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RESERVATION DAY -134th Birth Anniversary of Sri Charapati Shahu Maharaj
Filed under: General
Posted by: site admin @ 5:24 am


JULY 26, 2008

On the eve of the Pillar of Social Democracy.

134th Birth Anniversary of Sri Charapati Shahu Maharaj

Shahu Chhatrapati

Born - 26 June 1874
Died - 1922
Achievements - Shahu is also known to have done a lot for the upliftment of the poor and the down trodden. He tried his level best to make education and jobs available to all those living in his domain. He also passed laws to allow the training of non-Brahmin men as temple priests.

Shahu Chhatrapati was the Maharaja or the king of the Indian princely state of Kolhapur. Also known by the name of Rajarshi Shahu, he was known to be a great social reformer of his time. Shahu Chhatrapati was born on 26 June in the year 1874 as Yeshwantrao Ghatge. He was the eldest son of Appasaheb Ghatge, who was the head of Kagal and his wife Radhabai, who was the daughter of the Raja of Mudhol that’s in today’s Karnataka state. Read on the biography of Shahu Chhatrapati.

When Shahu Chhatrapati was a child, he was adopted by Anandibai, who was the widow of Maharaja Shivaji IV of Kolhapur in the year 1884. The following generations saw a lot of marriages taking place between the members of these two families. This caused Shahu’s family to remain closely associated with the ruling dynasty of Kolhapur. This also helped in securing Shahu Chhatrapati’s place on the throne despite his not being a male-line member of the Bhonsle dynasty.

Another important point came in the life history of Shahu Chhatrapati in 1891, when he married Lakshmibai, the daughter of a Maratha nobleman from Baroda. And together they gave birth to four children. Shahu is also known to have done a lot for the upliftment of the poor and the down trodden. Shahu Chhatrapati tried his level best to make education and jobs available to all those living in his domain.

He not only made acquiring education less expensive, but also gave free education to all and got many hostels built within the precincts of Kolhapur. By promising proper employment to the students, Shahu Chhatrapati devised one of the earliest affirmative programs. And many of these plans were executed in the year 1902. Among other changes made by Shahu Chhatrapati for social reform was training the non-Brahmin men as temple priests.

This particular modification went against the social norms as it is still reserved for only those belonging from the Brahmin sect to become priests in India. For this Shahu even faced solid opposition from many, but remained steadfast. However, this reform too got vanished once Shahu passed away. To honour Shahu’s contribution to the society, the Indian postal department issued a stamp dedicated to him.

Dear SC/ST/OBC and Religious Minorities Employees and students,

Today, we have millions of governments employees, factory workers, officers, lawyers, Doctors, Engineers and Private Employees in our communities. And our students have the opportunities to study in High schools, Colleges, Universities in India and abroad.

But, few hundred years ago our forefathers did not have these opportunities of getting decent jobs and right to study. They toiled in the hands of upper caste landlords, Shanbhogs, and Kulkarnis, sweeping the streets, cleaning the toilets, grazing cows, sheep and doing all sorts of services till their last breath. Our ancesters were made to believe that it was a divine order to serve the upper castes. But how did such toiling communities give birth to educated employees and officers like us? How did this transformation take place?

We all know very well that this tremendous change happened due to the efforts of Dr. Babasaheb  Ambedkar. The job reservation for backward classes is a fundamental right under the constitution of India. But this fundamental right was originally thought and implemented in a limited area of Kolhapur province by the then Maharaja Sri Charapati Shahuji, a Maratha king. He gave 50% reservation to the non-Brahmins in his Government on July 26 1902. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar got the lead, inspiration and encouragement from Shahu Maharaj and incorporated the same reservation in the Indian  Constitution to cover the entire country since 1950.

Had the policy of job reservation as advocated by Sri Chhatapati Shahu Maharaj and Babasaheb Ambedkar been implemented fully, you know the positive consequences that would have resulted by now?

* All the downtrodden people would have been liberated from the slavery of uppercastes.

* Having acquired the right to education and property as well as the Social Status, our people (SC/ST/OBCs) would have had the economic independence and a life of self respect…

* The Shudras and Athishudras, who have been divided into over 6000 castes by the Manuvadis, would have been united with harmony and understanding…

* We could have had a humanitarian society based on Equality, Liberty and Fraternity…

* And finally, would have had an integrated and prosperous India.

But unfortunately we are yet to see these ideals to be to be realised. You know why?

*  Sri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaja’s Kolhapur Province and Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s Mysore Province were hailed as the most progressive states and enlisted alongwith the highly developed states of the world in the begining of 20th century ! Becaues, in both the states reservation in jobs and education was implemented fully. Those noble kings had used the reservation as a powerful means to achieve equality and prosperity and thereby transformed their States into an abode of milk and honey. Whereas, today, our country have been pushed to 127th place in the world development index ! why this great downfall for an independent sovereign nation ? Because, a huge majority of Indians have been denied the opportunity of progress by failing the reservation policy adopting the conspiracies by the casteist rulers:

* Government departments and public sector undertakings (PSUs), where the reservation is applicable, have been either closed or sold to the private companies…

* Though the reservation policy is a constitutional obligation to be fulfilled, the ruling Manuvadis have deliberately disregarded the same the same and caused more than 3 crore backlog jobs…

* Even to this day, the SC/ST/OBC employees have been subjected to humiliation, torture and harassment of all sorts…

* Even in prestigious institutions like Indian Institution of Science, scientists and research students of depressed classes commit suicide unable to tolerate the uppercaste humiliation…And culprits are being allowed to go scotfree…

* The entire education field, starting from nursery to professional courses, has been mortgaged to the rich people. On the other hand, government schools and colleges have been totally neglected..

* The depressed and exploited castes, which are supposed to have come together, have been instigated against each other to quarrel among themselves for petty things…

* The unemployed youth who are in millions are facing the danger of being used by the antisocial elements for criminal activities…

* The whole country is facing the threat of disintegration…!

All these evils are the result of non-fulfilment of reservation policy in jobs and education ?

Had the rulers of this country implemented the reservation policy in jobs and education as Shahu maharaj did, our India would have become the number one nation of the world ! Capable people can create prosperous nation. The most important duty of a government is to give education and employments to its people and empower them. But, our Governments have delegated this primary responsiblity to the capitalists. Not onlt that, these governments formulate the policies according to the will and wishes of capitalists ! This is the level of degeneration they reached !

Hence, in this grave situation, we, the beneficieries of reservation - SC/ST/OBC and Religious Minorities - should become aware of the noble objectives behind reservation policy and the dream of our ancesters. We should share and spread this awarness among our brethern. We must stand up unitedly and take a vow to create a nation of hundred percent literacy and employment. And let us build a powerful, prosperous and united India !

Jaibhim                                                                                                                            Jai Bharath

Published by :

Karnataka Reservation Campaign Committee, (KRCC) Bangalore.

On 02-08-2008 Reservation Day was observed by Karnataka Reservation Campaign Committee all over Karnataka.

In Bangalore Mighty Great Minded Empolyees and students from various Government and private sectors and Colleges particpated  and distributed pamphlets to all the government, private sector employees and students around Vidhana Soudha

starting from 09:00 Hrs to 15:00 Hrs.

Mighty great minds…


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