George Jivajirao Scindia

26 Jun 1916
16 Jul 1961
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Maharaja Jivajirao Scindia (26 June 1916 – 16 July 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 erstwhile Madhya Bharat state of independent India. The Maharaja was and till date is very popular due to his interests in the toy trains and cars. He also assembled a toy train made up of silver in his palace dining table in jai vilas palace, Gwalior to serve food, wines and chutneys to the guests .

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 after they lost 3rd War 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.

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

Jivajirao ruled Gwalior state as absolute monarch and a British vassal 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 15 June 1948. Jivajirao Scindia became the first rajpramukh, or appointed governor, of the state on 28 May 1948. He served as Rajpramukh until 31 October 1956, when the state was merged into Madhya Pradesh.

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 Indian National 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. Jivajirao’s daughter Vasundhara Raje is an eminent politician associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party. She was the first woman Chief Minister of Rajasthan and also was a member of the Lok Sabha for four consecutive terms since 1989.

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

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