George Jivajirao Scindia of Gwalior


George Jivajirao Scindia of Gwalior

George Jivajirao Scindia (26 June 1916– 16 July 1961) was the last reigning Maharaja of Gwalior state in central India, and the rajpramukh (appointed governor) of the erstwhile Madhya Bharat state of independent India.

Family history

Jivajirao was a scion of the Scindia family, descended from the Maratha general Ranojirao Scindia. Ranojirao was the head of the Maratha armies in Malwa during the first part of the 18th century, as the Maratha Empire was expanding rapidly at the expense of the Mughal Empire. Daulatrao Scindia shifted the capital from Ujjain to the new city of Lashkar, near the historic fortress-city of Gwalior. The Scindias accepted British suzerainty in 1818 at the conclusion of the their benefits from them and to ruin the Marathas in Third Anglo-Maratha War. At 68,291 km², Gwalior was the largest state in the Central India Agency, and among the five largest princely states in all of India.

Personal life

Jivajirao became Maharaja on 5 June 1925, succeeding his father Madho Rao Scindia upon his death. On February 21, 1941, he married Lekha Divyeshwari Devi, afterwards known as Vijayraje Scindia, who was descended from the powerful Rana family of Nepal. They were the parents of five children, four daughters and a son, including:

*Madhavrao Scindia (born 10 March 1945), sometime union cabinet minister in India
*Vasundhara Raje, current (2005) chief minister of the Indian state of Rajasthan
*Yashodhara Raje, BJP leader and Member of Parliament

Career

Jivajirao ruled Gwalior state as absolute monarch until shortly after India's independence on 15 August, 1947. The rulers of Indian princely states were required to accede to either of the two dominions (India and Pakistan) created by the India Independence Act 1947. Jivajirao 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. This new covenanted state was to be governed by a council headed by a ruler to be known as the "Rajpramukh". Madhya Bharat signed a fresh Instrument of Accession with the Government of India effective June 15, 1948. Jivajirao Scindia became the first rajpramukh, or appointed governor, of the state on 28 May 1948. He served as Rajpramukh until October 31, 1956, when the state was merged into Madhya Pradesh.

Family

After his death in 1961, Jivajirao's family remained involved in politics. In 1962, his widow, Rajmata Vijayraje Scindia, was elected to the Lok Sabha, beginning the family's career in electoral politics. She was initially a member of the Congress Party and later became an influential member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Their son, Madhavrao Scindia, was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1971, representing the Congress Party. He served until his death in 2001. Madhavrao's son, Jyotiraditya Scindia, also a member of the Congress Party, was elected in 2002 to the seat formerly held by his father.

Full name and titles

Jivajirao was also known with his full name: "Lieutenant-General 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 George Jivaji Rao Scindia Bahadur, Shrinath, Mansur-i-Zaman, Fidvi-i-Hazrat-i-Malika-i-Mua'zzama-i-Rafi-ud-Darja-i-Inglistan, Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior, GCSI, GCIE".

During his life he acquired several titles and honorific names:

*1916-1925: Yuvaraja Maharaj Shrimant George Jivaji Rao Scindia Bahadur
*1925-1937: 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 George Jivaji Rao Scindia Bahadur, Shrinath, Mansur-i-Zaman, Fidvi-i-Hazrat-i-Malika-i-Mua'zzama-i-Rafi-ud-Darja-i-Inglistan, Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior
*1937-1941: 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 George Jivaji Rao Scindia Bahadur, Shrinath, Mansur-i-Zaman, Fidvi-i-Hazrat-i-Malika-i-Mua'zzama-i-Rafi-ud-Darja-i-Inglistan, Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior, KStJ
*1941-1943: Captain 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 Sir George Jivaji Rao Scindia Bahadur, Shrinath, Mansur-i-Zaman, Fidvi-i-Hazrat-i-Malika-i-Mua'zzama-i-Rafi-ud-Darja-i-Inglistan, Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior, GCIE, KStJ
*1943-1945: Major 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 Sir George Jivaji Rao Scindia Bahadur, Shrinath, Mansur-i-Zaman, Fidvi-i-Hazrat-i-Malika-i-Mua'zzama-i-Rafi-ud-Darja-i-Inglistan, Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior, GCIE, KStJ
*1945-1946: Major-General 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 Sir George Jivaji Rao Scindia Bahadur, Shrinath, Mansur-i-Zaman, Fidvi-i-Hazrat-i-Malika-i-Mua'zzama-i-Rafi-ud-Darja-i-Inglistan, Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior, GCIE, KStJ
*1946-1961: Lieutenant-General 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 Sir George Jivaji Rao Scindia Bahadur, Shrinath, Mansur-i-Zaman, Fidvi-i-Hazrat-i-Malika-i-Mua'zzama-i-Rafi-ud-Darja-i-Inglistan, Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior, GCSI, GCIE, KStJ

Honours

*King George V Silver Jubilee Medal-1935
*King George VI Coronation Medal-1937
*Knight of the Order of St John (KStJ)-1937
*Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (GCIE)-1941
*1939-1945 Star-1945
*British War Medal-1945
*India Service Medal-1945
*Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India (GCSI)-1946
*Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal-1953


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