“Nagpur Bhonsle kingdom was the biggest Maratha ruled stretch of Bharat comprising of Bengal (undivided, including Bangladesh), Orrisa, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh and the loyalty of its Arabs and Muslim citizens its greatest strength” said Raje Mudhoji Bhonsle, younger brother of present ‘King’ Raje Raghujirao Bhonsle and one of the key leaders of the Shiv Sena of Central India.
“I was asked to pick any seat of Nagpur / Vidarbha to contest from but I chose to work from the background as the prestige and respect my name commands is beyond the realm of electoral politics. I have good associations with leaders of other parties like Congress, BJP, NCP etc. too.”
According to Raje Mudhoji, whose ancestors were the first to start the 1857 war of independence against the British – which carried on for ten long years after others had catapulted – this election is crucial for Maharashtra, the most significant perhaps since it was created by separating from Gujarat and a bloody battle for Mumbai in 1960.
“The genesis of Shiv Sena is from that period. We fought tooth and nail against the police of Morarji Desai, the then CM of Bombay State who had sinister designs on Bombay. More than 100 Marathi youngsters became ‘shaheed’ for this cause, let us not forget their sacrifice” said the Shiv Sena leader, who is also the Vice District Governor of the Lions Club International, District 323- H1.
Asked why he had chosen to join the Shiv Sena when it was perceived as being anti Muslim, he averred that the Sena was never against any Religion, caste or community. It was for the rights of “local people” who so ever they may be. Speaking about his family’s close association with Arabs and Muslims he said in the last war we fought with the British, even our own Maratha brothers turned their backs on us and ran away from the battle front; it was the Muslims who fought shoulder to shoulder with us. 10,000 of their men were sacrificed.
” It is to pay homage to these loyal souls that we named every important structure and place in our domain by the prefix Shukrawar or Jumma. So the now Gandhi sagar was then Shukrawar talab, Gandhi gate was Jumma gate…. even Saint Tajjudin baba settled in Nagpur under our patronage. Or I should say we enjoyed HIS patronage and blessings.”
This is just a slice of history of Nagpur as we stand on the brink of elections tommorow.
“Nagpur will throw up some astonishing results ” said Mudhoji Raje and he is confident that post polls Shiv Sena will give Maharashtra its first ‘Sainik’ CM with the backing other like minded parties like MNS and NCP.
– Sunita Mudaliar