26th JUNE 1874-6th MAY 1922 SHRI CHHATRAPATI RAJARSHI SHAHUJI MAHARAJ FIRST RULER PRINCELY STATES OF KOLHAPUR

Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj : SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj (also known as Rajarshi Shahu) (26 June 1874-6 May 1922) was the first Maharaja of the Indian princely state of Kolhapur between 1884 and 1922.
First king in India – implemented Reservation Policy ( Provided 50% Reservation in his state, on 26 July 1902) Revolutionary Legal Reforms. Appealed for caste-free India and abolition of untouchability. Pioneer of Student Hostel Movement for Bahujan Samaj. De-recognized Brahmanical supremacy and Religious bureaucracy of Brahmins. Greatest supporter and sympathizer ofDr. Ambedkar movement. The Pillar of Social Democracy – (Dr. Ambedkar)Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj

Accession
Shahu was born on 26 June 1874 as Yeshwantrao Ghatge, eldest son of Appasaheb Ghatge, chief of Kagal (senior) by his wife Radhabai, a daughter of the Raja of Mudhol in present-day Karnataka. He was adopted by Anandibai, widow of Raja Shivaji IV, in March 1884. Several generations of inter-marriage had ensured that Shahu’s family was connected intimately with the ruling dynasty of Kolhapur, which is apparently what rendered him a suitable candidate for adoption, despite his not being a male-line member of the Bhonsle dynasty. A council of regency was appointed by the British government of India to oversee affairs of state during Shahu’s minority. Shahu was invested with ruling powers upon coming of age in 1894. There is one college named Rajaram college built by Shahu Maharaja

Social Reform:
Shahu maharaj is credited with doing much to further the lot of the lower castes, and indeed this assessment is warranted. He did much to make education and employment available to all: he not only subsidized education in his state, eventually providing free education to all, but also opened several hostels in Kolhapur for students hailing from many different non-brahmin communities, thereby facilitating the education of the rural and low-caste indigent. He also ensured suitable employment for students thus educated, thereby creating one of the earliest Affirmative action programs in history. Many of these measures were effected in the year 1902.

Shahu’s other initiatives included restricting Child marriage in his state and the encouragement of intercaste marriage and widow remarriage. He long patronized the Satya Shodhak Samaj but later moved towards the Arya Samaj. Under the influence of these social-reform movements, Shahu arranged for several non-brahmin youths to be trained to function as priests, in defiance of timeless convention which reserved the priesthood for those of the brahmin caste. However, he faced opposition from many including Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak , the very famous patriot of that time. After Shahu Maharaj’s death, this reform died its natural death.

Chhatrapati Shahu was very fond of wrestling and encouraged it in his kingdom.Many wrestlers from all over India came to Kolhapur as wrestling enjoyed royal patronage in Kolhapur.

The Indian postal department has issued a stamp dedicated to Shahu. On the first-issue citation, the government of India hails Shahu as “A social revolutionary, a true democrat, a visionary, a patron of the theatre, music and sports and a prince of the masses. Chhatrapati Shahu was a many-splendoured personality who thought and acted far ahead of his times.”

Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj
“Foundation Ceremony” in presence of Shahu Maharaj (1901)

Shahaji II

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the 17th-century ruler, see Chattrapati Shahu.
Chhatrapati Maharaja of Kolhapur
Maharajah of Kolhapur 1912.jpg

Portrait of the Chhatrapati, Maharaja of Kolhapur (1912)
House Bhosale
Father Appasaheb Ghatge..
Mother Radhabai
Born June 26, 1874
Died May 6, 1922 (aged 47)
Religion Hinduism

Shahu I (also known as Rajarshi Shahu or Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj) (26 June 1874 – 6 May 1922) of the Bhosale dynasty, was the Raja 1894-1900 and first Maharaja (1900-1922) of the Indian princely state of Kolhapur.

The Maharajah of Kolhapur in 1894

Accession[edit]

H.H. Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj seated with palace servants

Shahu was born on 26 June 1874 as Yeshwantrao Ghatge, eldest son of Jaishinghrao Ghatge, chief of Kagal (senior) by his wife Radhabai, a daughter of the Raja of Mudhol. He was adopted by Anandibai, widow of Raja Shivaji IV, in March 1884. Several generations of inter-marriage had ensured that Shahu’s family was connected intimately with the ruling dynasty of Kolhapur, which is apparently what rendered him a suitable candidate for adoption, despite his not being a male-line member of the Bhosale dynasty. He was educated at Rajkumar College, Rajkot. A council of regency was appointed by the British government of India to oversee affairs of state during Shahu’s minority and during that time he was tutored in administrative affairs by Sir Stuart Fraser. Shahu was invested with ruling powers upon coming of age in 1894.

Vedokta controversy[edit]

When the Brahmin priests of the royal family refused to perform the rites of the non-Brahmins in accordance with the Vedic hymns, he took the daring step of removing the priests and appointment a young Maratha as the religious teacher of the non-Brahmins, with the title of `Kshatra Jagadguru’ (the world teacher of the Kshatriyas). This was known as the `Vedokta’ controversy. It brought a hornet’s nest about his ears but he was not the man to retrace his steps in the face of opposition. He soon became the leader of the non-Brahmin movement and united the Marathas under his banner.[citation needed]

Social reform[edit]

Group at Residency including the Maharaja of Kolhapur

Shahu Maharaj is credited with doing much to further the lot of the lower castes, and indeed this assessment is warranted. He did much to make education and employment available to all: he not only subsidized education in his state, eventually providing free education to all, but also opened several hostels in Kolhapur thereby facilitating the education of the rural and low-caste indigent. His educational institutions include Victoria Maratha Boarding School, Miss Clarke Boarding School and Deccan Rayat Aanstha. He also ensured suitable employment for students thus educated, thereby creating one of the earliest Affirmative action programs in history.He started Shahu Chhatrapati Weaving and Spinning Mill in 1906 to provide employment. Many of these measures were effected in the year 1902. Rajaram college was built by Shahu Maharaja and is named after him.

Personal life[edit]

H.H.Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj sitting amongst crowds watching a wrestling match

In 1891, Shahu married Lakshmibai née Khanvilkar (1880–1945), daughter of a Maratha nobleman from Baroda. They were the parents of four children:

  • Rajaram II, who succeeded his father as Maharaja of Kolhapur.
  • Radhabai ‘Akkasaheb’ Puar, Maharani of Dewas (senior) (1894–1973) who married Raja Tukojirao III of Dewas (Senior) and had issue:
    • Vikramsinhrao Puar, who became Maharaja of Dewas (Senior) in 1937 and who later succeeded to the throne of Kolhapur as Shahoji II.
  • Sriman Maharajkumar Shivaji (1899–1918)
  • Srimati Rajkumari Aubai (1895); died young

Chhatrapati Shahu of Kolhapur died on May 6, 1922. He was survived by his wife, his elder son Rajaram and his daughter Radhabai.[citation needed]

Full name and titles[edit]

His full official name was: Colonel His Highness Kshatriya-Kulawatasana Sinhasanadhishwar, Shrimant Rajarshi Sir Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj Sahib Bahadur, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO.[citation needed]

During his life he acquired the following titles and honorific names:

  • 1874–1884: Meherban Shrimant Yeshwantrao Sarjerao Ghatge
  • 1884–1895: His Highness Kshatriya-Kulawatasana Sinhasanadhishwar, Shrimant Rajarshi Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Kolhapur
  • 1895–1900: His Highness Kshatriya-Kulawatasana Sinhasanadhishwar, Shrimant Rajarshi Sir Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Kolhapur, GCSI
  • 1900–1903: His Highness Kshatriya-Kulawatasana Sinhasanadhishwar, Shrimant Rajarshi Sir Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj Sahib Bahadur, Maharaja of Kolhapur, GCSI
  • 1903–1911: His Highness Kshatriya-Kulawatasana Sinhasanadhishwar, Shrimant Rajarshi Sir Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj Sahib Bahadur, Maharaja of Kolhapur, GCSI, GCVO
  • 1911–1915: His Highness Kshatriya-Kulawatasana Sinhasanadhishwar, Shrimant Rajarshi Sir Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj Sahib Bahadur, Maharaja of Kolhapur, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO
  • 1915–1922: Colonel His Highness Kshatriya-Kulawatasana Sinhasanadhishwar, Shrimant Rajarshi Sir Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj Sahib Bahadur, Maharaja of Kolhapur, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO

Honours[edit]

Legacy[edit]

Once the late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, “Dams are not just constructions of cement and concrete, but in fact are places of pilgrimage in the modern India.” This was not the first vision towards this development as Kolhapur’s King Shahu Maharaj realized it almost 100 years before and decided to construct Radhanagari Dam, which is considered the second dam in India (next to Kallanai by Karikala Chola), on 18 February 1907. The place of the dam was decided and construction of houses for labourers and officials was started which took almost two years, so the foundation stone for the dam was laid down in 1909.

Radhanagari Dam was completed in 1935 and since 1938 has been working at full capacity. Over the years Radhanagari Dam has provided water for irrigation; after Indian independence, the nearby forest area was converted into the “Dajipur Reserve Forest” and some tourist facilities started to attract the tourists from all over India.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Shahaji II
BhosaleDynasty (Kolhapur line)

Born: 26 July 1874 Died: 6 May 1922

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Himself
(as Raja of Kolhapur)
Maharaja of Kolhapur
1900–1922
Succeeded by
Rajaram II
Preceded by
Shivaji IV
(as Raja of Kolhapur)
Raja of Kolhapur
1884–1900
Succeeded by
Himself
(as Maharaja of Kolhapur)
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