Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji

The great maratha warrior, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has been an inspiration for many over the years. This great king has a place of pride in all our hearts. Like each year’s celebrations, Shivaji Jayanti is a special reason for all of us to pay our respect to this great ‘Janata Raja’.

Shivaji Maharaj was raised by Jijabai by familiarizing him with the great lessons from Ramayana and Mahabharata. He went on to become the greatest kings’ our country has ever had! In times when the country was living under the shadows of the Mogul Empire from all four sides, Shivaji Maharaj faced the Adilshahis and Nizamshahis with intelligence and courage.

In the history of our country, Shivaji Maharaj’s struggle for Swarajya was the first fight for independence against any outside rulers. For 400 years, from 1200 to 1600, Maharashtra did not have any king of its own, yet the great saints preserved Hinduism through their preaches. When Shivaji Maharaj was born and was ready to fight against the mogul rulers, he was sworn in as the king, the Chhatrapati who was blessed with the love and trust of the janta. And rightly so! He had earned this love and affection by leading from the front and his zest for making his fellow people free from the clutches of the moguls and that of pain and sufferings they faced.

He was the first and only king the country has had who worked selflessly as a trustee of his empire. ‘Shreencha Rajya’ was what Shivaji Maharaj believed and carried forward all his works under trusteeship. He was also the first king to have prepared an ‘Ashtapradan Mantrimandal’ where he had appointed people of great caliber to look in to issues concerning the public, and where the suggestions and needs of the public were given respect.

This great visionary had also sensed the danger that the British would pose for the country through the water ways, 350 years back! He was the first to build the Navy and had the likes of Kanoji Angre to head it! He was also the one who prohibited the East India Company from owning any property on our motherland and limited them to their business only. Shivaji Maharaj had also realized the worth of farmers for the country long back and had special provisions for the shetkari raja during his rule. He had reasonable levy provisions for them then and had always kept the farmers a happy lot, who were the annadata for all! The farmers, who are the heroes of our country, sadly have to be victims of dirty politics and are even committing suicide!

The Great Wall of China has become a famous tourist spot and also has a mention as one of the wonders’ of the world! This wall was built by generations together and has received world wide praises. Back home, Shivaji Maharaj has built tough walls for the protection of his strategic forts, which are kilometers in length. He built these walls for number of forts providing a strong sense of security, all in his own lifetime! His efforts and foresight does not have a mention anywhere! His works should make us proud and should have a mention as the wonders of our country which were toiled for the security more than anything else!

He is known as the best strategy makers’ during wartimes and his strategies and gimmicks have been adopted by the world! The guerrilla war that was started in Vietnam was inspired from Shivaji Maharaj’s ganimi kava, meaning fighting the enemy through hide and seek. Shivaji Maharaj is one among those kings who poured tremendous respect for women and even gave them important positions in his empire!

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is the only king whose pictures and statues can be found in number of households, where people worship him! We celebrate the Shivaji Jayanti each year, yet need to know much more of this great personality that our country was blessed with. The need of the hour for our country is to understand the history of this king and adopt his strategies for present day situations. This king evolved a very long time back, but his vision and leadership strategies are relevant even today. His leadership skills, his foresight to appoint the accurate person for a particular task, his administration; all can be studied and applied even in today’s modern world.

The much needed waves of change the society is talking about today could actually be realized in the real sense when we understand this great personality. Today our country has become so vulnerable from outside attacks and terrorism, if only these present politicians can take lessons from Shivaji’s life!