Historical Figures

1. Subject Admission

Many great personalities of India were born in Maharashtra, located in the northern center of peninsular India and in the south-west of India. In AD 1630, Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje was born in this Maharashtra state. Four hundred and fifty years before his birth, India was mired in strange political circumstances. North India was ruled by the staunch Sunni Turks from AD 1206 to 1526. He had converted the Hindus into a large number of Muslims by drowning them in the sea of ​​poverty and misfortune. From AD 1526, the Mongols who came from Samarkand were ruling Delhi. They were also Turks and, like the earlier Turks, were staunchly Sunni Muslims. Babur, the founder of the Mughal state in India, declared India as Darul-Harsh (the country of infidels) and described himself on a jihad (religious journey) aimed at killing the infidels or converting them to Muslims. His grandson Akbar subjugated most of the powerful Hindu kings of North India, either by marrying their princesses himself or with his son Salim. This is what is now called the Hindu-Muslim unity and generosity of Akbar. Whereas the Turk princes born from the womb of these Hindu princesses who went to the harem of the Mughals brought more misfortune, poverty and death to the Hindus than ever before.

In North India, the powerful kingdom of Chittor had been ruling for centuries, which refused to kneel before Akbar and marry his daughters with Muslims. That is why Akbar got more than thirty thousand Hindus slaughtered in Chittor fort. He appointed Hindu kings as his commanders and got Hindus killed at the hands of Hindus. In return, he removed the jizya from the Hindus so that the Hindu kings and historians could sing the praises of Akbar's generosity. Akbar's son Jahangir also adopted the same silk-trap policy of destroying the Hindus. His son Shah Jahan again imposed Jaziya on the Hindu subjects of India and killed a large number of Hindus. His son Aurangzeb proved to be a staunch Sunni emperor. He carried out the work of establishing Darul-Islam i.e. Muslim state by eliminating the infidels from India.

During this period, South India was divided into five small Muslim kingdoms- Imadshahi kingdom in Berar, Nizamshahi kingdom in Ahmednagar, Adilshahi kingdom in Bijapur, Qutubshahi kingdom in Golconda and Baridshahi kingdom in Bidar. These five kingdoms were ruled by Shia emperors. These Shia Muslim states put an end to the mighty Vijayanagara Hindu kingdom of South India and plundered the Hindu subjects and filled their palaces with treasures. They had been badly destroying the pilgrimages and temples of Hindus. On the one hand, the Shia states of South India were destroying the Hindus of the South and on the other hand the staunch Sunni rulers of North India did not want to see these Shia states even with open eyes. In the eyes of the Sunni rulers, the Shias were as infidels as the Hindus.

Shivaji was born as the second son of Shahji Bhonsle, an influential vassal of the Nizamshah kingdom of Ahmednagar. Shortly after the birth of Shivaji, Shahji separated Shivaji's mother Jijabai from himself and kept him in Shivner fort because Jijabai's father Jadhavarai had gone in the service of Nizamshah's enemies i.e. the Mughals. In AD 1636, when the Mughals abolished the kingdom of Ahmednagar, Shahji took a job in the state of Bijapur. Jijabai's father Jadhavarai also died soon, due to which Jijabai's shelter also ended and she wandered in the forts built in the forests for many years to protect the life of her son. The Mughal forces wanted to kill Shahji's son because Shahaji was fighting with the Mughals, first on behalf of the Nizamshah and now on behalf of Adilshah. Child Shiva was saved many times by falling in the hands of Mughal soldiers but Jijabai's patience and courage saved the life of child Shiva every time.

Thus Shivaji saw very closely the killing and exploitation of Hindu subjects by Muslim soldiers in his childhood. Under these circumstances Shivaji turned 16 and decided to prepare himself for the salvation of the Hindu subjects and to form an army to conquer the forts. This age was too short to conquer and build forts, but Shivaji's determination was far ahead of his age. In his heart there was pain for the innocent people of India. To remove this pain, he dreamed of establishing a Hindu state by eliminating Muslim states, which he called Hindu Padpadshahi.

Shivaji believed that the Mughals were not invincible, he got this inspiration from his father Shahji. Shahji also fought against the Mughals for Ahmednagar and Bijapur and had soured the teeth of the Mughals, due to which Shahji's fame spread far and wide. With the inspiration of Shahaji, Maratha power again rose under the leadership of Shivaji. Before the establishment of the Bahmani kingdom in South India, it was the Marathas who ruled this region. Shivaji established an independent Hindu state on the strength of his life-long struggle. Even a cruel and brash ruler like Aurangzeb could not suppress the Maratha power organized by Shivaji. In the end, this Maratha power proved to be the trap of Yama to overthrow the Mughal rule from India.

In the present book, along with the biography of Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje, the great hero of the seventeenth century, his struggles and achievements have been written and analyzed on the basis of historical facts. In this book, an effort has been made to make use of the facts written by the contemporary writers of Shivaji. It would be pertinent to mention some of the contemporary texts of Shivaji, among which Muntakhab-ul-Lubab (Tarikh-Khafikhan), Nushkha-i-Dilkusha, Storia de Mogor (Mogel India) etc. are prominent. Aurangzeb had banned writing the history of his time, but a Mughal general named Mohammad Hashim Khafi Khan secretly composed a book named Muntakhab-ul-Lubab (Tarikh-Khafi Khan). It is a vast text that begins with Babur's invasions of Samarkand and Fargana in AD 1519 and ends with the 14th year of the reign of his descendant Muhammad Shah Rangeela. The importance of the book is more for the events from AD 1605 to 1733, especially from the beginning of Aurangzeb's reign (AD 1658) to AD 1733. He has supported Aurangzeb's religious policy and criticized Chhatrapati Shivaji. Aurangzeb's contemporary famous Hindu general Bhimsen wrote an eye-witness history of Aurangzeb's reign in the Persian book Nushkha-e-Dilkusha, he worked under Maharaja Jaswant Singh and Dalpatrao Buldela. He saw with his own eyes the wars of the south and the succession war fought after Aurangzeb. He has given a good description of Shivaji's activities and his organizational talent.

European tourist John Froyer visited India during Shivaji's lifetime. He saw with his own eyes the Mughal armies destroying Shivaji's kingdom. He wrote a book called "New Account of East India Company and Persia" based on his experiences in India. At one place in this book, he has written- "The Mughal armies used to throw down everything that came in their way. Villages were being burnt. Maize crops standing in the fields were being dropped on the ground. Animals were being captured and taken to the Mughal kingdom and men and women living in Shivaji's kingdom were being forced into slaves."

Nicoloa Manucci, a resident of Venice city of Italy during the time of Aurangzeb, reached Delhi via Surat in AD 1650. He was well versed in Turkish and Persian languages. He stayed in India for a long time and participated in the war of succession on behalf of Aurangzeb's elder brother Dara Shikoh. When Dara, defeated by Aurangzeb, fled to Sindh, Nikolao Manuchi also accompanied him to Sindh. Manuchi came back from there to Kashmir via Delhi and from there went on a tour of Bihar and Bengal. For some time he also worked as a doctor in Delhi and Agra. He participated in the campaign conducted by Mirza Raja Jai ​​Singh against Chhatrapati Shivaji. He wrote a book called Storia de Mogor (Mogel India) in which an eye-catching history of Shivaji's time is also available.

In modern historians, Jadunath Sarkar has given a good description of the struggle and achievements of Shivaji. Many Marathi and English writers of modern times have also written about Shivaji's struggles and achievements in a neutral manner. Very long correspondence took place between Shivaji and the Mughals, from which the claims of victory and defeat could be successfully put to the test. Using these texts and letters, this book has been composed and an attempt has been made to pay a humble tribute to that wonderful, incomparable and great king of the seventeenth century.

While writing this book, I had the opportunity to read the biography of Shivaji's father Shahaji. I am sad to see that the historians have done a lot of injustice to this brave warrior of India due to which Shahji's image has become negative in the school and university courses. He is described as a simple and small general, who sacked Shivaji and his mother Jijabai and served the Muslim emperors. Whereas Shahaji was counted among the famous warriors of India in his time. In this book, an attempt has been made to bring out the truth by finding out the historical facts in relation to that unequaled warrior.

I was a child of about seven years when my father Shri Giriraj Prasad Gupta told me some verses written by Kavi Bhushan. In these verses, a wonderful description of the valor of Chhatrapati Shivaji has been given. The indelible impression of Shivaji's valor was imprinted on my child's mind. During my school days, I also got the privilege of reading Acharya Chatursen's novel Rocks. This instilled in me a sense of reverence and reverence for Shivaji. About a decade ago, I also had the privilege of reading Shivaji Sawant's novel 'Chhava', which describes the struggle of the Marathas in a luscious manner. When the owner of the Rajasthani Library, Mr. Rajendra Singhvi, suggested me to write a short book on Chhatrapati Shivaji, it is very difficult for me to estimate my enthusiasm and joy. Hope this book will be liked by the readers of history.

-Doctor. Mohanlal Gupta

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