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The Ideal of Hindavi Swarajya: What factors Led to Its Formation


So Chhatrapati Shivaji instituted many administration and military reforms, which stood the Marathas, in good steadlater on. All of these are given in a book called Adnyapatra, written by Ramchandra Pant, we will talk about this personality later on. He was the Amatya or one of the revenue officers, in Chhatrapati Shivaji’s government. He was the youngest of the Ashta Pradhan and later on he assumes much more importance among Marathas and Maharashtra’s politics. But at the time Chhatrapati Shivajiinstituted some very key reforms, which stood the test of time and enabled his future generations to fight on, first and foremost what he did was, he got rid of the Vatandari system. Every fort, up to that point every Fort was a fiefdom.It was a completely built up Fort and each of these persons controlling, each of these Deshmukhs, was a king in himself. He got rid of these land-based emoluments and instead, he instituted a salaried army. Salaried Army, he would pay them rates that were around the best in India at the time. Always the military commanders would be paid higher than their civilian counterparts. So as a result, he could draw all these different people, all these Vatandars into his own Army and create a salaried Army which is a concept of at least 150 to 200 years, ahead of his time.

Also in this we see that, Chhatrapati Shivaji recognized a flaw, in what was the prevalent system at the time, the Mughal Mansabdari system was prevalent. It was strong, it was going strong. It had built up an entire Empire stretching from Kashmir, all the way to Kalyan and Narmada River. But Chhatrapati Shivaji recognized that, this Mansabdari system had a flaw in it. In that it required a very strong central figure to be able to hold those Mansabdars in place, plus it was a system of dog eats dog, every Mansabdars was trying for higher Mansabdari, there was no other motivation for them. A person with a 500 Mansabdari, would go fight some war and in return would expect a thousand Mansabdari. There was no feeling of fighting for the Mughal flag or fighting for the Mughal Empire in that, it was just a case of people fighting for themselves, getting in a competition and having sufficient money and forces to empire, to expand the empire.

So Shivaji recognized this flaw and hence, he first did the Vatandari system, secondly he introduced the whole concept of Hindavi Swarajya. He said that we are going to fight for an ideal, this was something totally different from the times when people were just fighting, actually for the king. The king died, the whole battlefront switched 180 degrees, which is what happened during the time of the Second Battle of Panipat. One stray arrow found its way to Hemachandra, he fell off from his elephant and the entire battlefield simply ran in four different directions. Why, because there was no ideal in place, the whole ideal was about “Jiski Lathi Uski Bhains.” So, once this “Lathi” was not in Hemachandra’s hand, the whole battlefield was lost.

So this sentiment Chhatrapati Shivaji controlled, by introducing this concept of Swarajya, that you are fighting for a certain ideal, fighting for a certain flag, and this kingdom is not about me, “he swarajyahvave hi shrinchiiccha”, this Swarajya is God’s will, it is not my will, it’s not Chhatrapati Shivaji’s Swarajya, it is God’s will, that you are fighting for and it is this ideal which stood demonstrate for the next 27 years. So, these are the things that he did on a temporal level.

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