ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Great Hindu Warrior and Lover of a Muslim Girl: Baji Rao I ( 1700-1740)

Updated on December 20, 2017

Situation Before Birth of Baji Rao


In the 17th century, the Muslim empire (the Moguls) ruled from Delhi and was omnipotent. Emperor Aurangzeb, by his intolerant attitude, had incited revolts by local Hindus against him. The Sikhs in Punjab under Guru Gobind Singh and in the west Raja Shivaji began a fight against the imperial rule. Towards the end of his rule, Aurangzeb realized the futility of his actions and became pensive. In particular, after receiving an open letter from Guru Gobind called the "Zafarnama", the emperor was a much-mellowed man. Towards the end of his reign, the Mughal empire was greatly weakened and when Aurangzeb died in 1707, the gates were opened for the empire to crack up.

Shivaji the Hindu warrior King had died in 1680 and a successor was needed to carry forward the torch of the Hindus. This was to come in the form of Baji Rao, who was born in 1700. Baji Rao was a Brahmin, but from childhood, he displayed great acumen as a warrior and administrator. With the passing away of Aurangzeb, the Marathas asserted themselves and became a force to reckon in the Deccan and west of India.

The Mahratta rulers were, however, weak individuals and power passed to the prime ministers, who became hereditary and were known as the Peshwas. The real rulers of this Hindu Mahratta empire were the Peshwas and Baji Rao after the death of his father was anointed as the Peshwa in 1720. This was the start of a glorious period in Indian history and Baji Rao's name is now bracketed as one of the greatest Hindu warriors of all time.

Marriage and Conquest

In 1719, Baji Rao married a Brahmin girl selected by his mother. Her name was Kashibai and she bore him 2 sons. After becoming Peshwa in 1720, Baji Rao embarked on a military conquest of the Mughal territories. He defeated the Nizam and forced him to sign on the dotted line. He also decimated the Mughal army and sacked Delhi.

The star of Baji Rao was on the ascendence and entire India heard about Baji Rao. He defeated the Portuguese and won their respect. Baji Rao was on his way to consolidate Hindu rule.

Mastani and Baji Rao

One of the Hindu kings in the Deccan was Raja Chattrasal. He had a Muslim Iranian concubine. As is well known Iranian women have great beauty and are very fair, so her daughter from the King named Mastani was exceedingly beautiful and fair. She was an Iranian and was brought up as a Muslim. Baji Rao saw her in a forest and was smitten by her.

Mastani was an adept horse rider and could handle weapons as well. Thus trait along with beauty and courage made her a skilled warrior. She was also fond of hunting and could throw a spear some distance. Baji Rao confided his feelings to his mother who opposed the union with a non -Hindu and a Muslim girl at that.

Baji Rao decided to go ahead and proposed to Raja Chattrasal, who readily gave his consent. Mastani also gave her consent to marry a Hindu. When Baji Rao broke the news that he was planning to marry Mastani, a near revolt broke out in court and almost all opposed Baji Rao. His wife and mother also opposed this union, but Baji Rao had made up his mind and he went ahead with the marriage.

Most of the court officials backed down at the threat of Baji Rao to go away and they agreed to the wedding of Baji Rao with Mastani. Thus a beautiful Muslim princess of Iranian blood became the wife of the Hindu Baji Rao.After the wedding, Baji Rao took Mastani everywhere with him and she accompanied him to the battlefield as well as for hunts and trysts in lonely forests.The wedding acted like an elixir to Baji Rao and he became a greater warrior. In battle after battle his opponents were worsted and soon he had built up a formidable empire in Central India. The Muslim rulers, as well as the Mughals, were defeated and Baji Rao ushered in a golden age of Hindu rule.

Baji Rao had one son from Mastani. Baji Rao wanted him to wear the sacred thread of a Brahmin, but court officials opposed it and the boy Shamsher Bahadur was brought up as a Muslim. He died fighting bravely at the 3rd Battle of Panipat in 1761. His son, Ali Bahadur lived on to become the ruler of Bundelkhand( part of the empire controlled by Baji Rao).

Mastani loved Baji Rao with intense passion.She could not bear the death of Baji Rao and died almost immediately. Some historians opine she committed Sati, while others say she took poison from a ring with her. Whatever way she died is immaterial, but the bigger fact is the love of a Muslim girl for a Hindu.

Still from the film "Mastani" depicting the love of the Muslim princess and Hindu qarrior
Still from the film "Mastani" depicting the love of the Muslim princess and Hindu qarrior

Contribution of Baji Rao


Baji Rao is the most famous of the 9 Peshwas. He is credited with the idea of setting up a “Hindu Pad Padshahi" (Hindu Empire). He largely succeeded and the writ of the Peshwas ran through entire India in the 18th century.

Baji Rao in all fought 41 battles and never lost a single one of them. Field Marshal Montgomery in his History of Warfare affirmed this fact. Baji Rao was an outstanding cavalry leader who was loved by his troops. Under his leadership, the Marathas defeated the Mughals, Portuguese, Nizam, and the Siddis. He brought the concept of mobility into the Hindu army and relied more on the horse than the elephant. This by itself was a revolutionary step.

Baji Rao died at the young age of 39 in 1740 when he was on his way with an army of 100,000 towards Delhi. He died at Khargone and later a memorial called the Chatri and a Shiva temple was built there. Baji died from a short illness, but he left behind an image of a great lover and warrior; perhaps the greatest of them all in the 18th century. Nobody later matched Baji Rao and the empire disintegrated with the arrival of the English

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    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://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    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)