Shivaji is one of the great national figures of India. A man of faith as well as action, this extraordinary statesman and general, created a nation, gave its people a cause to fight and die for and established a State permeated with a spirit of tolerance and justice; a truly secular and welfare State.
And yet, who could have believed that this son of a feudal Lord of Bijapur-a feudatory kingdom of the Mughal Empire-would in the course of his brief life span of fifty years, defy the Mughals and carve out an extensive state, the Hindawi Swarajya-a state of the sons of the soil.
As a soldier, warrior and general, Shivaji fashioned the army into a truly national one. Perfect discipline, rapid movements, excellent intelligence service, and continuous attention to defence marked his military organization, and this enabled him to defeat his adversaries time and again. Nor did he neglect the defence of the sea coast. He is rightly called the father of the Indian Navy.
He fought for the defence of his homeland. He fought against intolerance, injustice and racial arrogance. His example inspired the Rajputs, the Bumndelas and others to follow him. In course of time, his movement assumed the form of an all-India struggle: a struggle which was to change the political map of India. Dauntless in face of defeat, and generous in victory, this man of deep religious convictions cherished the honour of women and championed and practised tolerance to all faiths. Shivaji's personality and message are as relevant today as they were in the past.
From the Back of the Book
The present book is a study of the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the legendary hero of the Marathas. His rise and role in the expansion of Maratha power is vividly depicted against the background of Mughal rule in India. The book presents a picture of the State, where under the able leadership of Shivaji, justice, righteousness and tolerance prevailed in direct contrast to the fanaticism practiced by Aurangzeb, the last of the Great Mughals.
About the Author
Setumadhavarao S. Pagadi worked as an Indian Administrative Service officer between 1948 and 1959. A linguist and scholar of Urdu and Persian, he wrote forty three books in Marathi and English. Some of his well known works are: Life of Shivaji, Eighteenth Century Decan, Studies in Maratha History, Mughal-Maratha Relations, Tahamasnama etc. His autobiography Jivan Setu is Acclaimed as an outstanding contribution to Marathi Literature.
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