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Row over the Shivaji statue in Telangana’s Bodhan town

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 24, Mar 2022
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Section 144 has been imposed in Bodhan town in Telangana after protests turned violent over the installation of a statue of Chhatrapati.

About Shivaji:

Born at Shivner in 1627.

Father: Shahji Bhonsle.

Mother: Jija Bai.

Inherited the jagir of Poona from his father in 1637.

Achievements of Chhatrapati Shivaji:

Initial phase:

  • He first conquered Raigarh, Kondana and Torna from the ruler of Bijapur.
  • After the death of his guardian, Dadaji Kondadev in 1647, Shivaji assumed full charge of his jagir.
  • He captured Javli from a Maratha chief, Chanda Rao More. This made him the master of Mavala region.
  • In 1657, he attacked the Bijapur kingdom and captured a number of hill forts in the Konkan region.
  • The Sultan of Bijapur sent Afzal Khan against Shivaji. But Afzal Khan was murdered by Shivaji in 1659 in a daring manner.

Military Conquests of Shivaji:

  • Shivaji’s military conquests made him a legendary figure in the Maratha region. The Mughal emperor Aurangazeb was anxiously watching the rise of Maratha power under Shivaji.
  • Aurangzeb sent the Mughal governor of the Deccan, Shaista Khan, against Shivaji. Shivaji suffered a defeat at the hands of the Mughal forces and lost Poona.
  • But Shivaji once again made a bold attack on Shaista Khan’s military camp at Poona in 1663, killed his son and wounded Khan.
  • In 1664, Shivaji attacked Surat, the chief port of the Mughals and plundered it.
  • A second attempt was made by Aurangzeb to defeat Shivaji by sending Raja Jai Singh of Amber. He succeeded in besieging the fort of Purander.

Treaty of Purander 1665:

  • According to the treaty, Shivaji had to surrender 23 forts to the Mughals out of 35 forts held by him.
  • The remaining 12 forts were to be left to Shivaji on condition of service and loyalty to Mughal empire.
  • On the other hand, the Mughals recognized the right of Shivaji to hold certain parts of the Bijapur kingdom.

Renewed war against Mughals:

  • Surat was plundered by him for the second time in 1670.
  • He also captured all his lost territories by his conquests.
  • In 1674 Shivaji crowned himself at Raigarh and assumed the title Chatrapathi.

Administrative Policies:

He laid the foundations of a sound system of administration. The king was the pivot of the government. He was assisted by a council of ministers called Ashtapradhan.

  • Peshwa – Finance and general administration. Later he became the prime minister.
  • Sar-i-Naubat or Senapati – Military commander, an honorary post.
  • Amatya – Accountant General.
  • Waqenavis – Intelligence, posts and household affairs.
  • Sachiv – Correspondence.
  • Sumanta – Master of ceremonies.
  • Nyayadish – Justice.
  • Panditarao – Charities and religious administration.

Revenue Policies:

  • Lands were measured by using the measuring rod called kathi. Lands were also classified into three categories – paddy fields, garden lands and hilly tracks.
  • Taxes: Chauth and sardeshmukhi were the taxes collected not in the Maratha kingdom but in the neighbouring territories of the Mughal empire or Deccan sultanates.
    • Chauth was one fourth of the land revenue paid to the Marathas in order to avoid the Maratha raids.
    • Sardeshmukhi was an additional levy of ten percent on those lands which the Marathas claimed hereditary rights.

Shivaji was a man of military genius and his army was well organized:

There were two divisions in the Maratha cavalry:

  • Bargirs, equipped and paid by the state;
  • Silahdars, maintained by the nobles.

In the infantry, the Mavli foot soldiers played an important role.