Jyodiraditya Scindia© HelloIndia

HELLO! 100 Most Influential: Jyotiraditya Scindia

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Anshu Khanna

Why he matters: A royal force in Indian politics, he reigns as the Minister of Civil Aviation and heads the Ministry of Steel. From his princely heritage to parliamentary reforms, Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia charts a visionary course to build a future fit for kings.

Born to the erstwhile princely family of Gwalior that was privy to the 21-gun salute, the highest honour conferred on an Indian state by the British, Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia joined the Indian political arena in 2001, when his father died in an unfortunate plane crash. Committing to uphold his secular, liberal and social-justice values, he’s held many important portfolios since then, besides emerging as the most dynamic leader of Madhya Pradesh.

Jyotiraditya is currently the Minister of Civil Aviation in the government of India, as well as the head of the Ministry of Steel. In his tenure, India saw the biggest takeover of Air India by the Tata Group for a whopping Rs 18,000 crore. He’s also known to be of progressive views and is all for making Indian aviation world class.

Grandson of the visionary Maharaja Jivajirao Scindia, who was also famed for making numerous progressive reforms in his regime, Jyotiraditya kept the family tradition of sterling education alive. Finding himself in the St. Stephens Hall of Fame for his graduation, he went on to study liberal arts at Harvard and business management at Stanford.

Later, he got married to the stunning princess of Baroda, Priyadarshini Raje, and together, they brought up a dynamic heir, Aaryaman Scindia. “I see the way he works in the ministry. My father doesn’t sleep until he finishes a task, even its 4 am,” said Aaryaman in an interview with HELLO! magazine in March 2022.

Jyotiraditya is also the Chairman of the Board of Governors of The Scindia School, founded by his father in Gwalior. While Priyadarshini oversees it on a daily basis, he, despite his packed schedule, gets involved in its vision and mission. He’s also a hereditary patron of Daly College, which was established in 1870 to educate children of the royalty, nobility and aristocracy of Central Indian princely states.

Moreover, Jyotiraditya takes great pride in preserving the HH Maharaja Jiwajirao Scindia Museum, housed within the family’s Jai Vilas Palace in Gwalior, which is a fine example of European architecture, designed and built by Sir Michael Filose. Adjacent to it, the Usha Kiran Palace, built in 1902 as a guest residence for the Prince of Wales who was visiting Gwalior, is now run by the Taj Group as a luxury, heritage property. Although a capable minister, a dynamic leader and a visionary businessman, Jyotiraditya, above all, remains a handsome prince.

To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!