Chhatrapati Shivaji was one of the greatest men to be born in this country. His exemplary vision and courage gave us “swarajya” from the clutches of the Mughals and Turkic sultanates. A lot has been written about his prowess on the battlefield the incidents involving Afzal Khan, Shaiste Khan, the battle at Kolhapur, the siege of Salher (a fort near Nashik), are all legendary and excellent examples of how Shivaji put the terrain and the meagre resources at his disposal to good use to win against far more formidable enemies. Bravery and cunning were gifts found in ample measure even amongst Shivaji’s adversaries – the Rajputs and Pathans. The greatness in Shivaji is the thinking and inspiration behind his actions. When we think of Shivaji as an idol, this facet of his personality must be borne in mind. The Rajputs and Pathans against whom Shivaji fought were also sacrificing their lives on the battlefield, but for a different purpose. While their sacrifices were for a foreign power – that of the Mughals, Shivaji’s soldiers fought for the lofty ideal of a ‘swarajya’. This is a major difference, we must bear in mind.
Shivaji’s life was an inspiration for his own and future generations to come. Maharaja Chhatrasal Bundela in particular and Lachit Barphukan to a much lesser extent, were influenced by the heroics of Chhatrapati Shivaji. Furthermore, Chhatrapati Sambhaji, Chhatrapati Rajaram, Bajirao Peshwa, Ahilyabai Holkar etc were the ones who strove to follow in the great king’s footsteps. Whenever the later Marathas tried to follow the policies laid down by Shivaji, greatness had awaited them! So what indeed were the policies of Shivaji that have rendered him a goliath of his age?
First and foremost – the ideal of ‘swarajya’…….
Read the complete essay on the Expert Oped website –>