New Delhi: Pune’s 50-year-old organisation Maharaja Shivachhatrapati Pratishthan (Trust) has come to Delhi to spread awareness about the legendary founder of Maratha Empire Chhatrpati Shivaji in the Hindi speaking belt. They will be showcasing a play based on the Maratha warrior’s life at the Red Fort for the first time. It will be presented in Hindi, with all the finery and pageantry of a magnum opus that includes 250 artists, horses, camel and elephants on the four-level stages.
“The textbooks have not done justice to the Maratha warrior – Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhonsle,” according to the Pratishthan. Their three-day extravaganza on the Maratha warrior is expected to host 5000 people daily for three days in the month of April and has been approved by the Archaeological Survey of India. The play titled – Raja Shiva Chhtrapati - has been written by the founder of the Trust Babasaheb Purandare. It include Shivaji’s carving out of an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that led to the genesis of the Maratha Empire. In 1674, he was formally crowned as the chhatrapati (monarch) of his realm at Raigad.
Speaking to News 18.com, the founder of the Trust Babasaheb Purandare said, “We have been working diligently for research and propagation of inspiring history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (the first) amongst all strata of society. He is the hero of the entire country, he should be known in every part of the country. This is an attempt to encourage one nation, one history.”
The presentation will include everything about his life, “It will show the diversity of his court, there were Kannada subedars because for ten years he was in Karnataka, and also Gujarati court members,” he said.
“People have not been taught about the Indian heroes – it is not their fault if they don’t know the regional heroes of Assam and Karnataka because our NCERT textbooks are not covering them. We need a new approach where we have the understanding of the life and times of all our heroes not only Shivaji but also Maharana Pratap, Krishna Dev Rai, Ram Raja,” he added.
Recently the NCERT called for public recommendations on reviewing the textbooks and after eliciting the responses, the Council has decided to add more of Shivaji Maharaja and Maharana Pratap. The newly reviewed books will be out in March end.
When asked about Shivaji and Aurangzeb he said, “They never met – but Aurangzeb had said that he was fortunate to have an enemy like Shivaji.” He narrated the event in history when Shivaji visited Agra to meet Aurangzeb and was upset at the way Aurangzeb did not follow the codes of attending another warrior king.
It was in 1666, Aurangzeb summoned Shivaji to Agra, but some sources instead state that it was in Delhi, along with his nine-year-old son Sambhaji. Aurangzeb wanted to send Shivaji to Kandahar for strengthening the Mughal Empire’s North-Western frontier. Shivaji stormed out of the court after Aurangzeb made Shivaji stand behind mansabdārs (military commanders) of his court. He was immediately placed under house arrest with Faulad Khan, Kotwal of Agra to keep a watch on him.
The Trust is also working in Pune to build a huge historical Park – Shiva Shrishthi Nirmaan - a multi-crore project funded by public contribution in Maharashtra. “This is being planned over 65,000 square foot area to bring back the pride of Raigarh, where Shivaji became Chhtrapati. The new generation does not have much to read about him in Hindi or in English, this park will bring Shivaji closer to the new generation, especially the non-Marathi speaking people,” said the trustee Jagdish Kadam.