Chapter

Shivaji and Maharashtrian Hindu Identity

James W. Laine

in Shivaji

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9780195141269
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849543 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195141269.003.0002
Shivaji and Maharashtrian Hindu Identity

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Any narrative contains clues regarding the setting in which it was made. Although Shivaji's early biographers may write about Shivaji's numerous feats to explain explicitly the historical aspect of Shivaji's legend, these may also implicitly build a narrative about the cultural history of Hindu Maharashtra. Accounts of Shivaji's life in the late 17th century would point to how this warrior can be linked to the attributes that saints possess, while those made in the 19th and 20th century depict Shivaji as a liberationist, as an egalitarian who promotes social reform, and a nationalist. There is a need therefore to look into how Shivaji became a hero to the Maharashtrians, and a nationalist advocate for freedom as a Hindu. This chapter provides a discussion regarding Maharashtra as a state that values language and culture, the Hindu identity, and Indian culture.

Keywords: Maharashtra; Hinduism; Indian culture; historical Shivaji; cultural history

Chapter.  5491 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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