“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” The world around us has moved on a decade..
History has witnessed the coming and going of many great
civilisations. Through its long history, the Hindu civilisation has
endured numerous attacks and attempts at its destruction. However,
it has also produced a long line of heroes and warriors to rise up
and protect their motherland from the fate of every other ancient
civilisation. Bajirao Peshwa was one of the greatest warriors and
protectors of Hindu Dharma in the History of Bharat in the 18th
Shrimant Bajirao Peshwa (August 18, 1700 – April 28, 1740) : The rebirth of Hindu polity after the Vijainaygar Kingdom under the nomenclature of Hindu Pad Padshahi, well founded by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, attained shape during the ascendency of the Peshwas.
Expert swordsman, outstanding rider, master strategist and leader by example, Bajirao I succeeded his father as Peshwa when he was only twenty years of age…launching into an illustrious military career that occupies its own special place in the history of Hindustan.
Peshwa Bajirao, the great Maratha general and statesman, changed the map of India in the mid-eighteenth century. His military campaigns were classic examples of his genius. In the havoc of the religious intolerance continued by the tottering Mughals after Aurangzeb, Bajirao stood out as the champion of Hinduism as he protected Hindu Dharma from the onslaught of Islamic rulers.
was he who expanded the Hindu Kingdom beyond Maharashtra across the Vindhyas and got it recognised in Delhi, the capital of the Mughals who kept Bharat (India) under their rule for many hundred years. The Hindu Kingdom created by its founder, Shivaji, and later expanded by Bajirao reached its peak during his son’s reign twenty years after his death. After driving the Afghans out of the Punjab, they raised the saffron flag of Hindus not just on the walls of Attock, but even beyond.
Bajirao is thus acknowledged as one of the greatest warriors of Hindu Dharma and the most famous ruler in the history of Bharat. He was a noted general who served as Peshwa (Prime Minister) to the fourth Chhatrapati (Emperor) Shahu.
Birth and early life of Bajirao : Baji was born on August 18, 1700, as the eldest son of Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath Rao who had taken the 'Peshwaship' to a new height. He belonged to the reputed, traditional Chit-Pawan Brahmin family of Konkan. Balaji Vishwanath (Father of Bajirao), though third among the Peshwas, had overtaken his predecessors as far as his achievements were concerned.
Thus, Bajirao was an infant with a silver spoon in his mouth. Bajirao was well trained by the Maratha cavalry generals who were distinguished in the war of 27 years. For the young Bajirao, in the absence of his mother, his close association with his father was a mobile school of politics. Bajirao, even while he was quite young, rarely missed the military campaigns of his father. This provided maturity to Bajirao, in practical military science. Father Balaji’s role in Bajirao’s life was similar to that played by Mother Jijabai in Chatrapati Shivaji’s life.
In 1716, Maharaja Shahu's army-in-chief Dabhaji Thorat treacherously arrested Peshwa Balaji. Bajirao also chose to accompany his father for two years till he was released. Bajirao shared the torture bestowed upon his father during his imprisonment. This experience brought him face to face with their treachery.
The post-imprisonment career of Balaji Vishwanath reached a new dimension in the history of the Maratha-Mughal relationship. Young Bajirao was eye-witness to all this development. In 1718 AD he travelled to Delhi along with his father. In the capital he witnessed unimaginable intrigue and learnt quickly to cope with the devious ways of political machinations.These and other experiences coupled with his own youthful energy, vision and skill prepared him for the position that he was to rise to. He was a natural leader who preferred to lead by example, inspiring his troops by his own skill at using the deadly circular danapatta sword of the Marathas and riding a horse into the thick of battle.
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