ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Shivaji as a Conqueror and Fighter and His Effect on Hindu Life

Updated on December 8, 2018
emge profile image

A senior air warrior, graduate from the Staff College and a PG in military studies. He is qualified to write on war and allied matters

In 1628 a man greatly respected and revered by the Hindus was born. He was Shivaji and he died relatively young at the age of 52 in 1680. Shivaji lived his entire life under the shadow of Muslim rule personified by Aurangzeb, the greatest Moghul conqueror in Hindustan.

Aurangzeb was the Shehan-Shah( king of kings) and this was the salutation by which he was addressed. Even Guru Gobind Singh in his Zafarnama, which forms part of the " Dasam Granth" addressed him by this title. Aurangzeb lived on for 27 years after the death of Shivaji and died in 1707..

Shivaji is more of an icon of that troubled period. His rule covered a very small area compared to the empire of Aurangzeb but he left a tremendous impact. He is regarded in awe by the Hindus and many in Maharashtra worship him as a god. Some Western historians who have written about Shivaji have concluded that he was just a small-time king in Mulsim ruled India.

This is not entirely true as Shivaji's contribution cannot be related to his military standing and land he ruled. He is to be remembered as the man who restored Hindu pride at a time when Aurangzeb had started his policy of persecution of Hindus. He brought in a renaissance in the Hindu movement and imbibed in them the character of being fighters. This is no mean achievement and credit must go to Shivaji for giving a new meaning to bravery and chivalry.

Shivaji Contribution as a Soldier


After his death legends abound about Shivaji and his legendary battle with the Muslims. One cannot, however, pass any comment on his ability as a soldier as he never had a standing army. In addition, the caste equation played against him and much lower cast Maharathas joined Aurangzeb against him.

British historians like Cunningham have opined that Shivaji was effective in only a few districts around Pune, in particular, the Western Ghat area. But there is no denying the fact he created a nuisance for the Mughal ruler because he often looted the royal treasury. As a shrewd leader, he avoided a pitched battle though he was forced into them sometimes. He fought one pitched battle at Chakan in 1660 against the force of Aurangzeb commanded by another Hindu Raja Jai Singh which he lost.

Another important battle he lost is the battle of Purandar in 1665. This battle had its effect and Shivaji was defeated resulting in his ceding 23 forts to the Mughals.


Guerrilla warfare

Shivaji resorted to guerrilla tactics and this was his forte. He was a highly successful guerrilla captain of war, and harassed the Mughal army leading to Aurangzeb referring to him as a " mountain rat".

Coming to Shivaji one must give him credit for raising the banner of revolt against the great Aurangzeb, who in factual matters was a bigoted ruler. He destroyed Hindu temples though he claimed to be a pious man. The fact is he was a blind believer in Islamic values and just could not countenance anything else. His view of India was only through Islamic thought and philosophy.

Shivaji fought his last battle in 1679 often called the Battle Sangamner. It was his biggest defeat as he had to flee the battlefield with just 500 soldiers as over 2000 of his soldiers were done to death. Shivaji died soon after in 1680


Last word

Assessment

No judgment can be passed on Shivaji, without taking into account the socio-economic situation in India the 17th century when Emperor Aurangzeb had conquered most of the Deccan Plateau. The Hindus had been defeated and worse the Hindus practiced caste discrimination. In addition to this, they patronized ills like sati, child marriage and practised weird rituals.

This was a need for a man to exorcize all these evils and also give the Hindus self-respect. There was no worthwhile leader at that time except for Guru Gobind but he was confined to Punjab. Shivaji came on the scene and roused the spirits of the Hindus and for this, he must get full marks. He kept the Hindu flag alive by his bravery and example. To challenge the Shehan Shah, Aurangzeb mightiest of the Mughal emperors was a great and brave act. He roused the Hindus and showed that the Hindus was as brave or resilient as anyone and could match the Muslims.

After his death, the legacy of Shivaji was carried forward by others and led to the birth of the Maratha empire and the eclipse of Muslim rule in India. For the Mughals, the defeats of Shivaji in retrospect turned sour as Muslim rule ebbed away to become a page in Indian history.

Shivaji's biggest contribution is not that he won or lost, but showed the world that the Hindus were brave and could match the Muslims. This by itself was a great achievement.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh emge 

      13 months ago from Singapore

      Thank you Clive. Missed your comment all these days.

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh emge 

      13 months ago from Singapore

      Thank you, Manatita, for commenting. It's very encouraging

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      13 months ago from london

      I had vaguely remembered that you had done Shivaji before. Very proud of you, Bro. Very.

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      MG Singh emge 

      2 years ago from Singapore

      Thank you Manatita, Very cogent and relevant comment.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      I have seen films with him and known of him for sometime. He has a tomb which is visited by many. That in itself is an achievement. He reminds me of Netaji, another great Freedom Fighter.

      It is said that Shivaji was betrayed by one of his own. Money and poverty is the usual culprit. So I blame no one. Mother India has produced some truly great warriors of the Spirit and dauntless warriors sent for other purposes by the Divine.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      2 years ago from Jamaica

      Mmm...will need to read some more

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)