Lokeish Umak writes about his favorite topics, such as essay, poems, health, fitness, nutrition, etc. He also invites guests on his podcast show, "Chronicle Conversations."

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Published in History & Culture

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Published in History & Culture

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Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj: The Greatest and Whole-souled

Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj (26 Jun 1874 – 6 May 1922) was never less than a God to poor, who always extended hands to lower caste. However, he was well-known for his equality. Therefore, irrespective of any caste and creed. Because of this character, Raja of Kolhapur became Maharaja (the greatest king). The real name of Shahu was Yashwantrao Ghate who ...
The Greatest and Wholehearted Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj
Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj

Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj (26 Jun 1874 – 6 May 1922) was never less than a God to poor, who always extended hands to lower caste. However, he was well-known for his equality. Therefore, irrespective of any caste and creed. Because of this character, Raja of Kolhapur became Maharaja (the greatest king). The real name of Shahu was Yashwantrao Ghate who born to Jaisinghrao and Radhabai, from a Maratha clan.

The family considered royal from the ancestors. However, the Ghate family had never been rude to the poorest of poor. His contribution and support and fight against Brahmans from the Royal family was one and outstanding. This fight and campaign was from the dispute between Brahmin priests and non-brahmins caste, all the brahmans were stood together against performing rites of other castes.

Therefore, due to this problem in this society, Shahu started supporting Arya and Satyashodhak Samaj and furthermore, fought for Marathas (for their rights). All this controversy called Vedoka controversy. Any person goes to Shahu, never returned empty-handed. He was rich by heart. One of such was Indian theatre transgender Bal Gandharva who was expert in singing at his early days. He could not hear clearly. Maharaj came to know the emerging talent of Bal Gandharva (boy Gandharva) and helped him cure his hearing aid.

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Shahu worked together for untouchables to vanish the segregation-based caste. And, both were agreed on the terms of caste-based reservation to chosen families. The reservation was mainly to avail the government facilities and job quota. Therefore, selected people will have more served seats to apply than the open-caste (those are not falls under any caste system — considered them financially better). Further, during his regime, he developed and improved the financial condition of untouchables and lower caste communities. Produced schools, good educational institutions, provided scholarships and job opportunities by inaugurating “Shahu Chhatrapati Weaving and Spinning Mill” in 1906.

Shahu’s extraordinary support was not offered only to Hindus but also, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, and Christians. He was the man of equality. However, no partiality seen in his life ever. He is someone who brought reservation system in India for lower caste people with the help of Dr Ambedkar. Shahu also worked for women betterment. As well as, supported for their education and legally approved widow marriage in 1917, and stopped child marriage in India.

Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj Poem in English

The son of God was born on 26 June
With him, there was only equality,
And  always bloomed.
Then there were left none,
for lower caste to doom.
For untouchables,
he was the first god.
From the society,
he withdrew all the games of fraud
He was the one
who brought in lowers under reservations,
In the letters of the government
By hook or crook for consideration.
Because he, education got support,
got scholarships, jobs,
and a new life to widow,
Shahu ended the child marriage.
In the history of India,
Shahu became God and person of happiness.
By Lokesh Umak

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