Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti 2021: Date, history and significance; all you need to know

Shivaji Jayanti marks the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the first Chhatrapati and founder of the Maratha Empire and is celebrated on 19 February every year.

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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti 2021: Date, history and significance; all you need to know

File photo of a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. News18

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti is celebrated annually to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maratha emperor Shivaji Maharaj. The people of Maharashtra observe this day with great vigour. Shivaji Jayanti is also a public holiday in the state. Cultural programmes and processions are organised on this day to honour the courage and sacrifice of the warrior.

Maratha warrior was born on 19 February

Every year Shivaji Jayanti is celebrated on 19 February. Shivaji Maharaj was born in the year 1630 at Shivneri Fort near Pune. Thus, this year marks the 391st birth anniversary of the great Maratha leader.

History and significance

For those unversed, why this day is celebrated, it marks the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the first Chhatrapati and founder of the Maratha Empire. People recall the contributions and teachings of the bravest hero in the history of India.

Shivaji was skilled in mapping out military missions in an intellectual way so that they are able to assure victory with the least possible loss to their force. He planned stealthy war ops, fled from house arrest in Agra and craftily adopted a stance of peace or violence depending upon his chances at victory.

According to an NDTV article, the Maratha ruler is also recognised for establishing well-structured and progressive civil administration.

According to a Hindustan Times article, it was in 1870 that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti or Shiv Jayanti was started to be celebrated after Mahatma Jyotirao Phule discovered the tomb of Shivaji in Raigad.  According to the NDTV article, Phule reinterpreted Shivaji, depicting him as a hero of the lower castes.

Later during the independence struggle, freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak popularized the figure of Shivaji as a means of encouraging Indians to stand against the colonizers.

During the independence struggle, leaders appropriated Shivaji as a symbol of resistance and valour against the invading forces to help strengthen the freedom movement.

Rallies, processions banned in Aurangabad

While followers of Shivaji Maharaj conduct rallies every year, the festivities have been toned down this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report by India Today, the Maharashtra home department has issued guidelines for the occasion, which include allowing not more than 100 people at gatherings and keeping revelries at forts low key. It has also said that  performances, lectures, songs, plays or other cultural events in public places shouldn't be held and bike rallies or processions shouldn't be taken out.

The Aurangabad Municipal Corporation has issued an order banning bike rallies and processions on Shivaji Jayanti, reported the Times of India.

 

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