Shivaji…April 12th, 2011
Dearest Darling friends,
Inspired by his mother who made him believe he was meant to be a ‘King’, Shivaji, at the age of 15, with some of his friends, had taken the oath of Swarajya, in a temple. Accordingly, they set about their work. There was lack of resources. Yet, they succeeded in capturing the forts in and around Pune, one by one. More and more people started believing in the dream of Swarajya that Shivaji had seen. As they saw his valiant efforts and inspiring results, they started joining him and helping him. Shivaji was accomplishing one mission after another with speed.
Sometimes it was a fort that had to be captured. Sometimes it was money to be raised. Sometimes it was a planed and carefully executed attack on the Mughals. Village after village, stories about him started dominating conversations. People started naming their children, Shivaji! A stage was reached when Shivaji had 60 Forts under him.
Aurangzeb,the mughal ruler at that time, understood the danger from Shivaji, and sent his uncle Shaistekhan to kill him. A deadly blow in near darkness, from one of Shivaji’s sword, Shaistekhan lost his thumb and two fingers and was eventually rendered unconscious. After the failure of his uncle, Shaistekhan, Aurangzeb sent his best person, Mirza Raje Jaisingh, with a large army, to conquer Shivaji. Mirza Raje Jaisingh, performed the task given to him to perfection, and finally, Shivaji, to save his men from being killed, accepted defeat, and offered to compromise.
In the treaty that followed, Shivaji, had to give away 48 of his Forts. He was left with only 12 forts, of which, only 2 were of strategic importance. Then followed a very challenging period in Shivaji’s life. He was captured by the mughals, prisoned, condemned to death. When everyone had given up, Shivaji executed a daring plan which culminated in his escape from the jaws of death in the prison, in Agra.
The period of Shivaji’s life, after retuning from Agra, is very interesting. He did not burn with revenge. He did not attack the mughals. He did not start expanding immediately.
He contemplated on the mistakes he had done earlier, and started to rectify them. He made his defences strong. Farmers were taken into confidence, their difficulties understood and taxation reforms followed. The percentage of crop they had to give to the king as tax was fixed. The policy to help the farmers during famine was determined.
The village monarchy tradition was abolished, and many more such systems were set. In fact, the letters that Shivaji had written at that time to his administrators are by themselves,a study in top class management.
Having made the base strong, having recreated the bonding with people, having won their total confidence, Shivaji, after a period of two years, started to expand. This, he continued even after his Coronation. By the time Aurangzeb, himself, led his army to Maharashtra, Shivaji, had a total of 200 Forts under him, which spread from Gujrat to Karnataka.
My friend Rajesh Shetty, had sent this wonderful little write up on Shivaji when I was going through a tough period of my life. I was inspired by Shivaji and also by the intention + efforts of Rajesh Shetty. It taught me how to guide without guiding. It taught me courage, it taught me strategy, it taught me to dream bigger than ever before. It taught me many more things, but, my intention of sharing this story with you is different.
They say, the beach is a beach. However, to different people it means different things. To a balloon seller, it is a business opportunity, to a police constable it is duty. To a lover, this place is a blessing, to a painter it represents an opportunity. All of them are right.
My dearest darling LSM readers, what did you learn from this brief write up on Shivaji. What did this article mean to you? Did it touch you somewhere deep within? Did it transform you?
The best three responses get a special gift of ‘thank you’ from us.
So, happy reading and happy writing….Keep moving!
With love, prayers and best wishes,
As I live…I learn