Almost 280 years after Peshwa Balaji Bajirao’s raid of Delhi, the BJP plans to conduct a Mahayagya to protect the country from the forces that seek to do it harm. The Mahayagya seems to have been consciously organized during the same period of the year in which the famed Peshwa marched to Delhi in 1737 in the month of March. Interestingly, another 5-day event is being planned in April on the lawns of the Red Fort titled ‘Hindu samrajya ki gauravgatha’ by the Raja Shivchhatrapati Mahanatya Aayojan Samiti.
There is a good reason for the celebration of the life and times of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj all of a sudden. The Legendary Maratha King can be credited with the founding of the last pan-Indian empire in the Indian subcontinent. The celebration of his life is, thus, an ode to the heritage and the history of our nation. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s devotion to the Maratha empire, which is in stark contrast to the negligence of it by the high and mighty of the Congress party, is an allusion to the BJP’s acknowledgement of what it perceives to be its position in history and its vision of the party’s mission for the future of our civilisation.
One of the most iconic images of Narendra Modi’s tenure as the Prime Minister of India is him addressing the public from the pulpit as a grand statue of the great Maratha king looked on contently. Narendra Modi shares certain commonalities with Shivaji Maharaj. Like the Maratha King, Narendra Modi is a Shakta Upasaka. Shivaji Maharaj was a devotee of Maa Bhavani and Prime Minister Modi is a devotee of Maa Bagalamukhi. When Chhatrapati Shivaji embarked upon his mission of establishing Hindavi Swaraj, almost all of India was under the rule of the Mughals. His arrival on the scene gave Hindus across the length and breadths of Bharatvarsha a great hope, a hope for a new dawn. Similarly, when Narendra Modi arrived on the national scene, the ebb of Dharma was at a historical low. There was a general sense of hopelessness in the nation and with Narendra Modi came the hope for better days, a hope for the dawn of a new era of prosperity. Of course, there can be no comparison between the abilities and achievements of the two. Any modern day politician, for all their achievements and even if they were doubled or quadrupled, will only appear a dwarf before the great Shivaji Raje.
After the thumping victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, many people had remarked on the uncanny similarity between the map of the states of India ruled by the saffron party and that of the Maratha Empire at its peak. A certain Hindu intellectual on Twitter had noticed the similarities between the map of the Maratha Empire and the electoral seats won by the NDA in the Lok Sabha elections on the date of the pronouncement of results itself.
Can’t help noticing the similarity between BJP map & Maratha empire of 1750s but then u know how that ended &which forces destroyed Marathas
— Spatel (@Rjrasva) May 16, 2014
We are living in very interesting times. As @ArmchairPseph pointed out on Twitter, in Turkey, we have a President who fashions himself after the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. In Russia, we have Vladimir Putin who is effectively a neo-Czar. In our neighbourhood, we have a new Emperor in China. Is it only a matter of time before an Indian politician treads a similar path? As Samuel Huntington rightly predicted, with the end of the Cold War and with the rise of the Asian nations, our ancient and medieval history will assume greater significance than it ever has at any time after the second world war. Even ten years ago, if someone had made the suggestion that there was a political party in India which fashioned itself as the ideological inheritor of the great Maratha Empire and wanted to tread the path that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had once bravely forged, we would have scoffed at him and branded him delusional. But with all the developments happening across the world, it gets more difficult with every passing day to treat such a decision with derision.
On its 69th Republic Day, India witnessed the tableau of Maharashtra pay tribute to the founder of the Maratha Empire with a representation of the coronation of the King. The coincidences are far too many to be considered random. Of course, one could say that it’s merely political rhetoric meant to whip up the fervour of nationalism already raging in the country. However, there is a certain ideological fortitude that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh commits itself to, however misplaced it may be, and the Bharatiya Janata Party, with its plethora of leaders who swear by Hindutva. Under such circumstances, it is extremely early to dismiss the numerous odes being paid to the Maratha empire as mere political posturing.
As I have mentioned several times in my previous articles, we are living in an age of chaos. And the events of the next two or three decades will determine the course of the world for the next couple of centuries at the very least. And for our Hindu Civilization, the next few decades will determine whether we will forfeit more land and fade away into the museums of the future or ensure our survival for many generations to come as a living, breathing civilization. For the good or bad, the Bharatiya Janata Party in general and Narendra Modi, in particular, will play a critical role in determining the future of Hinduism in the Indian subcontinent.