Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Who are the Marathas, anyway?

Let's get some facts right, shall we?

The tribal communities of Nags, Munds and Bhils inhabited Maharashtra in ancient times. They were joined by the Aryas, the Shakas and the Huns, who came from the North, as well as by foreigners, who arrived by sea. The Dravidians from the South also settled in the land, joining a group which collectively became known as 'Marathas'.

So 'Maratha' in historical terms refers to an amazing mix of people.

In popular usage, the word Maratha is used to identify a
distinct warrior community which has dominated the political scene of Maharashtra since medieval times. This community has several aboriginal tribal elements - for example, Khandoba (sword-father) and and Bhavani (mother goddess), the two chief deities of the Marathas, are aboriginal in character.

Shivaji, a 17th century Maratha chieftain, brought political prominence to the Marathas. You're sure to spot garlanded statues and photos of Shivaji if you're travelling in Bombay.

20 comments:

Akaky said...

"The tribal communities of Nags, Munds and Bhils inhabited Maharashtra in ancient times"

I have no clue who the Munds and Bhils are, Deepa, but I am reasonably sure that the Nags, a Celtic people consisting largely of my mother and several other female relatives, all live near me these days and object to nearly everything I say or do and have no qualms about informing me of their displeasure, coupled with a need to annoy me no end in order to get me to do what they want me to do.

Raj G said...

I wonder why you find the need to write about Marathas, Ms. Krishnan, when you yourself are not one.

Maratha's were never aboriginal. i am a Maratha and i have zero dravidian or aboriginal features. Maratha's are Indo-Aryan warriors who are Kshatriyas. What Shivaji did was mobilize all the casts of Maharashtra and Karnataka (Brahmin's, Kshatriyas, aboriginals as well as the lower castes) to fight a war that wasnt for the Maratha's but for Hindu's of Hindustan. He is the only Hindu warrior that successfully defended our religious DHARM without differentiating his followers and warriors based on their color, creed or race. Infact, there have been instances of the Maratha Navy fighting wars in alliance with the Portuguese and Dutch to defend India against the attacking British.

I can guarantee you Deepa, that had it not been for Shivaji and the Maratha's, you and I would instead be Muslims praying in a mosque without a single trace of Hinduism in out country. I honestly believe that Shivaji is Hindustan's hero and deserves more credit.

Can you answer me why...people in Delhi oppose a statue of Shivaji being built in Mumbai, when statue's of the repulsive and uncouth Mayawati are being errected in every corener of UP? Why are we as Mumbaikar's not thankful to Shivaji and his army? Today's maratha's are not comparable to Shivaji and his band of me.

Chandrika Gaikwad Mathew said...

Try becoming a shivaji, emulate his spirit than making his "putlas" around town - shivaji would be turning a happy 360 in his grave.

Lets make the world a "Happy-istan"

Anonymous said...

hehe marathas are indo aryan kshatriyas????...nice joke. They are definately not kshatriyas. Marathas have no history before Shivaji maharaj. Its the brahmins who have given them the kshatriya status that to for their own benifit. Even today the brahmins do not perform the janeu ceremony for marathas. Marathas hence are indigenious people of maharashtra. Though Shivaji maharaj was a kshatriya by his deeds.

Ronit Dhanphole said...

I'm too a Hindu Mr. Raj G, but i'm secular as Shivaji Maharaj was. Shivaji was a Hindu but he gave jobs to many Muslims, he was not an enemy of Muslims, he believed in secularism. don't spoil his name if you son't know history.he only opposed the cruel rulers who ruled our country and tried to established a secular kingdom.he opposed forceful religious conversions -a policy adopted by then rulers.this does not mean he was orthodox Hindu.many Muslims where on high posts in his army. he had the trust of Muslims too.he was hero of all the communities.

Shashank Gole said...

Shivaji maharaj belong to sisodiya clan

Anonymous said...

I can smell jealousy from the comment posted by 'Anonymous'. The attitude that is reflected from this comment is: If I am not brave or incapable of performing such deeds then resort to verbal bashing or false-propoganda about the ones who are capable of such deeds. That's the way these sissies and morons alleviate their jealousy.

Regards,
Suresh

Anonymous said...

All ppl above are talking shit there statement clearly states how illiterate nd caste bound dis ppl are who are wasting writing such shit articles nd debating for same

Amit Moray said...

I don't why everyone wants debate bout these origins.
We should be proud that the Marathas sucessfully created an empire and the tactics they used in the battles are still studied in many military schools all over the world.
Whatever their origin was ,kshatriya ,shudra or any caste, the fact is that they reached this attock and invaded afghans too which no indian power did before.They restored many ancient temples in northern India. And as far as the grandeur of Red fort is concerned it was built by Mughal fanatic rulers who destroyed many Indian architecture Marvels.So we can say that the Marathas settled the score.

Amit Moray said...

I don't why everyone wants debate bout these origins.
We should be proud that the Marathas sucessfully created an empire and the tactics they used in the battles are still studied in many military schools all over the world.
Whatever their origin was ,kshatriya ,shudra or any caste, the fact is that they reached this attock and invaded afghans too which no indian power did before.They restored many ancient temples in northern India. And as far as the grandeur of Red fort is concerned it was built by Mughal fanatic rulers who destroyed many Indian architecture Marvels.So we can say that the Marathas settled the score.

Anonymous said...

Please do not get confused with marathas & Marathis..marathas were indeed kshatriya clan whereas marathis are habitats(local mix) of Maharashtra & and of discussed earlier,I m not here to defend anyone but truth is a must
I m a Rajput so I don't need to be justified and a history student as well

Anonymous said...

And my friend sisodia is a rajput clan which is of Maharana PRATAP

Anonymous said...

Shivaji was bhosale...please see history by historians..marathas were great at gorilla warfare..see Google...whereas local left out mix people were known as marathis
Marathas were great under the leadership of Shivaji,his administration was wow hats off,he dreamt of one nation as a whole..his son sambhaji was another great warrior..and when Maharana pratap died Akbar cried because he could not capture him ever..and the country lost a great warrior..whereas when shivaji died the whole country cried because he has a great dream

Anonymous said...

Rajput are shits who were slaves of mughals,even they gave their women to mughals.Marathas were never been slave of anyone and they were greater than Rajputs in everything.

Unknown said...

The 96 Kshatriya families had come to Maharashtra before and during the medieval times. Their caste and surnames have Rajasthani Kshatriya origin. For example:The surname'Chavan' has its origin in the Rajasthani surname 'Chauhan'of Prithviraj Chavan. The surname 'Chauvan' was associated with the village "Chauhan" situated on the border of Rajasthan and Hariyana in the historical past during the tenure of the king Prithviraj Chavan. The Mohantis came to be called as Mohite, the Powar or Parmars were called as Pawar, the Malik were called as Mulik,etc. If you read the names of all the great-grandfathers of the royal families of the Sindhudurga Kings Sawant in Konkan, they are all Rajasthani names. In today's period it is not available. Moreover, a number of muli-lingual and multi-caste families in Maharashtra have this surname i.e. Chavan. For example: the non-kshatriya Rajput families. the Kannada-speaking Lingayat families, the Hindi speaking Bhangis famiiies, the Banjara families etc. If you study the histoical status of Chavan families you will find that due for their Kshatriya origin,they became the heads of their lands or villages. The possessed titles such as Patil, Deshmukh, Inamdar, Sardar etc.The other subcaste Chavans were not Kshatriya because they carried out their traditional works. It was due to prejudice and jealousy some Orthodox and pretensive historians were not ready to acknowledge the leadership and historical origin of Kshatriya-Marathas.They had declared a boycott on the coronation ceremony of Shivaji under the pretext that he was not a Kshatriya. During his tenure he had punished the corrupted, pretencious,deceptive and anti-social and orthodox leaders in his kingdom. His secular policies had challenged their religious monopolies. In order to maintain it they tried to spread misinformation about him and his community. During that period it was easy for them to mislead common people, but in modern times people can easily recognize their commmunal and castist agenda.Most of the historical records have been destroyed by such people. Therefore,prejudiced young boys are easily misled. Before arriving at a conclusion, they should keep it in their minds that the books of history written in the past were full of ignorance, prejudice against the Maratha rulers. It is for such reasons they are not ready to accept Marathas as Kshatriya. Some of the so-called historians have abolished historical documentary evidence to preserve their monopoly as the highly educated, civilized and culturally upper-caste historians.

Anonymous said...

Really marathas are great in every respect....they are generous beyond the limits than any other castes in India.

Anonymous said...

All peoples who served this nation our motherland are great whether it's mosurya Gupta Maratha rajputs jatt etc
The thing matters their deeds
And Muslims invaders gave nothing but sorrow to this nation so not respect them because it's not their land it's of all Hindustanis !

Anonymous said...

It's not like that bro it's because they were not unitedly opposed Muslim invaders that's why there mindset changed about there bravery

Anonymous said...

Everyone is greatest after smokin some grass.
So chill you all.

Prajwal said...

Marathas were kshatriya rajput