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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj 389th Birth Anniversary: Remembering The ‘Chief Of The Kshatriyas’

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| February 19 , 2019 , 12:04 IST

The nation celebrated the 389th birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on Tuesday. Every year, Shivaji Jayanti or Shiv Jayanti is celebrated with much enthusiasm in parts of Maharashtra on this day.

It is a day of immense pride for all Marathas and celebrations commemorating the great leader and his achievements are marked on this day.

Born on February 19, 1630, at the Shivneri Fort to a valiant Maratha regent Shahaji Raje, Shivaji was also known as ‘Chief of the Kshatriyas’. In 1674, he was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati (monarch) of his realm at Raigad.

Over the course of his life, Shivaji engaged in both alliances and hostilities with the Mughal Empire, Sultanate of Golkonda, and Sultanate of Bijapur, as well as the English, Portuguese, and French colonial powers.

Shivaji's military forces expanded the Maratha sphere of influence, capturing and building forts, and forming a Maratha navy. Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with well-structured administrative organisations.

He revived ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions and promoted the usage of Marathi and Sanskrit, rather than Persian, in court and administration.

Shivaji's legacy was to vary by observer and time but he began to take on increased importance with the emergence of the Indian independence movement, as many elevated him as a proto-nationalist and hero of the Hindus.

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Particularly in Maharashtra, debates over his history and role have engendered great passion and sometimes even violence as disparate groups have sought to characterise him and his legacy.

The celebrations of Shivaji Jayanti were first started by Lokmanya Tilak in Pune, which gradually spread to other parts of Maharashtra. On the occasion of his anniversary prime minister Narendra Modi and paid tributes to Chhatrapati Shivaji.