Shivaji Jayanti this year marks the 391st birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji and people all over the country are celebrating today (February 19) with enthusiasm, especially in Maharashtra.
Shivaji Jayanti was started by Mahatma Jyotirao Phule in 1870, later it was taken forward by Bal Gangadhar Tilak who brought the contributions of Shivaji Maharaj into lime light and influenced people highlighting the image of Shivaji Maharaj.
Chhatrapati Shivaji known for his progressive rule
Known for being a master strategist, Chhatrapati Shivaji had won several wars against the Mughals and carved out the Maratha empire. In 1674, he was formally crowned as the 'Chhatrapati' or emperor.
He was known for engaging in both alliances and warfares with the Mughal rulers. He was a pioneer in building a naval force and an extremely competent army. Shivaji Maharaj is known as the father of guerrilla warfare in India and he pioneered the 'Shiva Sutra' or 'Ganimi Kava' against the Mughals in 1645 leading to the establishment of the great Maratha empire.
After becoming the emperor of Marathwada region in 1674, Shivaji ran an advanced civil administration system and promoted the use of Marathi in his court.
Role in indian history as a hero
Shivaji Jayanti is observed as a statewide holiday in Maharashtra and celebrated with much pomp and fervor. The day also sees the celebration of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the Marathas. People significantly remember the important contributions of great leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on his jayanti and mark the anniversary with various cultural processions.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray participated in the Shivaji Jayanti celebrations at Fort Shivneri, the birthplace of Shivaji Maharaj where he had spent the first six years after his birth on Feb. 19, 1630.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter with a video of him paying homage to the Maratha warrior: "I pay my respects to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the immortal son of Maa Bharati on his birth anniversary. His indomitable courage, amazing valour and extraordinary intelligence will continue to inspire people across generations."