The Brahmin-Maratha-Muslim Tangle

In a lighter vein, to a blogpost on Samarth Ramdas, I commented through Google-reader: “…Deccan inhabitants are off ending each other, Courtesy Shivaji. Shivaji united them to take on mughal takht. His disciples now are desperate to nullify that effect”

But did Shivaji’s indeed take on Mughals ?

Author of Hindu Bhalchandra Nemade looks at it with different perspective: Most people that Shivaji killed were Marathi. But later eon picture painted by bramins pointed that Shivaji pitted himself against mughals (read Islam)- From Maharashtra Times interview

Today if maratha offshoots are hell against Dadoji Konddeo, the root of the controversy lies in Brahmin-Maratha-Muslim tangle.

Late Varunraj Bhide wrote: Only 162 maratha families have been ruling Maharashtra for years.

Bhide’s version, if to be extended, mean a large section of Maratha class have been left out of the power for all through 50 years of Maharashtra. Now the section within the left-out section feels that ‘power-ful’ Marathas have always had support from Brahmins to maintain status quo.

Brahmins in turn used the banner of Hindutva. Gathered Marathas under the same banner and pitted them against Islamism – a phenomenon drawing analogy to Shivaji versus mughals. This way, Brahmins let few Marathas rule the state and in return retained their own importance.

Now, the left-out class wants political pie. To grab political space, incidents like BORI attack, Lal-mahal controversy, help as they create political space, easy to be grabbed on emotional grounds. For them Shivaji is a symbol to be used against Brahmins. And through Brahmins, they challenge "power-ful" marathas.

Curiously, the same Maratha offshoots are conspicuous with their silence on topics related to Islamic aggression. In the debates, they digress when issues like Afzal Khan tomb atop Pratapgadh - an alleged illegal construction on the site where Shivaji slained mughal warlord – comes for discussion. The offshoots refrain from entering into such debates. Reason: Assumption hovers that the issue is raked up by Sangh parivar (read Brahmins) only to digress left out section.

Such digression help brahmins maintain status quo in the power-structure that has been formed with another section of ‘power-ful’ Marathas.