Suave, secular and known for his unwavering honesty, Madhavrao Scindia was no conventional politician. Born to the last king of Gwalior and conscious of his heritage, he espoused liberal and democratic values throughout his life. A nine-term member of the Lok Sabha and hugely successful minister, he remained a family man at heart.
Scindia was a beguiling figure because of the way he chose to live: His was a path that proved neither predictable nor easy. Perhaps that's why his life reads like the plot of a grand novel, dotted with intriguing courtiers and wily politicians-in a bitter falling out with his mother, a powerful force of the Jana Sangh, in battles with at least two Congress governments, in his own tragic death. His captivating story emerges as the portrait of a fascinating life as much as a chronicle of contemporary Indian politics.
Vir Sanghvi is probably the best-known Indian journalist of his generation. He became editor of Bombay magazine at twenty-two, making him the youngest editor in the history of Indian journalism. He went on to edit Imprint, and Sunday, which was then India's largest-selling weekly news magazine. From 1999 to 2004, he was the editor of Hindustan Times before being promoted to editorial director, a post he held till 2007, after which he continued at the paper as a columnist. His television career has included several award-winning shows on the Star TV network, NDTV, Discovery and other channels. His weekly political show Virtuosity on CNN-News18 is one of the channel's top-rated programmes.
He has a parallel career as India's leading food and travel writer. His many books include the bestselling Mandate: Will of the People, Men of Steel, Rude Food (which won the Cointreau Award for Best Food Literature Book in the world) and Madhavrao Scindia: A Life.