WATCH: 'Swarajya-rakshak or Dharmaveer?' Sharad Pawar has to say this to Ajit Pawar's statement on Sambhaji Maharaj

Nothing wrong if people look at Sambhaji Maharaj's contribution in different ways: Sharad Pawar

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, January 03, 2023, 10:47 PM IST
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Sharad Pawar | File

Pune, Jan 3 (PTI) NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday said it was not wrong to think of the 17th-century ruler Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj either as a saviour of religion or the protector of `Swarajya', the independent Maratha state founded by his father.

Controversy broke last month when Pawar's nephew and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said in the Maharashtra Assembly that Sambhaji, the eldest son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was `Swarajya-rakshak' and not "Dharmaveer" (protector of religion) as portrayed by some right-wing Hindu groups.

It drew sharp reactions, with the Bharatiya Janata Party calling it an insult to Sambhaji Maharaj.

"If some people in society remember Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj's contribution as protector of Swarajya, there is nothing wrong with that," Sharad Pawar told reporters at Baramati in Pune district.

"If some elements call him Dharmaveer and look at his work from the religious angle, I do not have any complaint about it either," he added.

But he was worried about some people complaining about not using the epithet Dharma-rakshak or Dharmaveer, Pawar added.

There was no reason to get into argument over such issues, he said.

Those who call Sambhaji Maharaj `Swarajya Rakshak' are acknowledging his role in protecting the state from invaders after the death of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Pawar said.

He also stated that nobody approved of the writings of freedom fighter V D Savarkar and a "one-time supremo of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)" on Sambhaji Maharaj, but there was no reason to rake it up and vitiate the atmosphere in the state.

Sambhaji Maharaj, the second Chhatrapati of the Maratha state, ruled from 1681 to 1689 before he was captured and executed on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

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