“Chhatrapati Shivaji’s administrative, wartime and cultural legacy more relevant today for atma-nirbhar resurgent Bharat”.

The ‘The legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji – From Kingdom to Empire’ book was launched jointly by Shri Shivaji Memorial Committee and Samvit Kendra at CCRT, Hitech city, Hyderabad, on the evening of 8th October 2022. Many dignitaries were present in the interesting event including the author Kedarnath Phalke, Chief Guest Shri Nand Kumar Premchand,  Shri Sunil Ambekar (Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh, RSS), Shri Uday Khardekar, Shri Nageswara Rao of Shivaji Sphoorti Kendra,  Shri Ayush Nadimpalli (Kshetra Prachar Pramukh) and many others.  

Shri Nand Premchand

The Chief Guest of the evening Shri Nand Kumar Premchand introducing the book stated that when we study the leadership aspects of Chhatrapati Shivaji, it is inspirational and instructive. In his rule, he introduced cultural aspects including the languages Marathi and Sanskrit, and his administration showed enormous respect to the common people, especially women. Many battles were fought in the expansion of the empire, and there was strategy and farsightedness in the way treaties were drawn, and the way the tactical war fares were fought. The empire expanded down South and to the far North defeating the Moghuls and other kingdoms. The book spans a period of 200 years from the 1600s to the 1800s.

The author Shri Kedarnath Phalke in his remarks stated that the 200-year Maratha history is actually the expanse of the entire Indian history of that period. After Baber’s victory, Sultan after Sultan won many battles so much so that the common people started thinking that Moghuls were invincible. All that changed after Chhatrapati  Shivaji, he not only won battles against Moghuls, the Maratha empire established its supremacy on the seas with its naval fleet too. Some illustrious kings who succeeded Shivaji were role models in decentralization. The Maratha’s contribution to the nation is immense, especially in the last few hundred years. The Marathas were indeed the builders of modern India as we know the nation today. Shivaji Charitra continues to inspire us all today. The author quoted many verses from Kavi Bhushan, in praise of Veer Shivaji.

The book ‘The legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji From Kingdom to Empire’ was formally launched by all the dignitaries on stage.  

 Shri Sunil Ambekar in his keynote address congratulated the young author Shri Phalke and stated that there are many in the country who think there’s no necessity to go into the history and culture of the 21st century. However, unless we understand our past, we cannot understand what ails the present society. The invaders have attacked the very core of culture, knowledge systems, and the self-respect of the nation to destroy and subjugate the dignity of the people;  Nalanda is an example of the complete destruction of knowledge and subjugation of the people. However, when deities in temples were destroyed, the divinity doesn’t get extinguished.

The nation’s legacy in the past was never any kind of autocratic rule, Chhatrapati Shivaji established the Ashta-pradhan Mandal, a kind of democratic setup for the governance of the empire. The British not only completely distorted our glorious history, they also propagated total lies to kill the spirit of the nation.  It is very important to know our own correct authentic history. The rise of the Chhatrapati Shivaji and the Maratha empire is a very important phase in our history to understand that it is crucial to be fearless and courageous. Shivaji’s empire was welfare oriented, known for its governance model, and established the ‘Swa’ of our dharma, culture, and languages. Today there is a churn in the country to become ‘atma-nirbhar’ and is emerging as a strong nation in tackling the antagonistic forces within and without, and therefore Chhatrapati Shivaji’s legacy is more important today than ever. That’s the reason Shivaji’s emblem was used in the naval ensign recently to dedicate ourselves to the growth and strength of the nation. We need to bring back all the forgotten vocabulary in our languages to strengthen the people’s culture.  Chhatrapati Shivaji’s geopolitical strategies need to be re-understood and applied in the national defense sector. His empire had a real sense of democracy as his empire belonged to the people. It is important to learn from history and do course corrections for the future, across policy-making, governance, and international geopolitics.

Shri Nageswararao from Shri Shivaji Memorial Committee in his address stated that Qutb shahi paid tribute to Shivaji and supported him in his battles in the far south. Shivaji and his mother visited the Srisailam Jyotirlinga to pray to Goddess Bhramaramba. A memorial ‘Sivaji Sphoorthi Kendram’ was constructed in the very same spot, a darbar hall was constructed where Shivaji held a meeting with his ministers, and a dhyana-Kendra is established where Shivaji worshipped Mata Bhavani/ Bhramaramba.

Shri Vidyadhara Buddhiraju introduced the work of Samvit Kendra, which is an integral Study and Research center, and invited research scholars to contact Samvit Kendra.

Shri Ayush Nadimpalli proposed the vote of thanks and said that the book launch event has proved auspicious as both rains and rishis in the form of selfless knowledge seekers are present to bless us. He stated that Malik Kafur destroyed Kakatiyas, and Maa Bhadrakali who was the presiding deity of Kakatiyas, and the deity is reestablished in Bastar / Gadchiroli, by a Kakatiya branch of descendants.

Harihara Raya and Bukka Raya from the  Musunuri Nayakas period were also connected to Swami Vidyaranya and the founding of the Vijayanagara empire. It is interesting that Shivaji was inspired by the Vijayanagara saga in his childhood. The thread of a continuous saga of struggle and resistance is seen in the south of Vindhyas. The thread of the story of Bhagyanagar, the city of fortune, connects to the coastal town of Masulipatnam. He thanked the audience for sparing the time to attend the important event despite heavy downpours.