Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The 27 Year War, Part VI | General | History

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    • It was not Shivaji's personality but his vision and his values was what Deccan fought for. They imbibed that vision and made it their own. After that, they were not fighting for their hero, they were fighting for themselves. The secret of why people simply refused to surrender to Mughal power can be found not in Shivaji's heroics, but somewhere else. The secret lies in the reforms he brought. During the short span of his governance, Shivaji brought a manifold of reforms. For the purpose of discussion, I will divide them into four categories. Governance reforms, political reforms, defense reforms and social reforms.
    • Horizontal decentralization helped keep uniformity across the whole empire and made it easy for people to migrate, do business, and remain one political entity. Also when divided this way, different branches of government keep check on each other and stop each other from running amok.
    • Unlike Rajputs, who stuck to their code of warriors even as Mughal and Persian invaders broke every possible rule of ethics, Marathas retaliated in tit-for-tat way. They preferred guerrilla warfare for defense and engaged in open field battles only when necessary. They never disrespected the women like Khilji and Ghori did, so they were certainly ethical minded. But they never shied from attacking their enemies at night if required. They were more committed to the political objective than the personal objective of bravery.

      Additionally Shivaji launched Navy.

Page 2 | The 27 Year War, Part VI | General | History

  • Shivaji scrapped this system of taxation and introduced taxes where the amount that was to be collected from the peasants was fixed.
  • Shivaji's fiscal policies were conservative. Thus no magnificent monuments like Taj Mahal or Royal Mughal gardens were built by Shivaji. But it was him for whom his nation was ready to die.
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