in 1977 & 1980 had shifted from Delhi to Gwalior.   Vidya Razdan was initially tipped to be the Congress (I) candidate. Instead, Madhavrao Scindia, scion of the Gwalior royal family, was brought in on the last day of filing nominations.  Vajpayee lost to Scindia, managing to secure only 29% of the votes.

At Gwalior on Feb 24, 2010, after almost 40 years of ODI came the first assault on hitherto considered unscalable – 200 by an individual.  Some had started speaking that he was ageing, Sachin Tendulkar against one of the better bowling attacks eclipsed the earlier 194* becoming the first man to score a double ton in ODI.

National Politics has been the Congress and dynasty and for a brief Janata Party till Narendra Modiji changed the rule.  The Janata Party alliance came into power after the elections to the 6th Lok Sabha held in 1977, riding the public anger against the Congress and the Emergency but lost in the subsequent elections, failing to keep their flock together.    Janata Party, an amalgam of socialists and nationalists, split in 1979.

The hot news is from Madhya Pradesh - Jyotiraditya Scindia is likely to become a Cabinet minister in the NDA government at the Centre and his nominee will become a deputy chief minister if the BJP manages to form the government in Madhya Pradesh.  Media reports state that  younger scion  Scindia had been “exploring” the option of joining the BJP for the past “two months” and the Congress high command’s prevarication over his nomination to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh was only the immediate trigger. Chief Minister Kamal Nath, whose government is now teetering on the brink of collapse due to the impending defections of at least 22-25 Congress MLAs of the Scindia camp, didn’t help matters much. Kamal Nath refused to reach out to Scindia and virtually kept him isolated — and even stalled the latter’s claim for the post of the state Congress chief. So much so, that senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, never known as a Scindia sympathiser, sought to convince the CM last month of the need to co-opt the young leader but Kamal Nath didn’t pay any heed, a senior Congress functionary said.

Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia (born  1971) from the Scindia family that once ruled in Gwalior and is a former Member of Parliament, representing the Guna constituency in the state of Madhya Pradesh.  He was a member of the Indian National Congress political party and was a Minister of State with independent charge for Power in the cabinet of prime minister Manmohan Singh from Oct 2012 until May 2014.  Some history of Scindia is necessary to be read at this stage to understand the background.

Maharaja Jivajirao Scindia (1916 – 1961) of the Scindia dynasty of the Marathas was the last reigning Maharaja of Gwalior state in central India, and the rajpramukh (appointed governor) of the former state of Madhya Bharat, India. The Maharaja was very popular due to his interest in model railroads. It is stated that he had a toy train of silver in his palace.  Jivajirao ruled Gwalior state as absolute monarch until shortly after India's independence on 15 August 1947.  He  signed a covenant with the rulers of the adjoining princely states that united their several states form a new state within the Union of India known as Madhya Bharat.  Jivajirao Scindia became the first rajpramukh, or appointed governor, of the state on 28 May 1948. He served as Rajpramukh till  1956, when the state was merged into Madhya Pradesh.

Vijaya Raje Shindia (1919 –  2001), born Lekha Divyeshwari Devi and known popularly as the Rajmata of Gwalior, was consort of Jivajirao Scindia.  She was a politician of considerable  influence and was elected repeatedly to both houses of the Indian parliament. She was also an active member, for many decades, of the Jana Sangh and co-founder of Bharatiya Janata Party.

The Scindia dynasty was founded by Ranoji Scindia, son of Jankojirao Scindia, the Deshmukh of Kanherkhed, a village in Satara District, Maharashtra. Ranoji  Shinde, was in Chattrapati Shahu Maharaj's service.  He started his career as Sardar under the leadership of Peshwa Baji Rao and later on established himself in Malwa, as the Marathas took it over from the Mughals.  He established his seat at Ujjain in 1731, which remained the capital of the Scindias until 1810.  The Scindhia state of Gwalior became a major regional power in the latter half of the 18th century and figured prominently in the three Anglo-Maratha Wars. They held sway over many of the Rajput states, and conquered north India.  The Shinde family ruled Gwalior until India's independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, when the Maharaja Jivajirao Scindia acceded to the Government of India. Gwalior was merged with a number of other princely states.

In 1962, Rajmata Vijayraje Scindia, the widow of Maharaja Jiwajirao, was elected to the Lok Sabha, beginning the family's career in electoral politics. She was first a member of the Congress Party, and later became an influential member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Her son Madhavrao Scindia was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1971 representing the Jansangh Party, he joined Congress in 1980 and served until his death in 2001. His son, Jyotiraditya Scindia, also in the Congress Party, was elected to the seat formerly held by his father in 2004.  Vijayaraje's daughters have supported the Bharatiya Janata Party. Vasundhara Raje Scindia contested and won five parliamentary elections from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Under the Vajpayee government from 1998 onwards, Vasundhara was in charge of several different ministries. In 2003 she led the Bharatiya Janata Party to its largest majority in Rajasthan, and became the State's Chief Minister. In 2013 again, she led BJP to a thumping win in the state of Rajasthan, winning over 160 out of the 200 seats in the assembly elections. Her other daughter, Yashodhara Raje Scindia, contested assembly elections from Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh and won in 1998, 2003 and 2013 and also Lok sabha 2004, 2009 from Gwalior. Upon the BJP's win in the state, she became the state's Minister for Tourism, Sports and Youth Affairs. Vasundhara's son Dushyant Singh entered the Lok Sabha in 2004 from Rajasthan.

Madhavarao Scindia from early Jansangh days dallied with INC.  A nine-term member of the Lok Sabha, Madhavrao Scindia never lost an election since 1971, when he won for the first time from Guna constituency at the age of 26. He contested the election on the ticket of Jan Sangh, a party that his family had long patronised. In the 1977 election after the emergency was lifted, he contested from Guna constituency as an Independent candidate and still won the seat a second time in spite of the wave in favour of Janata Party (Bhartiya Lok Dal-BLD). In the 1980 election, he switched allegiance to Indian National Congress and won from Guna a third time. 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.  In 1996, he along with Arjun Singh and other Congress dissidents had the opportunity to be part of the United Front Govt  at the Centre. Although his Madhya Pradesh Vikas Congress was part of the U.F., Scindia himself opted to stay out of the Cabinet. He was the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India from 1990 to 1993.

Now the younger Scion Jyotiraditya Scindia has quit Congress to join BJP.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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