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Shivaji The Great



A.B. de Braganca Pereira says in "Arquivo Portugues Oriental, Vol
III":

"Wonderous mystic, adventurous and intrepid, fortunate, roving
prince, with lovely and magnetic eyes, pleasing countenance,
winsome and polite,magnanimous to fallen foe like Alexander,
keen and a sharp intellect, quick in decision, ambitious conqueror
like Julius Caesar, given to action, resolute and strict
disciplinarian, expert strategist, far-sighted and constructive
statesman, brilliant organizer, who sagaciously countered his
political rivals and antagonists like the Mughals, Turks of Bijapur,
the Portuguese, the English, the Dutch, and the French. Undaunted
by the mighty Mughals, then the greatest power in Asia, Shivaji
fought the Bijapuris and carved out a grand Empire."



Sir E. Sullivan says in "Warriors and Statesmen of India":

"Shivaji possessed every quality requisite for success in the
disturbed age in which he lived.  Cautious and wily in council, he
was fierce and daring in action; he possessed an endurance that
made him remarkable even amongst his hardy subjests, and an
energy and decision that would in any age have raised him to
distinctions.  By his own people he was painted on a white horse
going at full gallop, tossing grains of rice into his mouth, to signify
that his speed did not allow him to stop to eat.  He was the Hindu
prince who forced the heavy Mughal cavalry to fly before the
charge of the native horse of India.  His strength and activity in
action were glory and admiration of his race."


D. Kincaid says in "The Grand Rebel":

"In spite of the character of a crusade which Ramdas's blessings
gave to Shivaji's long struggle, it is remarkable how little religious
animosity or intolerance Shivaji displayed.  His kindness to
Catholic priests is an agreeable contrast to the proscriptions of the
Hindu priesthood in the Indian and Maratha territories of the
Portuguese.  Even his enemies remarked on his extreme respect for
Mussulman priests, for mosques and for the koran.  The Muslim
historian Khafi Khan, who cannot mention Shivaji in his cronicle
without adding epithets of vulgar abuse, nevertheless
acknowledges that Shivaji never entered a conquered town without
taking measures to safeguard the mosques from damage. 
Whenever a koran came to his possession, he treated it with the
same
respect as if it had been one of the sacred works of his own faith. 
Whenever his men captured Mussulman ladies, they were brought
to Shivaji, who looked after them as if they were his wards till he
could return them to their relations."


Cosme da Guarda says in "Life of the Celebrated Sevaji":

"Such was the good treatment Shivaji accorded to people and such
was the honesty with which he observed the capitulations that none
looked upon him without a feeling of love and confidence.  By his
people he was exceedingly loved.  Both in matters of reward and
punishment he was so impartial that while he lived he made no
exception for any person; no merit was left unrewarded, no offence
went unpunished; and this he did with so much care and attention
that he
specially charged his governors to inform him in writing of the
conduct of his soldiers, mentioning in particular those who had
distinguished themselves, and he would at once order their
promotion, either in rank or in pay, according to their merit.  He
was naturally loved by all men of valor and good conduct."


Jawaharlal Nehru said: 

"Shivaji did not belong to Maharashtra alone; he belonged to the
whole Indian Nation.  Shivaji was not an ambitious ruler anxious
to establish a kingdom for himself but a patriot inspired by a vision
and political ideas derived from the teachings of the ancient
philosophers."


Indira Gandhi said:

"I think Shivaji ranks among the greatest men of the world.  Since
we were a slave country, our great men have been somewhat
played down in world history.  Had the same person been born in a
European country, he would have been praised to the skies and
known everywhere.  It would
have been said that he had illumined the world."


Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore wrote a poem:

In what far-off country, upon what obscure day
     I know not now,
Seated in the gloom of some Mahratta mountain-wood
     O King Shivaji,
Lighting thy brow, like a lightning flash,
     This thought descended,
"Into one virtuous rule, this divided broken distracted India,
     I shall bind."