‘Hindu Jana Rakshakudu – Shivaji’: Book Launch in Bhagyanagar

The book in English ‘Savior of Hindu India’ by Sri Gajanan Bhaskar Mahendale is translated into Telugu by Sri Kesavanath as ‘Hindu Jana Rakshakudu Sivaji’.  The book launch event was organized on the evening of 18th November 2023, at Hotel Suprabhat, Habsiguda in Secunderabad by the publisher Samvit Prakashan. The book was formally launched by all the dignitaries on the stage.

Sri Ramalinga Reddy, retd chief engineer was the chief guest of the evening. In his address, he stated that without Chatrapati Shivaji, there wouldn’t have been any Hindus today. The Maratha Empire spread until Afghanistan, Shivaji was known for his military and administrative prowess. Hindus should live with a nationalistic spirit and consciousness, we need to be aware of the forces that are attacking us today.

Author of the book ‘Siva Charitam’ and IT professional, Sri KV Subhramanyam, special guest of the evening said, unfortunately, we have not studied about Sivaji beyond a paragraph in our school books. In fact, the Habsiguda locality got its name from the Abyssinian bodyguards of the Nizam.  Maharaja Sarvoji was the ruler of Thanjavur during Tyagaraja Swami’s time, the Maratha Empire has done great service to the nation and even patronized Carnatic music. Unfortunately, Telugu people have forgotten their own histories, we don’t have authentic histories of Rudrama Devi, Prataparudra and other great kings. Maharashtrians have kept their history alive by writing histories and life stories of the great kings. Inspired by Sivaji, many great kings like Raja Chattrasaal reigned during the Maratha Empire. Heroes like Gokulajaat from the Bhil community were killed by Aurangazeb, his son was orphaned, and later as a young lad he went and snatched the silver doors of the Taj Mahal, that’s the spirit of Kshatra those days. Siddii Jouhar attacked Shivaji’s forts and the British tried to befriend him. As we know, in modern times, the US attacked Osama bin Laden, and an author has written about it surmising that the US may have been inspired by Shivaji. Sri Subhramanyam Garu narrated the story of Shaista Khan, who captured Shivaji’s own house Lal Mahal in Pune. Just 400 people trained by Shivaji were able to capture 1 lakh Muslim army, and ultimately Shaista Khan had to retreat to Delhi.

Author and senior journalist Sri Kesavanath, Telugu translator of Sri Gajanan Bhaskar Mahendale’s English book ‘Savior of Hindu India- Sivaji’, (abridged version of Sivaji- life and times’), in his address, stated that Sri Mahandale, Sri Yadunath Sarkar and many foreign authors have written extensively on Sivaji. However, the speciality of this book is that it explains the background of the times when Sivaji emerged as the king. The preceding time was full of Islamic rulers and their bigotry – their theology backing their dastardly acts. Aspects like the jizya tax, the plunder of the countryside, the mindset of Islamic invaders and the plight of the people have been described in the book. As the author Sri Mahandale explained in his foreword, the world is facing similar kinds of Islamist attacks. The latest terror attacks by Hamas against Israel also clearly follow the same pattern of Islamic jihad. Half the book explains the circumstances before the advent of Shivaji, and the latter part explains how Shivaji addressed and tackled the Islamic onslaught and eventually established the Hindu Empire. The book gives instances of how the Jijiya tax is imposed to insult and humiliate Hindus, how Hindus were made war slaves, and women were captured and raped. Hindus had no option for survival.  Islamic theologies and methods are still alive as witnessed in Hamas attacks against Israel, it is therefore very important to study history and learn from it.

Shivaji was a great administrator, he also got an entire thesaurus of Sanskrit terminology prepared to replace the Persian language in official parlance. Shivaji was described by friends and contemporary kings like Raja Chattrasaal; one can see glimpses of Shivaji’s great personality from the quotes of even rivals like Afzal Khan. It is an extremely well-researched book with abundant references.

Sri Kalyan Chakravarty from CSIS Dakshinapatha Studies and Ms Shailaja from Samvit Prakashan spoke briefly about the two organizations. Numerous book lovers graced the occasion in the well-attended event.

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