Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj—A Legacy of Maratha Warrior, who safeguarded his kingdom over Himself - The Fearless Indian
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Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj—A Legacy of Maratha Warrior, who safeguarded his kingdom over Himself

  • Sukanya Iyer
  • February 19, 2020
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Chatrapathi shivaji was an Indian warrior king and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of Maratha Empire. In 1674 he was formally crowned as the chatrapathi (Monarch) of his realm at Raigad.

Chatrapathi Shahu, grandson of shivaji, was released by the Mughals after the death of emperor Aurangzeb after the death of Aurangazeb. Following a brief struggle with his aunt Tarabai, shah became ruler and appointed Balaji Viswanathan and later his descendants, as the Peshwas or prime ministers of the Empire. The Maratha empire was an Indian power that existed from 1674 to 1818 and ruled over much of the Indian sub-continent. The Marathas are credited to a large extent for ending the Mughal rule in India. The Marathas are Hindu warrior group from the western Deccan Plateau (Present day Maharashtra) which rose to prominence by establishing a Swarajya.The Marathas became prominent in the 17th century under the leadership of shivaji who revolted against the Adil shahi dynasty and the Mughal Empire and created a rebel territory with Raigad as his capital. Known for their mobility, the Marathas were able to consolidate the territory during the Mughal Maratha wars and also controlled a large part of India.

Let me give you a Glimpse of his early life — Shivaji was born in the hill – fort of Shivneri, near the city of Junnar In Pune District on 6th April 1627 or 19th February 1630. The Government of Maharashtra accepts 19 February 1630 as his birthdate. Shivaji Bhosale was the founder of Maratha empire in Western India in 1664. He is considered as a great hero in India especially in the present-day state of Maharashtra. He was named Shiva, after the local goddess shivai, to whom his mother jijabai had prayed for a son. Jjabai had several other sons before Shivaji who did not survive. Shahji, shivaji’s father attempted to build on the ruins of Nizamshahi Kingdom of Ahmednagar, but was defeated by a much larger combined force of the Mughals and adilshah in 1636. He was forced to leave the region around Pune. He was Inducted by Adilshah of Bijapur and was offered a distant Jagir—land holdings, at present day-Bangalore, but he could keep his old land tenures and holdings in Pune. What we find to our surprise is that shivaji started his rise to power in the state of Maharashtra in the coastal Deccan or central western regions, close to the powers of South -central India.

Swami Vivekananda says

“Is there a greater hero, a greater saint, a greater Bhakta and a greater king than shivaji? Sivaji was the very embodiment of a born ruler of men as typified in our great Epics. He was the type of the real son of India representing the true consciousness of the Nation. It was he who showed what the future of India is going to be sooner or later, a group of independent units under one umbrella as it were, under one supreme imperial suzerainty”.

Chhatrapati shivaji was one of the most progressive and sensible rulers in the history of our country. He was given god like stature for his deeds, not for his name. There are lot of facts which we will analyse – his name is not derived from Lorde shiva but in fact a regional deity by the name of shivai. He was extremely secular in nature. But he never compromised his roots(religious) and tried reviving all the positive aspects of Hinduism. He helped many people who wanted to convert to Hinduism. In fact, he married his own daughter to a converted Hindu. At the age of 16, chatrapati shivaji is not known to win battles, but his mother’s teachings, fathers struggle and a pride in the motherland gave the young Shivaji his first achievement as an able warrior and leader with seizure of the Torna Fort which was initially under the Bijapur Kingdom. His mahor breakthrough came with the battle of Pratapgarh against Afzal Khan, the general of the Sultanate of Bijapur, in warfares such as Battle of Kolhapur, Battle of Pavan Khind, battle of Vishalgad and others. chhatrapati Shivaji is most famous for his valour to challenge the mighty Mughal empire, at the time ruled by Aurangazeb. Although Emperor Aurangzeb tried to capture all the forts and territories under Sivaji he couldnot achieve much success due to shivaji’s clever leadership qualities and guerrilla tactics. He converted his army of 2,000 men into 10,000 soldiers. He knew the importance of good army and perfected warfare strategies. He was smart enough to establish a Navy to protect the coastline. He knew to protect from enemies (foreign invaders), he needed to build stronger naval fleet was required. Not many Kings could think of this strategy. But he formed Maratha Navy. He defeated Afzal Khan in a one to one battle. Afzal Khan was a veteran general and superior to Shivaji in size and strength. Shivaji protected Women (their honour), and made sure under his rule no one disrespected Women. He was extremely merciful to those who surrendered and welcomed them into his own Army.

Now let me take through Ideology of ‘Hindavi Swarajya (Indian Independence)

Shivaji was born in the midst of revolt era, and did justice to a brave mother, jijabai. She was possibly the greatest influence on him. At the age of 15, Shivaji took an oath to usher in Hindavi-swarajya. He can be rightly called as father of Indian Nationalism. He was different from other rulers How? Let me explain it to you he had a Vision of an Independent India in which Indians, irrespective of their faith, could live as proud and free citizen. His ideology was aimed at the Protection of the ancient Indian civilisation, that was the essence of his military requests. In a letter written on April 17th 1645, to a Bijapur officials’s son, Shivaji explained, “When we fight the Sultan of Bijapur, we are not being dishonest. It is God’s will that Hindavi Swarajya should get established. It is this that gives me success after success”. In a sense Shivaji can be rightly called as father of modern secular state. shivaji was also the first ruler to discard war elephants His strategic doctrine was based on swift movement and mobile defence. He always believed relentless offensive action and never let enemies to re-group.

Shivaji re-established a firm connection between politics and war. War for him was to achieve his political aim of Hindavi Swarajya. I think he also followed Chankyas teachings.  Shivaji never compromised on security. He believed in the importance of morale as a battle winning factor. It has been shown earlier how he managed to destroy the myth of muslim superiority in the battle of pratapgarh. To keep up the morale of his troops, Shivaji often spread the story of Goddess Durga had given him. Many people believed that he possessed divine powers. Shivaji’s tactical Doctrine is often described as ‘Ganimi Kava’, this is a parsi word and means Enemy’s tactics. Shivaji always followed the tactics of enemy. His troops were better trained, disciplined, and motivated soldiery. Despite the brief period for which he ruled he established a proper system of government with appointed offices and departments.

Many are of the view that his real test of contribution came after he was dead. Aurangzeb did not venture into Maharashtra when shivaji was alive, such was the potency of his memory that Marathas fought guerrilla war for 22yrs and destroyed the Mughal Empire. In 18th Century it was Marathas who fought the afghans at Panipat and later the British at Aligarh, Delhi and Lassawari (near Agra), It is from Marathas that Britishers took over India, the Mughal Empire was dead and buried along with Aurangazeb.Shivajis’s tactical level contributions were in the field of organization and administration.

Today shivaji is a National hero of India. His life forms an integral part of the upbringing and identity of the Marathi people. He is also regarded as warrior legend, who paved way for Indian Independence. I strongly feel that his Legacy should be known to the younger generations and people like  me who was not aware of his legacy in detailed manner after I researched and analysed on his Life and his legacy.PM Modi under his able leadership  performed bhoomi pujan  for Shiv Smarak  & Maharashtra CM Mr.Devendra Fadnavis who also accompanied him for Bhoomi pujan, Smarak to be constructed in the middle of the Arabian sea, as an Iconic Monument depicting his legacy not only to people of Maharashtra but throughout the world, to invite tourism and employment opportunities. We need to celebrate our history not to forget our roots and learnings. I hope you all agree with my viewpoints on Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Jai Shivaji Jai Bhavani

Jai Maharashtra

Jai Hind

Dr.S. Sukanya Iyer

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