BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday said history has done great injustice to king Chhatrapati Shivaji. He said Shivaji was a victim of historical distortions describing him as a “looter” who invaded Surat to acquire the wealth. During an event organised by Sangli based organisation Shiv Pratisthan at Chhatrapati Shivaji Fort in Raigad Modi said, “Shivaji did not loot Surat. He used the help of local people to plunder the treasure stocked by Mughal ruler Aurangzeb. It was used for the welfare of the people.” He said Shivaji had to rely on adapted means and methods to combat the Mughal rulers.
In a veiled attack on the Congress he said, “The Britishers’ written history was not only adopted but nurtured in post-Independence India, which is unfortunate. It failed to do justice to great king Shivaji whose model of good governance and naval expertise remained under wraps.”
Modi, however refrained from responding to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s attack against him. He confined his speech to the great works of Shivaji and emphasised that the ruling Congress had failed to project Shivaji in true light and spirit. Modi said, “Shivaji is shown just as a warrior. But he was an excellent administrator whose style of functioning is relevant even today. These aspects remain buried.”
Drawing a parallel with Mahatma Gandhi, he said, “If we had just projected the aspects of Gandhi’s fast and struggle against the British it would have been an injustice to him. There are other virtues of Mahatma that make him a great inspiration even today.” In that sense, Shivaji ‘s portrayal is that of a warrior who rides horse, holding a sword and taking on the Mughals. The larger visionary in Shivaji, who rolled down irrigation plans to mitigate drought in villages, conceptualised management of work force and resources, strengthened the coastal stretch through navy is still relevant to the country, he said.
State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis, leader of the opposition in the legislative council Vinod Tawde and Shiv Sena MP Anant Gite also attended the event.