Tales of Shivaji TALES OF SHIVAJI
The lengendary maratha warrior-king
Shivaji is one of the most inspirational historical figures in contemporary India. This is especially true for the Marathi speaking region to which he belonged. He was born in the 17th century in Western India at a time when the area was under the oppressive rule of the neighboring states of Bijapur, Golconda and Ahmadnagar. Shivaji managed to wrest independence from these states and emerged a popular ruler. In 1674 a grand coronation ceremony was held in Raigad declaring Shivaji the 'Supreme King'. Over and above these achievements, Shivaji is revered for being a man who treated all men and particularly women with the greatest respect, even if they belonged to the opponent. This special quality in Shivaji is highlighted in three stories in this collection. A milkmaid, being a nursing mother, makes bold to scale down a cliff of the capital fort after sunset, against security rules. She is honored with gifts for her maternal valor while at the same time the cliff is bastioned - and named after her! The widow of a small chieftain bravely fights back against Maratha troops who have laid siege on her fort. Shivaji addresses her as mother and she is won over. The beautiful daughter-in-law of a defeated Muslim officer was ushered before Shivaji as a gift. Shivaji sends her safely back to her family.