Issues

It’s Modi’s ‘story’, not history

The semi-educated Narendra Modi recently said in a speech at Raigad fort in Maharashtra that Shivaji, the Maratha warrior leader, had not looted Surat, rather he plundered Aurangzeb’s treasure with the help of the locals and used it for the welfare of the common man.

This is absolute garbage and a sodomy of truth. All historians, including Maharashtrian historians like Sardesai, Deshpande and Prabhu Inamdar, are unanimous on this count that Shivaji plundered Surat on 6 January, 1664. This has been categorically mentioned in the book “Political And Cultural History Of Gujarat” at B J Indology Institute (written by several experts).

Shivaji was basically a plunderer. He was a small-time ruler. Sir Jadunath Sarkar called him a “chieftain”. Mughal, Portuguese and East India Company’s several records indicate that Shivaji was a plunderer. Eliot, Dawson, Ishwari Prasad, Akhilesh Mishra and Sacchidanand Sinha went to the extent of calling Shivaji a “self-styled king” who manipulated his way to the throne. Shivaji’s entire life was a saga of plunders. He was indeed brave but never so great as people in Maharashtra think he was, thanks to the emergence of Hindu political outfits like Shiv Sena, Sambhaji Brigade and MNS. Their distorted versions of history and Shivaji’s exaggerated “exploits” have been further exploited by a rabid Hindu leader like Modi, who has a political agenda and is blissfully unaware of his country’s history.

One wonders who made Shivaji so great? He was never a real threat to the Mughal empire and it’s a fact that had Aurangzeb wanted, he could have had Shivaji eliminated in Agra itself. Shivaji’s much tom-tommed escape from Agra in a fruit-basket is apocryphal. This never happened. Mirza Raja Jai Singh’s son Ram Singh helped Shivaji escape from Agra. Alas, we’re too gullible and believe without ever questioning. People like Narendra Modi trade upon our collective credulity. He has mauled Indian history.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2014 on page no. 2

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