Shivaji Bhosale, (19 February 1630 – 3 April 1680), was the founder of the Maratha Empire, which lasted until 1818, and at its peak covered much of the Indian subcontinent. An aristocrat of the Bhosle Maratha clan, Shivaji led a resistance to free the Maratha people from the Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur and the Mughal Empire and established a Hindavi Swarajya ("self-rule of Hindu people"). Shivaji created an independent Maratha kingdom with Raigad as its capital, and was crowned chhatrapati ("paramount sovereign") of the Marathas in 1674.
He founded the Hindu kingdom in the Deccan against all odds , fighting against the mighty Mughals.He inspired and united the common man to fight against the tyranny of Mughal ruler Aurangjeb, by inculcating a sense of pride and nationality in them
Shivaji was born in the hill-fort of Shivneri, near the city of Junnar in Pune district around the year 1630. His exact date of birth has been a matter of dispute among historians, but the Maharashtra state government now recognises the 3rd day of the dark half of Phalguna, 1551 of Saka calendar (Friday, 19 February 1630) as the birthdate of Shivaji. Other suggested dates include 6 April 1627, or other dates near this day. Per legend, his mother named him Shivaji in honour of the goddess Shivai, to whom she had prayed for a healthy child
Shivaji's father Shahaji Bhosale was the leader of a band of mercenaries that serviced the Deccan Sultanates. His mother was Jijabai, the daughter of Lakhujirao Jadhav of Sindkhed. Shivaji was extremely devoted to his mother Jijabai, who was deeply religious. This religious environment had a great impact on Shivaji, and he carefully studied the two great Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata; these were to influence his lifelong defense of Hindu values.Throughout his life he was deeply interested in religious teachings, and regularly sought the company of Hindu and Sufi saints.
Marathas are a blend of the Warrior and Agrarian classes, speaking Marathi and generally having their roots in Maharashtra. They are also found in large Nos in Karnataka, Goa, and Madhya Pradesh & Gujarat. A few Maratha clans claim themselves to be Kshatriyas (Warriors). Some such families were the Bhosales, Ghorpades, Jadhavs, Nimbalkars, Mores, Manes, Ghatges, Dafleys, Sawants, Shirkes, Mahadiks and the Mohites. The prominent Maratha families mentioned above were serving under the Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar and Adil Shah of Bijapur. These families are generally referred as the 96 clans or kulis which comprise of 96 different main clans with their different sub clans. Marathas are descendents of Rashtrakuts, Mauryas, Pariharas/Parmar (Pawar), Pratiharas, Shilahars, Kadambas, Yadavas, Chalukyas and many other royal clans in India..
The Marathas hold 'Chhatrapati Shri Shivaji Maharaj' ,who brought pride to this community at a very high esteem. This community became dominant in the politics of Maharshtra State after the formation of a Marathi speaking Maharashtra state in 1960.The community has prospered through the effective use of co-operative movement and brought employment in rural areas by establishing Sugar Factories,Spinning Mills,Banks,Milk Dairies and other institutions in co-operative sector. The co-operative sector holds complete control over this community in the countryside. Marathas consider themselves to be the saviours of Hinduism who fought the onslaught of fanatic Mughal Emperor Aurangjeb. It is generally agreed by Historians that had the Maratha power not been there after the Mughals, the whole of India would have become Pakistan after Independence
The Marathas were at the forefront in the 1857 mutiny against the British and gave wholehearted support for the same. Though they could muster support from a few Hindu Kingdoms in the North, most of them refused to oblige them. The lack of planning, proper co-ordination within Hindu rulers, lack of diplomatic efforts, firearms & communication facilities led to the failure of this mutiny. The Marathas have also whole-heartedly supported the Independence movement especially the ‘Quit India’ movement of 1942 in large Numbers. Thus Marathas have carved out a place of pride for themselves in the History of India. It is a community of Natural Nationalists.
Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with the help of a disciplined military and well-structured administrative organizations. He innovated military tactics, pioneering the guerilla Shiva sutra or ganimi kava or bramhastra methods, which leveraged strategic factors like geography, speed, and surprise and focused pinpoint attacks to defeat his larger and more powerful enemies. From a small contingent of 2,000 soldiers inherited from his father, Shivaji created a force of 100,000 soldiers; he built and restored strategically located forts both inland and coastal to safeguard his territory
This was a small effort to tell you about the Maratha community in an impartial way. There is a need to unite this community for its social & economic advancement .We invite your comments & suggestions on the same . Write to firstname.lastname@example.org