Vedat Marathe Veer Daudle Saat when “The brave seven Marathas ran in madness”.

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Aayush Tiwari –

‘Vedaat Marathe Veer Daudale Saat”

Feburary 19th 2024, Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti’

As the title goes these seven Maratha officers who ran in madness were Prataprao Gujar, Visaji Ballal, Dipoji Rautrao, Vithal Pilaji Atre, Krishnaji Bhaskar, Siddi Hilal and Vithoji. As we celebrate the 2024 Jayanti of the great Maratha warrior and king, Shivaji Maharaj, it is important to reflect on his remarkable legacy. Shivaji Maharaj was not just a ruler, but a visionary leader who revolutionized the concept of warfare and governance in India.

One of the most significant aspects of Shivaji Maharaj’s legacy is his guerrilla warfare strategy. In an era of Mughal opponent Aurangzeb , Shivaji Maharaj employed unconventional tactics to defeat his enemies and establish a Maratha empire. He utilized the rugged terrain of the Western Ghats to his advantage, creating a network of forts and establishing a strong navy to protect his kingdom. His swift and unexpected attacks caught his enemies off guard, and his knowledge of the land gave him an upper hand in battles.

Shivaji Maharaj’s daring escape from the clutches of the Aurangzeb is another testament to his bravery and strategic thinking. In 1666, he was captured by Aurangzeb’s army and imprisoned in Agra fort. However, Shivaji Maharaj managed to outsmart his captors and escaped from the fort with the help of his loyal followers in a big basket of sweets. This daring escape not only saved his life but also boosted his morale and inspired several movies and dare devil endeavors in this regards like the escape from Sobibor Concentration Camp Of Hitler.

The most iconic event in Shivaji Maharaj’s life is undoubtedly his encounter with Afzal Khan, the commander of the Bijapur army disguised as a friend. Afzal Khan was a formidable opponent, known for his strength and ruthlessness. However, Shivaji Maharaj’s clever use of the Baghnak (a weapon with tiger’s claws attached to it) proved to be the turning point in the obnoxious betrayal by Afzal Khan. In a one-on-one combat with Afzal Khan, Shivaji Maharaj used his Baghnak to tear him apart just like Lord NarSingh plucked out the intestines of Devil Hiranykashipu. This maneouver not only showcased Shivaji Maharaj’s brilliance in warfare but also solidified his reputation as a fearless warrior in front of deception and equivocation.

Shivaji Maharaj was not just a skilled warrior, but also a leader who cared deeply for the modesty of women as conditioned by the iron lady – His mother Jija Bai. He implemented several socio-economic reforms, including the abolition of unjust taxes and the promotion of religious tolerance. He also emphasized the importance of education and encouraged the development of art, literature, and architecture in his kingdom.

As we celebrate Shivaji Maharaj’s 2024 Jayanti, let us remember his legacy as a leader, a warrior, and a visionary. His strategies and tactics continue to inspire military leaders and his principles of good governance continue to guide politicians. Shivaji Maharaj’s legacy lives on, and his name will forever be etched in the pages of history as a true hero of India.

In the words of the great Maratha poet, Kavi Bhushan, ‘Vedaat Marathe Veer Daudale Saat’ – the brave Maratha warrior runs towards victory with Veda in hand. Let us honor and commemorate the life and achievements of Shivaji Maharaj on his Jayanti and continue to draw inspiration from his remarkable story.

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