Tag Archives: Maharashtra

WHAT MARATHA HISTORY TEACHES US

-Sir Jadunath Sarkar

“Unite all the people, fill them with one spirit.
Wherever Marathas are, unite them;
extend the spirit of our Maratha ‘dharm’.
Bahut lok milavave, ek vichare bharave.” – Swami Ramdas

“Maharashtra has been my second home, I have paid more than forty visits to it, and travelled to its hamlets and forts far away from rail and bus routes, making friends everywhere. And my study of Maratha history has been second only—if second at all, to my devotion to Mughal history.

SCHOLARSHIP, MILITANCY & PATRIOTISM

The Maratha people stand unique among the races of India in having produced in the historic past close to our days, whole classes who have been masters of the pen and the sword alike. Such a combination of military and literary ability in the same man or same family has been found among the Persians and the Eastern Turks (whom we call Mughals), but no other Indian race has produced such a galaxy of leaders in war and learning as Maratha history records. Is this the root cause of the fact that no other province of India in the closing sixty years of British rule has produced such constructive patriots of the modern civilised type as Maharashtra? I do not refer to the glib eloquence of platform oratory which can excite a contagion of momentary enthusiasm but soon falls flat like a soda water bottle when its frothy effervescence is ended. In that respect several other provinces of India can, I admit, beat the descendants of Shivaji and Ramdas.

SOCIAL SERVICE & RECONSTRUCTION

Maharashtra’s noblest sons have shown in every field of human endeavour, a marvellous persistency and earnest lifelong devotion to patriotic ideals, and not in political agitation merely. The net achievement of these construc¬tive workers will endure for ages. Let me take two examples only : the Servants of India Society of G. K. Gokhale and the Women’s Home and University of D. K. Karve. Imitations of them were started in some other provinces of India with beat of drum, but where are they now? These two Maharashtrian institutions endure and their usefulness has gone on expanding year after year.

Another characteristic of Maratha patriotism is significant ; their institutions for the service of the people have been built up and kept alive entirely by private donation and not by grants from the public exchequer. In other provinces, our patriots throw the burden of their pet schemes on the Government or Municipal Corporations at the earliest opportunity, or else they die of starvation. The honourable spirit of true public service is not extinct in Maharashtra. Such disinterested devotion to the people’s welfare in every field is still being shown by the sons of Maharashtra. Without meaning to ignore others, I shall cite one example only, because it has been personally known to me from its foundation in 1926. I refer to the Talegaon Charitable General Hospital and especially its eye-clinic and the attached T.B. Convalescent Homes which attract sufferers from all parts of India. Here, physicians of the first standing in Bombay and Poona attend regularly giving their services for absolutely no gain and some even bear their own travelling expenses. Where else in India can we find its parallel on the same scale?

PLAIN LIVING, HIGH THINKING, COOPERATIVE LIVING

What is the fountain-head of this pure water of life that is now regenerating Maharashtra? My reflections lead me to only one conclusion : it is the spirit of plain living and high thinking which animates the entire educated and middle classes of that land, and the priceless experience in managing local affairs in mutual co-operation which the common people of Maharashtra have acquired by twenty centuries or more of life in “village communities”. These village communities have been rightly described by Elphinstone as “little republics, having nearly everything they can want within themselves.” Every such village had in pre-British days its own set of hereditary officers and menials, paid by allotments of plots of land round the village, and settling their disputes by a Grand Jury of all classes of the local people …. Such village communities were crushed out in Northern India long ago by the ruthless advance of foreign conquerors and the formation of centralised despotic monarchies of vastnesses possible only in the boundless plains of the Gangetic valley.

SELF-RELIANCE, SELF-RESPECT, EQUALITY

I have travelled extensively through the Sahyadri Hill range and river valleys, and everywhere noticed with surprise the free self-reliant character of the commonest people, peasants and day-labourers, such as can never be seen among the helpless ryots of big zamindars in Hindustan, or the police-ruled population of indigo-growing areas, the vassals of feudal jagirdars in Rajputana and Malwa. There is a wonderful “diffused sense of democratic equality and self-respect” among the Marathas which can make them the best nationals of Free India.

SCHOLARSHIP

We talk of the heroism of Shivaji and Baji Rao I, Lakshmi Bai and Tara Bai, but how many of us remember that the same race has produced some of the finest scholars in India? The only Senior Wrangler(1) among the Asiatics is a Maratha Brahman; and the most learned and correct editions of the Sanskrit classics are produced in Maharashtra, at the Nirnaya Sagar Press of Bombay, the Anand Ashram of Poona, and the Bhandarkar Institute of Research, the last of which has the unique distinction of bringing out the world-recognised edition of the Mahabharat.

WOMEN’S FREEDOM & INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP

Maratha women have enjoyed from the earliest times high honour and perfect freedom of movement and activity. What other Hindu community in India has produced queens like Ahalya Bai and Tara Bai, female warriors like Lakshmi Bai (of Jhansi) and Rai Baghini (the wife of Udiram of Malegaon), besides social workers like Rama Bai and the female Karves (to mention a few only)? Was not Shivaji’s mother Jija Bai, the patron saint and effective administrator of her son’s kingdom and people during Shivaji’s visit to Aurangzeb and captivity in Agra?

There is record of a significant dialogue held during the first Anglo-Maratha War. The Rana of Gohad was scornfully asked by Col. Camac and other English allies in their camp at Sesai (south of Gwalior):

“What has your Mahadji Sindhia done that you praise him so highly?”

The Rana (who was then fighting against Sindhia) replied, “Mahadji is no ordinary man ; he has restored the Emperor to his throne in Delhi, and his wife rides out to battle.”

Camac asked, “Do not your wives ride out?” The Jat chief replied, “No. We are Kshatriyas, we observe parda.” [Bodleian Library, Persian manuscript.]

After Tukoji Holkar’s camp had been beaten up by Mahadji Sindhia’s Generals at Suraoli (1792), Ahalya Bai Holkar wrote to her Generals, “If you delay in going out to renew the war and avenge this defeat, I shall myself take horse and command my household troops personally in battle”. And yet she was better known as a pious and charitable lady and a religious devotee. Such is Maratha womanhood.

PERSISTENT PATRIOTISM

In nobility of aims and heroic persistence of endeavour, the Maratha people have an advantage which no other race in India possesses. They, alone among the Hindus, had beaten back the tide of Muslim conquest and defended the independence of their country against all the resources of the mighty Emperor Aurangzib and at a time when their King was almost a prisoner in the far off Madras coast. And later, under the Peshwas, they gained a still higher experience in politics in the best sense of that term. I here quote my own words used elsewhere:

“The Marathas have a historic advantage of unique importance in the India of today. Their near ancestors had faced death in a hundred battlefields, had led armies and debated in the chamber of diplomacy, had managed the finances of kingdoms and grappled with the problems of empire; they had helped to make Indian history in the immediate and not yet forgotten past. The memory of these things is a priceless asset to their race”.

BHAKTI SAINTS

Over all this “great realm” Maharashtra, there has spread the benign and yet manly influence of the saints and preachers in the vernacular, elevating, fortifying, and yet mollifying the character of the people from the rulers down to the meanest tiller of the soil.

HISTORIOGRAPHY

This legitimate pride in their real and immediate past, has prompted the Marathas to preserve, collect, edit and publish their historical records in a voluminous size and a high level of successful attainment, not one-tenth of which can be seen in any other Indian province, not even in the imperial cities of the Mughals or the antique capitals of the Rajput princes. To this success many learned men of unsurpassed industry and self-abnegation have contributed. Among the dead I shall mention only Kashinath Narayan Sane, Vishwanath K. Rajwade, and V. V. Khare. No other race in India has produced their equal.

Finally, the Indian army will one day need to raise a corps of Commando troops. I cannot imagine better material for such a select body than the Marathas. This is no reflection on other “martial” races of India, but the special aptitude required for such a corps d’elite is not so prominent among others.

INTERNECINE FEUD, A FATAL FLAW

At the end, it is the impartial historian’s duty not to conceal the defects of the Maratha racial character. They have been strong, they have been free, but they have not been united. Like the Afghan tribes or the clans of the Scottish Highlands, Maratha family has fought Maratha family, clan has fought clan, in selfish personal feuds. The result has been disastrous to the interests of the nation as a whole. That perfect type of Maratha cavalry leader and organiser of tactics, Santaji Ghorpare, was killed not by a Muslim but by another Maratha Nimbalkar, whose brother this Santa had killed in an earlier internecine battle!

Even today caste-squabbles are not dead in Maharashtra, though the newspapers carefully exclude information on this unsavoury subject. Brahman-Prabhu wrangles about religious claims arc still boiling up; even the Brahmans are not a happy family in all their branches. Are Karhada Brahmans totally at ease about Chitpavan hostility, say in Ratnagiri? Let those who know the facts ponder on the consequences.

After all, there cannot be a truer message to the Maratha people even today than the advice given by Ramdas Swami nearly three centuries ago: —

Unite all the people, fill them with one spirit.
Wherever Marathas are, unite them;
extend the spirit of our Maratha ‘dharm’.
Bahut lok milavave, ek vichare bharave.”

NOTES:

(1) Top mathematics undergraduate at Cambridge University in England

SOURCE: Sarkar Jadunath (1955) House of Shivaji, 3rd Edn., M.C. Sarkar & Sons Ltd. Calcutta, pp 334-339

Rising Bharat Swadeshi News Feed: October 26th 2020

  1. This techie quit his job to educate the children of drought-affected farmers in Maharashtra

Key points:

  1. Ashok Deshmane established the NGO Snehwan to educate and provide for farmers’ children in and around the Marathwada region for free of cost. Today, he supports over 50 kids in pursuing their dreams.
  2. Ashok Deshmane was born in Parbhani — a quaint district located in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Having grown up amidst parched and unfertilised lands with hardly any rainfall, he knew the struggles of sustaining in a drought.  Ashok did not have a very pleasant childhood. For his family — whose main source of livelihood was farming — obtaining three square meals a day in itself used to be a challenge. In fact, they were unable to earn enough due to severe water scarcity in the region. After doing a few odd jobs and burning the candle at both ends, Ashok managed to fund his higher education.
  3. As years passed by, the young man realised that things had not changed. Poverty, inaccessibility to education and healthcare, dry spells, and farmer suicides were still plaguing people. According to an RTI document, over 15,000 farmers lost their lives to suicide in Maharashtra between 2013 and 2018.  Ashok was appalled when he found out about this dire situation. He wanted to improve the lives of the residents of his hometown and bring about a transformation. For this reason, he quit his well-paying job as a software engineer at Mphasis and started working towards his plan.  In 2015, the 30-year-old established a non-governmental organisation called Snehwan to educate and provide for farmers’ children for free of cost. With the help of his personal savings and some financial aid from his friends, he got the kids enrolled at good schools and also rented out a space to accommodate them.

(Your Story, 26 October 2020) News Link

  • Investment in Bharat by other countries
  1. [Funding alert] BASIC Home Loan raises $500K in seed round from Picus Capital

Key points:

  1. With support from Picus Capital’s funds and ecosystem, the Gurugram-based startup’s focus will be on changing the way Bharat (India) finances its affordable homes.
  2. BASIC Home Loan, a Gurugram-based startup developing a platform for automating home loans for middle and low-income households in India, has raised a $500,000 Seed round from Picus Capital, a Germany-based early-stage technology investment firm.

(Your Story, 26 October 2020) News Link

  • Startup in Bharat by Bhartiya
  1. [RAISE 2020] How this Bengaluru-based startup is modernising agriculture through IoT and AI

Key points:

  1. Founded in 2019, GramworkX has built an IoT and AI-enabled smart farm resource management tool that helps farmers to monitor micro-climatic conditions of their farms, quantify irrigation and with irrigation prediction so that they can take accurate, proactive and preventive decisions.
  2. Tapping into the market, GramworkX was founded in 2019 to bring “predictability to farming”. This Bengaluru-based startup helps in precision farming by integrating field data, weather patterns, and crop information to drive agronomic advice to farmers.
  3. Founded by K A Gopalakrishnan and Supriya Ananthakrishnan, GramworkX has built an IoT and AI-enabled smart farm resource management tool that helps farmers by monitoring micro-climatic conditions of their farms, quantifying irrigation, and irrigation prediction so that they can take accurate, proactive and preventive decisions.  “Our solution helps in yield improvement, providing analytical insights into water consumption patterns across fields and soil types ultimately enabling data-based decision support systems for farmer and farming organisations,” says Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder, GramworkX.

(Your Story, 26 October 2020) News Link

  • This digital payments startup is digitising rural India by converting kiranas into banks

Key points:

  1. Ahmedabad-based startup Easy Pay has onboarded 500,000 retailers on their platform and its app Paisa Nikal has served more than 35 million people in rural India.
  2. n his journeys, he understood why Indians relied on the corner store owner for credit, and how these stores can help people open a bank account, deposit and withdraw. This is what Nilay wished to replicate with his Ahmedabad-based startup Easy Pay. The startup’s app Paisa Nikal connects both small stores and their consumers through banking services, thereby ushering a new way to look at the future of banking.
  3. “At Easy Pay, we aim to offer additional revenues to the Kiranas and help in digitising them,” says Nilay Patel, Founder of Easy Pay.
  4. “To handle this scale, we needed a reliable and scalable technology platform, and this is where we rely on AWS. Before migrating to AWS Cloud, the Easy Pay/Paisa Nikal application was hosted in a data centre. A transaction on the app would take more than 35 seconds and now takes less than five seconds, due to us deploying over 12 AWS services to achieve high availability, security, and scalability. We use Amazon CloudFront, Application Load Balancers, and Amazon Aurora. Using AWS, Paisa Nikal can scale its infrastructure in less than two minutes, where previously it took three days to pick up a single server” says Nilay.

(Your Story, 26 October 2020) News Link

  1. उत्तर प्रदेश: शिक्षक ने शुरू की पार्ट टाइम खेती, सालाना टर्नओवर हुआ 1 करोड़ रूपये

Key points:

  1. पिछले एक दशक से अधिक समय से उत्तर प्रदेश के एक स्कूल में बच्चों को पढ़ा रहे अमरेंद्र सिंह को जब खेती करने की इच्छा हुई तो उन्होंने सबसे पहले खेती के गुर सीखे और फिर पारंपरिक खेती की जगह फल और सब्जी की खेती के क्षेत्र में कदम रख दिया। आज वह खेती से लाखों रुपये कमा रहे हैं और साथ में स्कूल की नौकरी भी कर रहे हैं।
  2. इन सालों में इस प्रगतिशील किसान ने 60 एकड़ भूमि में खेती बढ़ा दी है, जिसमें से 30 एकड़ उनकी खुद की जमीन है, 20 एकड़ जमीन लीज पर है और उन्होंने हाल ही में 10 एकड़ जमीन खरीदी है। इन खेतों में वह धनिया, लहसुन और मक्का की खेती करते हैं।
  3. अमरेंद्र ने बताया, “30 एकड़ भूमि का इस्तेमाल वह सब्जियों और फलों को उगाने के लिए करते हैं, जबकि शेष आधी भूमि का इस्तेमाल गन्ना, गेहूँ और अनाज उगाने के लिए किया जाता है। कुल जमीन में वह एक साल में 1 करोड़ रुपये का कारोबार करते हैं और हर साल 30 लाख रुपये का मुनाफा कमाते हैं।”

(The Better India, 26 October 2020) News Link

Ahilyabai Holkar (1725-1795): The Brave Queen Of Malwa

The history books in Bharat rarely talk about Punyashlok Rajmata Ahilyabai Holkar, one of the finest women rulers of Bharat. She was born on 31 May, 1725, in the village of Chondi in Jamkhed, Ahmednagar. Also known as Maharani or Rajmata Ahilyabai Holkar, she was known for her valor and the art of administration. She played an important role in the development of Malwa region (including famous city of Indore in Madhya Pradesh) where she ruled. She passed away on 13 August,1795.

Ahilyabai Holkar Stamp 1996

Here is a well researched detailed document in Hindi that throws more light on her life and achievements:-

Sanatani Veerangana Ahilyabai Holkar

Courtesy: The Nationalist View (https://www.thenationalistview.com/research-and-reference/ahilyabai-holkar-1725-1795-the-brave-queen-of-malwa/)

Rising Bharat National News Feed: August 10th 2020

  • Measures taken by Tamil Nadu
  1. तमिलनाडु में सिद्ध चिकित्सा पद्धति से करीब छह हजार कोरोना मरीज हुए ठीक, जानें कैसे किया जाता है इलाज

Key points:

  1. पारंपरिक सिद्ध चिकित्सा प्रणाली की दवाएं कोविड-19 मरीजों के इलाज में काफी कारगर साबित हुई हैं और तमिलनाडु में कोरोना वायरस से संक्रमित करीब छह हजार मरीज इस पद्धति से किए गए इलाज से ठीक हुए हैं।
  2. आधिकारिक सूत्रों ने सोमवार को बताया कि सात अगस्त तक तमिलनाडु में दो महानगरों सहित विभिन्न स्थानों पर स्थापित 11 विशेष सिद्ध कोविड-19 मरीज देखभाल केंद्र (सीसीसी) में भर्ती 5,725 कोरोना संक्रमित सिद्ध पद्धति की दवाओं से ठीक हुए हैं। (Jagran, 10 August 2020) News Link
  • Measures taken by Maharashtra
  1. Mumbai: Municipal corporation to start pilot project to use voice analysis to detect Covid -19

Key points:

  1. The Municipal corporation of Greater Mumbai this week onwards will start using a voice sampling method to diagnose Covid-19 at one of its jumbo facilities in Mumbai.
  2. Although, this will be on pilot basis but the app based tool will soon be introduced in other hospitals as well.
  3. AIR Mumbai correspondent reports that the Municipal corporation of Greater Mumbai will start a pilot project to use voice analysis to detect Covid -19 at the jumbo Covid -19 facility at NESCO grounds, in suburban Goregaon. (News on Air, 10 August 2020) News Link
  • Maharashtra state health minister informs 500 ambulances procured to transport COVID patients

Key points:

  1. Besides, to curb the spread of the infection, the district administration of Aurangabad has decided to undertake a scientific sero survey from today onwards.
  2. AIR Mumbai correspondent reports that Aurangabad District Collector Uday Chaudhary has appealed citizens to participate in the sero survey.
  3. Effective measures have been taken to increase the screening process of hawkers and shopkeepers through door-to-door screening by the municipal corporation.
  4. As a result, the rate of increase in new coronavirus cases has reduced by 30 per cent in the last 15 days.

(News on Air, 10 August 2020) News Link

  • Measures taken by Gujarat
  1. Gujarat govt increases fine charged for not wearing mask

Key points:

  1. Talking to media persons today, the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that Rs. 1,000 fine will be collected for violation of mask rule in the State effective from tomorrow.
  2. He said that fine has been hiked following the Gujarat High Court order in this direction.
  3. Earlier, the fine for not wearing a mask was hiked to Rs.500 from Rs.200 on 1st August.

(News On Air, 10 August 2020) News Link

  • Ram Desh me
  1. रामभक्तों से मंदिर के लिए दान का आह्वान, श्रीरामजन्मभूमि तीर्थ क्षेत्र ट्रस्ट दर्शनार्थियों को बांट रहा पत्रक

Key points:

  1. 5 श्रीरामजन्मभूमि तीर्थ क्षेत्र ट्रस्ट राममंदिर निर्माण के लिए दान करने की अपील भक्तों से कर रहा है।
  2. इसके लिए ट्रस्ट ने एक पत्रक छपवाया है जिसे दानवीरों सहित रामलला के दर्शनार्थियों को बांटा जा रहा है।
  3. बताया गया कि ट्रस्ट ने एक लाख से अधिक पत्रक छपवाएं हैं जिन्हें रामभक्तों में बांटा जा रहा है।
  4. इस पत्र के जरिए रामभक्तों से राममंदिर निर्माण के लिए दान करने की अपील की जा रही है।
  5. राममंदिर निर्माण के लिए अब तक करीब 55 करोड़ रुपये का दान आ चुका है।
  6. ऑनलाइन दान करने में रामभक्त ज्यादा रुचि ले रहे हैं।

(Amar Ujala, 10 August 2020) News Link

  • राम मंदिर को लेकर घरघर संपर्क करेगा संघ, आंदोलन के दौरान कारसेवा करने वालों को किया जाएगा सम्मानित

Key points:

  1. अयोध्या में राम मंदिर के भूमि पूजन के बाद अब संघ के पदाधिकारी और स्वयंसेवक छत्तीसगढ़ के आदिवासी अंचल में घर-घर दस्तक देने जा रहे हैं।
  2. पदाधिकारी और स्वयंसेवक लोगों से राम मंदिर अभियान में जुटने की अपील करेंगे।
  3. साथ ही राम मंदिर आंदोलन के दौरान कारसेवा करने वालों का सम्मान भी करेंगे।

(Jagran, 10 August 2020) News Link

  • राम मंदिर भूमि पूजन के बाद सीतामढ़ी जानकी जन्मस्थली के विकास का मुद्दा पहुंचा प्रधानमंत्री कार्यालय

Key points:

  1. अयोध्या में राम मंदिर के भूमि पूजन के साथ ही सीतामढ़ी में जानकी जन्मभूमि के विकास की मांग जोर पकडऩे लगी है।
  2. इसे लेकर मां जानकी जन्मोत्सव आयोजन समिति ने प्रधानमंत्री कार्यालय (पीएमओ) को ई-मेल भेजा है।
  3. इसमें कहा गया है कि यहां पर्यटन की अपार संभावनाएं हैं।
  4. मां जानकी जन्मभूमि को भी अगर अयोध्या की तरह सजाया-संवारा गया तो पर्यटन और भारत की आर्थिक समृद्धि में बहुत योगदान मिल सकता है।

(Jagran, 10 August 2020) News Link

  • Views: Ram Mandir
  1. पूर्व पाकिस्तानी क्रिकेटर दानिश कनेरिया बोले, मौका मिला तो जरूर आऊंगा अयोध्या

Key points:

  1. पाकिस्तान के पूर्व स्पिनर दानिश कनेरिया ने कहा है कि यदि उन्हें मौका मिला तो वह जरूर अयोध्या आएंगे और राम लला के दर्शन करेंगे।
  2. कनेरिया ने एक टीवी चैनल से बातचीत में कहा कि वह एक हिंदू हैं और भगवान राम के भक्त हैं।
  3. पाकिस्तानी टीम पर हिंदू होने की वजह से भेदभाव का आरोप लगाने वाले कनेरिया ने सोमवार को ट्वीट किया, ‘हमारे लिए, यह एक धार्मिक स्थान है और अगर मुझे मौका मिलता है, तो मैं निश्चित रूप से अयोध्या आना चाहूंगा।
  4. मैं एक समर्पित हिंदू हूं और मैं हमेशा भगवान राम के दिखाए मार्ग पर चलने की कोशिश करता हूं।’

(Navbharat Times, 10 August 2020) News Link