24 June, 2021

His Princely Detachment

Madhavrao Scindia, like his father, held a liberal, tolerant, catholic view of cultures and people.

His Princely Detachment
illustration by saurabh Singh Madhavrao Scindia is no more, hurled from the sky by a cruel destiny. A young and energetic life with many possibilities in the future has been snuffed out suddenly, literally out of the blue. After about a year, we see almost a repeat of the Rajesh Pilot tragedy.

My family has a strange past link with the Scindias. My father went to West Asia during World War II. He and other young officers were greatly impressed by the Jewish cooperative agricultural endeavours in Palestine. On return, they too thought of making such an effort in the UP terai. The Partition had put us on the border in Amritsar and the desire to move to greater security was further strengthened. In 1948, the Indian army undertook 'Operation Polo' against the Nizam of Hyderabad. My father was a participant and met Madhavrao's father, Jiwajirao Scindia, during that operation. The elder Scindia somehow persuaded my father to come to the Shivpuri district of the old Gwalior state, rather than go to the...

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