Maharashtra politicians object to Maharashtra Governor referring to Samarth Ramdas as Shivaji Maharaj’s guru

Maharashtra politicians object to Maharashtra Governor referring to Samarth Ramdas as Shivaji Maharaj's guru
A number of Maharashtra politicians, including BJP MP Udayanraje Bhosale, on Monday took strong exception to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari‘s remark that Samarth Ramdas was the guru of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Bhosale, who is the direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, said the comment had hurt the sentiments of the Maratha warrior king’s followers and entire Maharashtra, and asked the governor to withdraw it immediately.

Koshyari, during a programme in Aurangabad on Sunday, underlined the role of the guru (teacher) while citing the examples of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Chandragupta Maurya.

“Many chakravartis (emperors), maharajas took birth on this land. But, who would have asked about Chandragupta had there not been Chanakya? Who would have asked about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had there not been Samarth (Ramdas),” he said.

“I am not questioning the calibre of Chandragupta and Shivaji Maharaj. Like a mother who plays a key role in shaping her child. Similarly, the role of guru (teacher) has a big place in our society,” the governor had said.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Bhosale said Ramdas was “never” the guru of the Maratha warrior king and that Koshyari should have made the comment keeping in mind the post he holds.

“Rashtramata Jijau (the Maratha king’s mother) was the actual guru of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, while Ramdas was never his guru. This is the true history. Yet, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari told incorrect history giving reference of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Ramdas at a programme in Aurangabad,” he said.

Targeting Koshyari, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut asked the BJP to explain its position on the issue.

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The BJP would have created ruckus on the streets by now had someone else made such a statement, the Shiv Sena’s chief spokesperson told a news channel in New Delhi.

“There is anger in Maharashtra after the statement made by their governor. I think the BJP needs to take a stand on this issue immediately,” he said.

NCP MP Supriya Sule in a tweet said, “There is no evidence of there being a guru-shishya relationship between Ramdas and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.”

She cited a July 16, 2018 judgement of the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court, before which the state government had submitted that “no record was available to show that Shivaji Maharaj had occasion to meet Ramdas or Shivaji Maharaj was treating Ramdas as his guru.”

The Lok Sabha member from Maharashtra also shared an old clip of her father and NCP chief Sharad Pawar commenting that Ramdas was not the guru of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Pawar can be heard saying that Rajmata Jijamata — mother of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj — was the guru of the Maratha warrior king, and that some people “who had pens in their hands” created the perception that Ramdas mentored Shivaji Maharaj.

Latching onto Koshyari’s comments, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole accused the Narendra Modi-led central government and its representatives of consistently challenging the pride of the people of Maharashtra by “insulting” Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the state.

“Maharashtra will never tolerate this. Modiji, you will have to answer to the people about this audacity when you will come to Maharashtra,” Patole tweeted.

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Notably, the state’s Maha Vikas Aghadi government — comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress — and Koshyari have been engaged in a war of words over various issues in the past.

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