Friday, August 17, 2007

I have a Camera Eye


have a camera eye

that penetrates layers

of untruth

that belie

Truth unhidden as lie

cumulus clouds

that guard human sorrow

from infecting the sky

a clitoral eye

that sheds a stray tear to

a phallic sigh

dreams don’t die

her silence

is better than her reply

food for thought as

poetic postulations rely

her memory

in these words deify

punishment in love

an eye for an eye.

an asp kissed cleopatra

the final goodbye

mark anthony and rome

left high and dry.

mother eve

garden of eden

a serpent so spry

adam the source of

mans seminal supply

barefeet poetry

bootless feat

poems imply

Constructive criticism

I don’t deny


Cornish lady

Comments from Tai

Rest of the Poetic Plethora

at Poem Hunter Hate Incorporated

on a slow burner

their ass fry..

Wiladat Imam Hussain

photo courtesy

The Shias all over the world celebrate the birthday of Imam Hussain erstwhile grandson of our Holy Prophet .But a strange thought though the Shias celebrate the Willadat of Imam Hussain today they celebrate his Martyrdom everyday, celebrate in the context of mourning.
Yes every land is Karbala every Heart is Ashura.
I wanted to write this piece last night, but some how it was not ready for gestation, it did not happen while I sat at home posting my pictures at Flickr.
I have just opened shop, I was asking Asif Shakir my eldest son about some quote on Imam Hussain different from we have read and he said go to ezoftech..
But I think I shall write through the guidance of my Heart .
I am not a hard core Shia at all, I keep harping about my Shiasm, that has been nascent, not aggressive, I lived in a cosmopolitan society with the Hindus, Christians Parsis Sikhs and people of diverse Faith.
For me my religion is something personal and not a badge stuck as an armband.
The Shia resurgence of my soul happened a few years back despite my wife and children being overtly and most importantly better Shias than me , but never did they exert their religiosity on my multi colored human camera like consciousness..
I dressed and did look , and do look , like a Hindu ascetic, this was my effervescent Sartorial Spirituality.
I dabbled in the stream of all religious thought but I am a Shia born and Shiasm is my birthright a nationalistic fervor connected to the fragrance of the land I live.
I do not wish to sound Shia , but one thought troubles me being a moderately liberal Indian Muslim, and it is not Anti Islam it is anti “anti Humanity.”
When the genocide and the carnage was happening at Karbala , and Imam Hussain not an unknown figure but the scion of the Holy Prophet should be so shabbily treated , shocks me of the kind of Muslims that lived within the fold of Yazidi Islam.
Not a single voice raised, not a protest, just silent acceptance of misdeeds, read my words carefully, and realize what I am applying to modern day protesting Islam.
Cartoon s of the Holy Prophet full throated protestations, justifiably so, Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasrin, tattoos of the Holy Scriptures on the back of a Dutch model.. justifiably so yet the body of Islam.. souled in Saudi Arabia and fleshed out in other countries keeps silent at the continuous killing of Muslims by Muslims killing of other communities in the name of Islam..
What are we trying to prove ?
At Karbala the same situation existed in Islam?
Yazid may have thought he was justified in destroying the goodwill of Imam Hussain , he was no ideal Caliph, the first supreme Terrorist, he had his Jehad, and it continued unabated against the follwers of Ali the Shias.
Today Allah Ho Akbar surfed on the net, brings to you the sectarian Gospel of Hate.. hate for everything that is Shia Shiasm Shi Shiite ..?
So what has really changed, mind you I don’t borrow verses from scriptures to prove my point.
The Arab barbarism is the heritage of contemporary Islam ,kill kill, be counted in Paradise that is why the rogue Mullahs don’t want Muslims to educate themselves, and strange even the most educated Kafeel Ahmed lost out at the end of the day.
A man in Hyderabad says behead Taslima Nasrin, I am not shocked the majority followers of Islam justified beheading even in the days of Hazrat Ali and later his son Imam Hussain.There was no one to behead Yazid..
Imagine taking a sword and cutting of a mans neck while he was in prayers in the Mosque. Imagine on the hot and dusty sands of Karbala people who also prayed Namaz , fasted, followed the religion propagated by the Holy Prophet had no qualms in slaying his favorite Grandson or his family.
Yes the Shia is a better Islamist any day, whether he sheds blood , scourges himself, cuts his forehead all considered heresy, except killing of innocent people, kidnapping of Koreans, planting bombs in trains, 9/11 7/ 11 all these are pardonable for the greater glory of a marginalized Islam..
The Lal Masjid, Abdul Aziz is only a tip of the iceberg..
We have to wake up from our religiously flavored drug induced sleep..
Yes I have nothing more to say.. today I celebrate Wiladat e Imam Hussain
But Everyday is Ashura..Every land is Karbala ..

Blue Blood of a Lion King

HH Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj scion of Chatrapatti Shivaji.

Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore wrote a poem:

In what far-off country, upon what obscure day
I know not now,
Seated in the gloom of some Mahratta mountain-wood
O King Shivaji,
Lighting thy brow, like a lightning flash,
This thought descended,
"Into one virtuous rule, this divided broken distracted India,
I shall bind."
Jawaharlal Nehru said:

"Shivaji did not belong to Maharashtra alone; he belonged to the
whole Indian Nation. Shivaji was not an ambitious ruler anxious
to establish a kingdom for himself but a patriot inspired by a vision
and political ideas derived from the teachings of the ancient
Indira Gandhi said:

"I think Shivaji ranks among the greatest men of the world. Since
we were a slave country, our great men have been somewhat
played down in world history. Had the same person been born in a
European country, he would have been praised to the skies and
known everywhere. It would
have been said that he had illumined the world."

Cosme da Guarda says in "Life of the Celebrated Sevaji":

"Such was the good treatment Shivaji accorded to people and such
was the honesty with which he observed the capitulations that none
looked upon him without a feeling of love and confidence. By his
people he was exceedingly loved. Both in matters of reward and
punishment he was so impartial that while he lived he made no
exception for any person; no merit was left unrewarded, no offence
went unpunished; and this he did with so much care and attention
that he
specially charged his governors to inform him in writing of the
conduct of his soldiers, mentioning in particular those who had
distinguished themselves, and he would at once order their
promotion, either in rank or in pay, according to their merit. He
was naturally loved by all men of valor and good conduct."

Sir E. Sullivan says in "Warriors and Statesmen of India":

"Shivaji possessed every quality requisite for success in the
disturbed age in which he lived. Cautious and wily in council, he
was fierce and daring in action; he possessed an endurance that
made him remarkable even amongst his hardy subjests, and an
energy and decision that would in any age have raised him to
distinctions. By his own people he was painted on a white horse
going at full gallop, tossing grains of rice into his mouth, to signify
that his speed did not allow him to stop to eat. He was the Hindu
prince who forced the heavy Mughal cavalry to fly before the
charge of the native horse of India. His strength and activity in
action were glory and admiration of his race."

D. Kincaid says in "The Grand Rebel":

"In spite of the character of a crusade which Ramdas's blessings
gave to Shivaji's long struggle, it is remarkable how little religious
animosity or intolerance Shivaji displayed. His kindness to
Catholic priests is an agreeable contrast to the proscriptions of the
Hindu priesthood in the Indian and Maratha territories of the
Portuguese. Even his enemies remarked on his extreme respect for
Mussulman priests, for mosques and for the koran. The Muslim
historian Khafi Khan, who cannot mention Shivaji in his cronicle
without adding epithets of vulgar abuse, nevertheless
acknowledges that Shivaji never entered a conquered town without
taking measures to safeguard the mosques from damage.
Whenever a koran came to his possession, he treated it with the
respect as if it had been one of the sacred works of his own faith.
Whenever his men captured Mussulman ladies, they were brought
to Shivaji, who looked after them as if they were his wards till he
could return them to their relations."

The Heritage of Chatrapatti Shivaji Maharaj

This is HH Chatrappati Sambhaji Maharaj erstwhile scion of Chattrapatti Shivaji Maharaj whom I shot at Raigad Fort.

From Wikipedia

Shivaji Bhosle, also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosle (Marathi: छत्रपती शिवाजी राजे भोसले) (19-02-1627 to 03-04-1680) was the founder of Maratha empire in western India in 1674. Using guerrilla tactics superbly suited to the rugged mountains and valleys of the region, he annexed a portion of the then dominant Mughal empire. He is considered a great hero in India particularly in the present-day state of Maharashtra, and stories of his exploits have entered into folklore.

Birth name: Shivaji Bhosle
Title: Emperor and High Protector of the Maratha Empire
Birth: February 19, 1627
Birthplace: Shivneri Fort near Pune, India
Death: April 3, 1680
Succeeded by: Sambhaji
Marriage: Saibai, Soyarabai, Putalabai, Kashibai, Sagunabai, Manjulabai

Children: Sambhaji, Rajaram, and three daughters
Family background

A statue of Hindu goddess Bhavani giving the sword to ShivajiShivaji started his rise to power in what is now the state of Maharashtra in the Deccan, close to the power centres of South-Central India.

The land of Maharashtra was ruled by a local dynasty, the Satavahanas from 300 BC to 230 AD. After which, it constantly swayed into many different kingdoms.

In 1292, Ala-ud-din Khilji defeated the Yadavas of Devagiri, but the Yadavas continued to rule till 1310. But a branch of the Yadavas ruled parts of Konkan and Khandesh regions for a century. While the Maratha capital fell to invaders, the regional lords held their sway.

In 1453, an invasion of Bahamani in the region of Vishalgarh resulted in a defeat. Over time, an understanding evolved between the sultanates, regional lords and their erstwhile master Yadavas. The Yadavas became a vassal of Bahamani. In 1492, the Bahamani sultanate broke into five kingdoms called Shahi.

In 1565, the allied Deccan sultanates had vanquished the Vijayanagara Empire at Talikota. By the time Shivaji began his military career, power in the region was shared by three Sultanates - Bijapur, Ahmednagar, and Golconda. Most of the Marathas continued as the noblemen of the Sultanates. Indeed, the sultanates engaged in a continuous game of mutual alliances and aggressions.

Like his ancestors, Shahaji was a major player in the Mughal Wars. At that time, Shahaji played the role of a regent for the young Nizam. Together with the prime minister of Nizamshah, Malik Amber, he put up a stiff resistance to the advancing forces of the Mughal emperor and defeated them. However, tired of the unsettled conditions, Shahaji Raje left Nizamshah's service and joined Adilshah of Bijapur, who gave him the title of 'Sar Lashkar' [1]. Emperor Shah Jahan again attacked the Kingdom of Nizamshah. At this critical hour, Shahaji Raje returned to the service of Nizamshah. Meanwhile Lakhuji Jadavrao was murdered. Shahaji raised the banner of independence.
Early life

Shivneri Fort, where Maharaj was born. The block on the right is the exact place of birth.
Shivneri fort, JunnarDuring the same period, Shivaji was born. Thus he was born in independent country as it was declared by his father. Perhaps that was the start of his lasting fight for independence. The actual date of Shivaji's birth was under controversy but now settled on date as 19 February 1627. He was born in Shivneri Fort, Junnar, 60 kilometres north of Pune and about 100 kilometres east of Mumbai. The child was named Shiva, after the local Goddess Shivai, to whom his mother Jijabai had prayed for a son. Jijabai had several other sons before Shivaji who did not survive, except Sambhaji who was with Shahaji in the South. Shahaji attempted to build on the ruins of Nizamshahi kingdom of Ahmednagar, but was defeated by a combined force of the Mughals and Adilshah in 1636. He was forced to leave the region around Pune. He was inducted by Adilshah of Bijapur and was offered a distant jagir at present-day Bangalore. But he was allowed to keep his old land tenures and holdings in Pune.
[edit] Foundation of empire
Under these circumstances, Shahaji appointed the young Shivaji under the care of his mother Jijabai to manage the Pune holdings. A small council of ministers was appointed to assist Shivaji in the administration which included Shamrao Nilkanth as Peshwa, Balkrishna Pant as Muzumdar, Raghunath Ballal as Sabnis and Sonopant as Dabir. Apart from these ministers, military commanders Kanhoji Jedhe and Baji Pasalkar were appointed to look after Shivaji's training. Dadoji Kondadev was appointed to look over overall training. Under such conditions, Shivaji took oath of swarajya at the temple of Raireshwar and assumed administrative responsibility in 1644. Shahaji got Lal Mahal built at Pune. A royal seal was handed over to Shivaji which reads in Sanskrit: "This is the royal seal of Shivaji, son of Shahaji. This royal seal is for welfare of people. This seal (the rule of the seal) will grow like the new moon grows." Thus Shivaji started his career as an independent young prince of a small kingdom on a mission. Shivaji used the title of Raja (king) only after Shahaji died.

Shivaji with JijamataThus his parents made an indelible imprint on his impressionable mind. Shahaji's failed attempts at political independence, his exceptional military capabilities and achievements, his knowledge of Sanskrit, Hindu ethos and patronage of the arts, his war strategies and peacetime diplomacy, all have inspired him. His mother, having lost her father and three brothers to a plot hatched by the Nizamshah, had enough bitter experience of wayward and callous alien rule to instill in Shivaji's mind a natural love for self-determination and aversion for external political domination. Her piety and commitment to indigenous culture made him peerless (as confirmed by even otherwise inimical chroniclers, Khafi Khan especially) in his tolerant attitude towards other religions and treatment of women and non-combatants. Shahaji's vision, Jijabai's motivation, and able training by military commanders like Gomaji Naik, Baji Pasalkar were the greatest influences that groomed Shivaji into a brave and fearless military leader as well as a responsible administrator. Young Shivaji, the prodigy that he was, took little time to apply what he had learned.

Confrontation with the local Sultanates
He carried out his first military action by capturing Bijapur kingdom's Torna fort at age 19, in 1646. By 1647 he had captured Kondana and Rajgad forts and had complete control of the Pune region.

By 1659 Shivaji had captured forts in the Western Ghats and along the Konkan coast. In a bid to sabotage this move of Marathas, Adilshah got Shahaji arrested by deceitful means, and sent one army against Sambhaji, Shivaji's elder brother at Banglore (with Farradkhan at its head) and one against Shivaji at Purandhar (with Fattekhan at its head). However both brothers defeated the invading armies and secured release of their father. Later, Sambhaji was killed due to traechery by Afzal Khan, Bijapur's finest general in the siege of Kanakgiri. Afzal Khan was sent to destroy Shivaji, in an effort to put down what was seen by Bijapur as a revolt.

Battle of Pratapgarh
Main article: Battle of Pratapgarh
Shivaji vanquished Afzal Khan in the battle of Pratapgarh which was fought on November 30, 1659. This feat made Shivaji the hero of Maratha folklore and legend. All contemporary powers of the Indian subcontinent were shocked to see the outcome of the battle. Immediately after the battle, Shivaji in the brilliant moves of cavalry conquered the area right up to the Panhala fort stretching over 200 km.

In the war of Panhalgarh, a Pashtun army was seriously defeated by the Marathas, who killed thousands of Pashtuns. This crushing defeat of Muslims in the Deccan raised confidence of Hindus across India.

[edit] Battle of Kolhapur
Main article: Battle of Kolhapur
To counter the loss at Pratapgad, another army of over 10,000 was sent against Shivaji, commanded by Bijapuri general Rustemjaman. With 5000 cavalry, Shivaji attacked them near Kolhapur on 28 December, 1659. In a swift movement, along with some men, Shivaji attacked the centre of the enemy forces while other two portions of the cavalry attacked from the flanks. In a pitched battle, the enemy was crushed and Rustemjaman fled.

[edit] Battle of Pavan Khind

In the battle of Panhala Raja, Shivaji escaped through this wayMain article: Battle of Vishalgarh
In 1660, Adil Shah sent Siddi Johar - an Abyssinian general of repute. At that time Shivaji was camped at the fort Panhala, near present day Kolhapur, on the borders of his dominion. Siddi Johar's large and intimidating army camped near Panhala, cutting off supply routes to the fort. Shivaji, in a bold move, decided to escape to a nearby fort Vishaalgad, where he could regroup his soldiers to fight a decisive battle. He sent fake messages to Siddi Johar that he is willing to negotiate. With the Adilshahi soldiers slightly relaxed, Shivaji escaped on a stormy night. However, Johar's soldiers captured a small group of Marathas apparently including Shivaji, only to realize he was a look-alike dressed like Shivaji sent out to create a diversion and facilitate the real king's escape. But it did not take much time for Siddi Johar's soldiers to figure out where Shivaji was going. A large army was in hot pursuit of Shivaji and may have easily captured him had they caught up. In a last minute rear-guard defense move, Baji Prabhu Deshpande, a brave Sardar along with 300 soldiers, volunteered to hold back the enemy at Ghod Khind. In the resulting battle of Pavan Khind, Baji Prabhu fought aggressively, at times with swords in both hands. He was fatally injured but he gave up his life only after hearing cannon fire from Vishaalgad, signalling Shivaji had reached safely at Vishalgad. Panhala was surrendered to Siddi Johar. After this scuffle, a truce was made between Shivaji and Adilshahi through Shahaji acknowledging the independent position of Shivaji. This remained the situation until the death of Shahaji, when Shivaji was free to deal with the Mughals. Thus Marathas became a power to reckon with. Ghod Khind (khind = "narrow pass in mountainous terrain") was renamed Pavan Khind (Sacred Pass) in honor of all the soldiers that selflessly fought and died to save their king.

[edit] Clash with the Mughals
With the death of Muhammad Adil Shah, the Sultan of Bijapur, Aurangzeb and his amir Mir Jumla began to take over the Adil Shahi holdings. In 1657 Aurangzeb attacked Golconda and Bijapur. Shivaji, using guerrilla tactics, took control of three Bijapuri forts formerly controlled by his father. With these victories, Shivaji assumed defacto leadership of many independent Maratha clans. He was bequeathed the sobriquet of "mountain-rat(pahadi chuha)" by his opponents for his frequent guerilla-style raids. The Marathas harried the flanks of the warring Bijapuris and Mughals, gaining weapons, forts, and territories. During the war of succession, Shivaji's small and ill-equipped army survived an all out Bijapuri attack, and Shivaji personally killed the Bijapuri general, Afzul Khan. With this event, the Marathas transformed into a powerful military force, capturing more and more Bijapuri and Mughal territory.

[edit] Shahiste Khan
In 1660, Aurangzeb sent Shaista Khan, his maternal uncle with a large army to defeat Shivaji in the Deccan. Within three years in 1663, Shivaji had lost most of his conquests to a relentless attack by a well-trained Mughal army. Shaista Khan, seized Pune and the fort of Chakan. His vast army was more than a match for Shivaji's troops and he was an experienced commander who had defeated Shahaji in this region in 1636. But though he held Pune for almost a year, he had little further success. He had set up his residence at Lal Mahal in the city of Pune.Shivaji planned a daring attack on Shaista Khan.One day in April 1663, a wedding party had obtained special permission for procession and Shivaji planned an attack on that very night. The Maratha's disguised as the bridegroom’s procession members entered Pune.Since many Maratha Sardar's served in the Mughal army, Shivaji and his men cleverly made through the rings of Mughal defenses around Lal Mahal. After disposing of the guards they broke into the house by breaking a wall. Shivaji himself confronted Shaista Khan.With one stroke of his sword,he cut Shaista Khan's three fingers, who fled by jumping from a window and was taken to a safe place by the servant maids.Shaista Khan also lost his one son in the raid.After this daring attack, Shaista Khan left Pune and headed towards North. Aurangzeb transferred him to distant Bengal as a punishment for his discomfiture in Pune. [2]

[edit] Surat and Mirza Raje Jaisingh
Thereafter, in 1664 Shivaji looted Surat as a revenge for looting of his territory by Shaiste Khan. Shivaji got immense wealth with loot of Surat. This was required for raising of army, safeguarding the captured territories,etc. The Marathas continued to capture forts belonging to both Mughals and Bijapur. Aurangzeb then sent a renowned Rajput General, Mirza Raje Jai Singh, a Hindu, to defeat Shivaji with a vast army.

Jaisingh's blistering attacks were so successful that at Purander in 1665, Shivaji agreed for peace. In the treaty of Purandar, that was signed between Shivaji and Jaisingh, Shivaji agreed to give his 23 forts and 4 lakh hons to the Mughals. He also agreed to become a Mughal Sardar and serve the Mughal court of Aurangzeb. Shivaji's clandestine intentions in becoming a Mughal Sardar were to defeat the Bijapur and Golconda Kingdoms using Aurangzeb's army and then take on the mighty Mughals.

[edit] Trip To Agra and Escape
In 1666, Aurangzeb summoned Shivaji to Agra, along with his six year old son Sambhaji on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday. In the court,on 12 May 1666, Aurangzeb made Shivaji stand behind mansabdar's (Commanders)of his court,considered as an insult by him ɓ. Deeply offended, Shivaji stormed out of court and was promptly placed under house arrest, under the watch of Fulad Khan,Kotwal of Agra.

From his spies, Shivaji came to know that Aurangzeb planned to shift him to Raja Vitthaldas's Haveli to kill him. Shivaji then feigned sickness and requested and sent back all his accomplises to Deccan. On his request,he was allowed to send sweets to saints, fakirs,temples in Agra as an offering for getting well. After several days of sending out boxes containing sweets, Shivaji disguised himself as a palanquin bearer and managed to sneak out without being seen.Sambhaji had sneaked out a couple of days earlier, disguised as the son of a brahmin who had come to pray for Shivaji's quick recovery.( Another theory is that he along with his son, Sambhaji escaped by hiding in the box of sweets)

In the years 1667-69, Shivaji adopted a low profile. In 1668, Shivaji's repeated petitions to Aurangzeb won him the title 'Raja' and Chakan fort. The Mughals had the impression that he was now a spent force and would not cause them any more trouble. Then in January 1670 Shivaji's forces launched a concerted attack on Mughal garrisons in Maharashtra. The force of the assault was overwhelming and within six months Shivaji had regained most of his old territory. His army was much larger now: about 40,000 cavalry, backed by 60,000 infantry. From 1670 to 1674 Shivaji continued to expand his territory at the expense of the Mughals.

[edit] Battle of Sinhagad

Bust of Tanaji on top of Sinhagad Fort, PuneOne fort on the outskirts of Pune, Kondana, was still under the control of a Mughal general. On February 4, 1670 Shivaji deputed one of his most senior and trusted generals, Tanaji Malusare, to head a mission to capture Kondana. In the Battle of Sinhagad, the fort was scaled during the dead of the night from the side that was least guarded and most difficult to climb. But victory was secured only with loss of Tanaji. This battle is quite popular in folklore.

When Shivaji learned that he has lost his loyal and trusted friend, he said "Gad ala pan sinh gela", meaning We have won the fort, but lost the Lion. Thenceforth Kondana fort has been called Sinhagad (the Lion fort).

[edit] Coronation
Shivaji was formally crowned Chhatrapati ("Chhatrapati= Chief, head or King of Kshatriyas", representing the protection he bestowed on his people) on June 6, 1674 at the Raigad fort, and given the title Kshatriya Kulavantas Sinhasanadheeshwar Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Pandit Gaga Bhatt, renowned as Vedonarayana (Greatest exponent of Vedic discourse), a Brahmin from Varanasi, officially presided over the ceremony declaring that Shivaji's ancestor's were truly Kshatriyas who descended from the solar line of the Ranas of Mewar. He was invested with the janeau, with the Vedas and was bathed in an abisheka. Shivaji had insisted on an Indrabhishek ritual, which had fallen into disuse since the 9th century.

Thus Shivaji become a “shakkarta” (he started his own calendar). A few days later a second ceremony was carried out, this time according to the Bengal school of Tantricism and presided over by Nischal Puri. Henry Oxinden (later Acting President of the Bombay Presidency) from the British East India Company was present at the ceremony.

Statue Commemorating the coronation of Maharaj in Raigad
[edit] Southern expedition (Dakshin digvijaya)
At the end of 1676, Shivaji launched a wave of conquests in southern India with a massive force of 50,000 (30,000 cavalry & 20,000 infantry). The first major alliance made by the monarch was with Abul Hasan, the Qutb Shahi Sultan of Golconda. They began a campaign against the Bijapur Karanatak, including the Shivaji's own half-brother, Vyankoji Bhonsla. He defeated and captured the forts at Vellore and Gingee in modern-day Tamilnadu. These victories proved quite crucial during future wars. Jinjee served as Maratha capital for 9 years during 27 years of war.

[edit] Death and succession
Shivaji died in 1680 at Raigad, after running a fever for three weeks. After his death, his elder son Sambhaji and his wife Soyarabai (step-mother to Prince Sambhaji, born to Saibai who had died soon after the child-birth) fought for control of the kingdom. After a brief struggle Sambhaji was crowned king. Aurangzeb's son, Prince Akbar, rebelled against his father and was sheltered by Sambhaji. The emperor and his entourage moved to the Deccan in 1681 to coordinate the assault on the Marathas and were initially successful, but they were defeated and withdrew in 1707. This war of 27 years was a tribute to Shivaji's genius, even after his death, people fought along with his army to preserve the self-rule or governance swarajya.

Ruins of the Raigad Fort, which served as a capital for Maratha Empire.Shivaji died at 12 noon, 3rd April, 1680.His age was then 53 years.

[edit] Shivaji's rule
Shivaji was an able administrator and established a government that included such modern concepts as cabinet (Ashtapradhan mandal), foreign affairs (Dabir) and internal intelligence.[3] Shivaji established an effective civil and military administration. He also built a powerful navy and erected new forts like Sindhudurg and strengthened old ones like Vijayadurg on the west coast. The Maratha navy held its own against the British, Portuguese and Dutch till Maratha internal conflict brought their downfall in 1756.

Shivaji is well known for his fatherly attitude towards his subjects. He believed that the state belonged to the people. He encouraged all socio-economic groups to participate in the ongoing political changes. To this day he is remembered as a just and welfare-minded king. He brought revolutionary changes in military, fort architecture, society and politics.

[edit] Revolution in military organisation
Shivaji's genius is most evident in his military organisation which lasted till the demise of the Maratha empire. He was one of the pioneers of commando actions (though the term "commando" is modern).[4] Shivaji was responsible for a lot of changes in military organization. These include -

A standing army belonging to the state called paga;
Horses belonged to the state; nobody in his army was allowed to own horses;
Creation of part time soldiers from peasants who used to work for eight months in the field and supported four months in war. This light infantry was his innovation and they are the one who excelled in commando like actions;
The introduction of an intelligence department, a navy, and regular chain-of-command;
Introduction of field craft viz. Guerilla warfare, commando actions, flank attacks;
Innovation of weapons and innovative use of traditional weapons like tiger claw. 'Vita' was a weapon invented by Shivaji;
Militarisation of almost the entire society, including all classes, with the entire population of settlements and villages near forts involved in their defense.

[edit] Forts
Main article: Shivaji's Forts

Pratap GadShivaji constructed a chain of 300 or more forts running over a thousand kilometres across the rugged Western Ghats.

[edit] Shivaji and Sanskrit
Perhaps the house of Shivaji was one of the royal families who were well acquainted with Sanskrit and promoted it. The root can be traced from Shahaji who supported Jayram Pindye and many like him. Shivaji's seal was prepared by him. Shivaji inherited this and developed that taste. He named his forts as Sindhdurg, Prachandgarh, Suvarndurg etc. He named Ashta Pradhan (council of ministers) as per Sanskrit nomenclature viz. Nyayadhish, Senapati etc. He had kept a provision for learning the Vedas. He got Rajya Vyavahar Kosh (a political treatise) prepared.

After his death Sambhaji, who was himself a Sanskrit scholar (his verse - Budhbhushanam), continued it. His grandson Shahu spent his entire childhood in Mughal captivity, which affected his taste. But even he showered gifts on learned Brahmins. Serfoji II from the Thanjavur branch of the Bhosle continued the tradition by printing the first book in Marathi Devnagari.

Sambhaji issued one danapatra (donation plaque) which is in Sanskrit composed by himself in which he writes about his father as:

Yavanarambha gritat mlechakshaydiksha: It means shivaji has taken oath and was on mission to finish off invaders
Dillindraman pradhvanspatu: who has defeated the Mughal king of Delhi
Vijayapuradhishwar prathtarmanya bhujchachayay: Whose help was sought by Adilshahi King of Vijapur

[edit] Shivaji and Religion

Mouni Maharaj Sanjeevan Samadhi Patgaon KolhapurShivaji was a deeply spiritual Hindu, and respected all religions within the region. Shivaji had great respect for Warkari saints like Tukaram and others. Shivaji, as well as his son Sambhaji, considered the great ascetic 'Warkari saint Sant Tukaram and Sufi Muslim pir Shaikh Yacub Baba Avaliya of Konkan as his three spiritual masters.[5]. He also visited Mouni Maharaj temple and samadhi at Patgaon (Bhudargad Taluka near to Gargoti) in Kolhapur district. Shahaji had donated a huge piece of land to Shaha-Sharif Durga of Ahmednagar.

Shivaji allowed his subjects freedom of religion and opposed forced conversion. The first thing Shivaji did after a conquest was to promulgate protection of mosques and Muslim tombs. One-third of his army was Muslim, as were many of his commanders: his most trusted general in all his campaigns was Haider Ali Kohari; Darya Sarang was chief of armoury; Ibrahim Khan and Daulat Khan were prominent in the navy; and Siddi Ibrahim was chief of artillery. Shivaji had particular respect for the Sufi tradition of Islam.[6] Shivaji used to pray at the mausoleum of the great Sufi Muslim saint Baba Sharifuddin. He also visited the abode of another great Sufi saint, Shaikh Yacub of the Konkan, and took his blessings. He called Hazrat Baba of Ratnagiri bahut thorwale bhau, meaning "great elder brother". Kafi Khan, the Mughal historian and Bernier, a French traveler, spoke highly of his religious policy. He also brought back converts like Netaji Palkar & Bajaji in Hinduism. He also prohibited slavery in his kingdom.

Shivaji applied a humane and liberal policy to the Muslim women of his state.[6] One instance, which shows Shivaji's respect for women, irrespective of their religion, nationality, or creed is well-documented. Shivaji's army had defeated the Subhedar of Kalyan and had brought in the daughter in law of the Subhedar. When she was brought to Shivaji's palace, Shivaji respectfully apologized to her, and appreciated her beauty by saying, "If my mother had been so beautiful, I would have inherited such beauty..." and returned her to her family. Shivaji's sentiments can be seen in an admonishing letter he wrote to Aurangzeb, in which he wrote:

"Verily, Islam and Hinduism are terms of contrast. They are used by the true Divine Painter for blending the colours and filling in the outlines. If it is a mosque, the call to prayer is chanted in remembrance of him. If it is a temple, the bells are rung in yearning for him alone."[6][7][8]

[edit] Remembering Shivaji

A statue of Shivaji in the Birla Mandir, Delhi Because of his struggle against an imperial power, Shivaji became an icon of freedom fighters (along with the Rani of Jhansi) in the Indian independence struggle that followed two centuries later. He is remembered as a just and wise king and his rule is called one of the six golden ages in Indian history.

School texts in Maharashtra glorify Shivaji's period and he is considered the founder of the modern Marathi nation; his policies were instrumental in forging a distinct Maharashtrian identity. Indeed, Marathi Hindus, Brahmins, Dalits, Muslims, Christians and Buddhists, all consider him as a hero.[9] A popular quotation:

"Maratha tituka milavava
Maharashtra Dharma vadhavava"

translates "Bring as many people into Maratha domain as possible; and grow the Maharashtra Nation"[9]

A political party, the Shiv Sena, claims to draw inspiration from Shivaji.

The Maratha Light Infantry, one of the oldest and distinguished regiments of the Indian Army has "Bol Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki Jai" as its battle cry.

Sahar International Airport in Mumbai was renamed Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Shivaji's honour, as have many public buildings and spaces in Maharashtra in recent years. The Interstate Bus Terminal of New Delhi has also been named after Shivaji.

In the novel The Ark, the Indian ship is named Shivaji

Many foreign travellers who visited India during Shivaji's time wrote about him.

The Abbe Carre was a French traveller who visited India around 1670; his account was published as Voyage des Indes Orienteles mele de plusiers histories curieuses at Paris in 1699. Some quotes: "Hardly had he won a battle or taken to town in one end of the kingdom than he was at the other extremity causing havoc everywhere and surprising important places. To this quickness of movement he added, like Julius Caesar, a clemency and bounty that won him the hearts of those his arms had worsted." "In his courage and rapidity he does not ill resemble that great king of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus."
The French traveller Francois Bernier wrote in his Travels in Mughal India. "I forgot to mention that during pillage of Sourate, Seva-ji, the Holy Seva-ji! Respected the habitation of the reverend father Ambrose, the Capuchin missionary. 'The Frankish Padres are good men', he said 'and shall not be molested.' He spared also the house of a deceased Delale or Gentile broker, of the Dutch, because assured that he had been very charitable while alive."

HH Chatrappati Sambhaji Maharaj

I met the erstwhile scion of Chatrapatti Shivaji Maharaj at Raigad Fort where he was the chief guest to a Rapelling event, the royal figure is the most endearing humble and a charming human personality, he shok my hands and I tolf him that it my tryst wth destiny to shake hands that had the blood of our great Warrior King Chattrapati Shivaji runnibg through him..
Such a huge distinguished heritage and lineage..
He invited me to his New Palace in Kolhapur but somehow I could never make it..
I have till date never forgotten him, the true spirit of Maharashtra...the state to which I belong..
Without seeing my pictures and I was not colofully dressed he said I know you shoot from the Heart..
Yes I did shoot him from the soul of my Heart..
Hearty Greetings Noble Sir.

The Path to Recovery.

These are pictures shot during Moharam at the Irani Kava shop at the foot of Moghul Masjid by a friend now estranged..he kept on shooting me with his Canon camera even the picture of my eye was shot by him..
We had met for the first time at Chehlum Juoos , it was he and his brother who unfolded the world of Mumbai Shias for me.
Honestly I kept away from congregational events, even though I was a Shia I mourned privately..
No juloos , no majlis, no nothing..
I had never ever participated in any event for 17 years,besides I was plagued with alcholism..
It was this person who made me a Reborn Shia all over again, he showed me the other side of my religion.
I had come with a photographic curiosity, and here I was totally immersed, I had given up booze and the shrink had told me to take up a hobby that would involve me with an all time consuming passion, I opted for photography.. Internet had not happened..This self confessional is not a page out of alcoholicsanonymous, it is just that we are all born strong till we start going weak...Alcohol is not a disease , but alcoholism is and needs the entire familys love and support to exorcize the demon, the same for drugs, we do it for kicks and get kicked up the butt..
My best friends hit th trail and never came home perished on the side walk for ever.
I never visited Goa for this one reason always fearing that I might succumb..
I remember once, I had given up booze for a very long time, than one fine day while in Nepal with late Nandu Tolanis Banarsi Babu shoot starring Govinda directed by David Dhawan, I just could not bear to see all the fun around me, so I took a drink, and it is that one drink that turns out to be the mothe of all drinks..
Anyway, I just got up, these thoughts started filtering in seeing this picture...
I owe a lot to these two brothers who stay near Moghul Masjid , on the road to my battered souls recovery...
When I wore an Army dress I wore my Italin breeches with long boots..and got saluted everywhere I went ...
The medals are all original, some are pure silver..
Once I began walking barefeet I stopped wearing this dress...

A Photographers Tantric Eye

A poet may or may not have this eye
Shivas tantric sight a camera eye
An eye possessing a vision
Beyond human eye
The photographer’s eye
Wordless poetry in pictures lie
A depth of field
An angle of focus
Beyond the circle of confusion
Perspective imply
Within the periphery
Of his imagination
Everything on earth
Everything in the sky
On the soul of his viewfinder
Passes by
Pictures captured in reply
Hit the bulls eye
Unlike the poet the photographer
Does not bitch and cry
But a good photographer
Is a better poet don’t ask me why
Wordless poetry images
Metaphoric historic from his minds eye
Free from hate and your shepherds pie
Deo et rege court of arms a thick black eye
Down under poet hooligans and yobos
Can kiss my multi colored ass goodbye

At The Mercy of You Telecom

My server went dead at about 4 pm and has just come back at about 11pm.
My server is You Telecom , I have written a few poems releasing my anger, but it does not help.Similarly I was upset about the stolen pictures by a guy called X on Flickr I wrote a post in anger, but as soon as I cooled down I edited the abusive word from my title.
This is upbringing and good human nature, I dont mind pictures being taken but a permission , or a courtesy line is important.
Pictures are the heart beats of photographers...
I take pictures from the net , but always see that I give a byline, most of my pictures are from Google Images.
So here I am .
I am happy the net was dead as I went through my vintage lot of CDS and discovered some rare gems..
I shall post them after this Killiwebs grandaughter has added to my inspiration as I hope to catch up with him in a few months...and become a proud grandfather too..Inshallah.
Funny thing my net was dead yet I could connect to Word Press and I dont write anything there but cross blog from here.