RTIwala Explains: The time is to celebrate the great Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj birth anniversary on 19th February. The innovator of the military tactics and the one who pioneered unconventional methods in his time for the army.
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Who was Chhatrapati Shivaji and how has been his childhood?
Shivaji Bhonsle was born on 19th February 1630 in the hill-fort area of Shivneri, near Junnar city, in the district of Pune. Shivaji father Shahaji Bhonsle was a Maratha general who served the Deccan Sultanates and his mother name was Jijabai Bhonsle, who is believed to be a religious lady. At the time of his birth, Deccan was ruled by three Islamic sultanates: Bijapur, Ahmednagar, and Golconda.
Also Read: Mahadev Govind Ranade: The Unsung Fighter
Shivaji was much inspired by the bravery stories told by his mother, as a devoted son and was brought up in a religious environment which had a great impact on him. He was much interested in religious teachings and had always sought himself among the Hindi and Sufi Saints. After his father Shahaji left him and his mother and moved with the second wife to Pune, young Shivaji was carefully undertaken by the administrator Dadoji Konddeo. The man was responsible for the overseeing education and training of the young Shivaji.
Let us see some interesting facts about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj:
1] His name Shivaji was made after Goddess Shivai
It is said that Shivaji’s mother prayed to religion Goddess Shivai and was blessed with the child and so the name Shivaji was given to the Maratha ruler.
2] His victories to save Maharashtra from Mughals
Shivaji was imprisoned by Mughal King Aurangzeb and lost many of his forts to him in the treaty of Purander. He escaped from the prison and fought back to recover most of them. Shivaji was a secular ruler and had many Muslims soldiers in his army. But his target was to overthrow the Mughal Empire and establish the Maratha rule in Maharashtra.
3] Shivaji was renowned as ‘Father of the Indian Navy’
For his strategic plans made for the military purposes, geographic knowledge and speed made him focus on the attacks to defeat his powerful enemies. His unconventional methods used for these strategies were made to protect the coastline from other rulers. He established the navy, which no other Indian ruler ever did.
4] A dependable supporter of women and their honor
Any crime against women was a punishable offense in his rule. No one was allowed to harm women in his kingdom. Strict punishments were carried out to people who harassed women.
5] Best known for his guerrilla tactics
Chhatrapati Shivaji was known as ‘Mountain Rat’ and was popular in knowing guerrilla warfare tactics. He was called so because of his awareness of the geography of his land and guerrilla tactics like raiding, ambushing and surprise attacks on his enemies. His father had left him 2,000 soldiers which he with his intelligence converted to 10,000 soldiers. He was excellent in knowing the importance of a good army.]
6] At Raigad he was formally crowned as a Monarch
He declined the Adilshahi Sultanate of Bijapur that led to the genesis of the Maratha Empire. He was formally crowned as Monarch (Chhatrapati) of his realm at Raigad in 1674.
7] His accreditation into Hinduism
He set standards for reviving Hindu traditions and promoting usage of Marathi and Sanskrit rather than Persian in court and administration. His legacy increased with the emergence of Indian independence movement which people hailing him as a nationalist.
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