Maharashtra celebrated the 393rd birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with pomp in a series of social, cultural, historical and political events organised, on Sunday.
Mumbai, Feb 19,2023: Maharashtra celebrated the 393rd birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with pomp in a series of social, cultural, historical and political events organised, on Sunday.
Governor Ramesh Bais garlanded a bust of Chhatrapati, then went to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Park and garlanded the equestrian statue of the Maratha warrior king, and joined the celebrations organised with patriotic songs rendered by by the BMC’s Sangeet Kala Academy.
For the first time, the State Song, ‘Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha’ was played along with the National Anthem in the presence of top officials.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM participated in the state’s official function held at the historic Shivneri Fort in Pune, where Shivaji was born on February 19, 1630, and years later was coronated as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on June 6, 1674 at the Raigad Fort.
Shinde said the Chhatrapati’s life, ideals and teachings continue to inspire us till now, and urged all to follow in his footsteps.
The day started with women and men gently rocking the cradle depicting ‘Bal Shivaji’ birth, prayers, Maha Artis, and other rituals to mark the birth anniversary of the founder of the Maratha Empire.
On the occasion, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Rane – the direct descendent of the Chhatrapati – expressed his displeasure in public that many devotees were stopped from taking darshan at the Shivneri Fort in the morning.
Taking serious note, Shinde and Fadnavis said that this may have arisen due to shortcomings in the planning of the celebrations, and assured this would not be repeated from next year.
Local Nationalist Congress Party MP Amol Kolhe boycotted Sunday’s official state function on grounds that the government has ignored his suggestion to permanently erect a saffron flag at the Shivneri Fort, but said he would go and pay obeisance to the Chhatrapati later in the afternoon.
Earlier, Shinde paid floral tributes to the Chhatrapati’s statue at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai.
The day was celebrated with poojas and artis, garlanding of the statues/busts of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at various places associated with him like his capital, the imposing Raigad Fort, the Pratapgad Fort, Sindhudurg Fort and other places.
In Mumbai, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organised celebrations at over 300 locations in the 227 BMC wards with a large number of people participating.
NCP’s Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar garlanded the statue of the Chhatrapati in his home town Baramati, NCP state President Jayant Patil paid floral tributes in his native Islampur and other party leaders attended various functions in their respective regions.
Congress state President Nana Patole and other leaders paid homage and organised celebrations all over the state, while Congress MP Rahul Gandhi offered tributes to the Chhatrapati in New Delhi.
Top leaders of Shiv Sena (UBT) including MLA and ex-minister Aditya Thackeray, MP Arvind Sawant, Anil Desai and others paid tributes and homage to Chhatrapati.
In Navi Mumbai, the Ghati Marathi Association organised a giant replica of the ‘Wagh Nakh’ (Tiger Claw) with which Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had killed Afzal Khan
The Patanjali Group and Yuva Bharat organised a ‘surya namaskar’ by 21,000 people at Indapur in Pune to mark the day.
In Nanded, Congress leader and ex-CM Ashok Chavan joined the celebrations with a new hydro-lift installed at the tall Chhatrapati statue and offered his floral tributes.
A large group of devotees who left from Aurangabad to Agra to join the first-ever celebrations at the Agra Fort, marked the birth of Bal Shivaji at midnight in the special train, with prayers and distribution of sweets.
For the first time, the Chhatrapati’s birth anniversary shall be celebrated in a big way at the ‘Diwan-E-Aam’ in Agra Fort with the participation of the R.R. Patil Foundation, Ajinkya Devanagari Foundation, and the Maharashtra Government.