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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Lesson from Chattrapati Shivaji’s life: Impose serious costs on enemy

The biggest lesson from Shivaji Maharaj’s life is the imposition of cost.

1. When Shaiste Khan looted Pune, Chhatrapati Shivaji did not stop at merely driving him out, but looted Surat.

2.Portuguese passed an anti-Hindu law. Chhatrapati Shivaji beheaded 4 Padres who passed the law.

Slaying Afzal Khan would have confirmed Chhatrapati Shivaji’s greatness. Instead, he opened a campaign that doubled his own territory! All this meant two things :

1. His adversaries would think ten times before attempting an adventure.

2. It compelled to pour resources in.

In the first example we have Adil Shah, who did not try a Afzal Khan type adventure again. In the second we have the Mughals who sent ever higher ranking mansabdar till finally Aurangzeb himself took the field against the Marathas.

Shivji Maharaj did not merely retake forts lost in the Treaty of Purandar, but expanded his conquests into the Nashik region, something the Mughals had held since when Chhatrapati Shivaji was a small child.


The ability and more importantly, will to inflict a net negative outcome on his adversaries was a great quality. Else we can recall Prof. Narhar Kurundkar, “There was a defining trait of Hindu powers – Annihilation in defeat and status quo in victory”

Another inspirational quality, was of taking the maximum personal risk himself. When confronting Afzal Khan and when attacking Shaiste Khan in the middle of the night. Either episode could have killed him.

(This article has been compiled from the tweet thread of Aneesh Gokhale @authorAneesh)

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