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Maharashtra in the First Milinium CE

The region that is present day Maharashtra was part of a number of empires in the first milinium. These include the Saka Western Satraps, Satavahana, the Chalukya and the Rashtrakuta. !Most of these empires e"tended over a large swathes of #ndian territory. Some of the greatest monuments in Maharashtra such as the $%antha and &llora Caves were built during the time of these empires.

Islamic Rule
#slamic rule came to the region with the 'hil%i dynasty in the ()th century. The Tughla* +ynasty that followed the 'hil%is tried to move their capital from +elhi to +aulatabad in Central Maharashtra with disastrous conse*uences. ,ater from (-th century, the .ahamani Sultanate and its offshoots, the i/amshahi of $hmadnagar, $dilshahi of .i%apur and the 0utubshahi of 1ovalkonda ruled different parts of the region until they were either swallowed by the Moghul empire or by the emerging Maratha forces in the second half of (2th Century.

The Marathas
Main article3 Maratha &mpire

The Maratha &mpire in (245. The last 6indu empire of #ndia. The Marathas dominated the political scene in Maharashtra from the middle of the (2th century to the early (7th century. $lthough for historical purposes the term 8Maratha8 is used in a comprehensive sense to include all Marathi9speaking people, actually the word signifies the distinct community which has dominated the political scene of Maharashtra since medieval times. References to the Marathas and their country are found in accounts by the $rab geographer, $l .iruni :(5)5 $+;, <riar =ordanus :c. ()>4; and #bn .atuta :()?5;, the $frican traveller. The Marathas came into political prominence only in the (2th century under Shiva%i.

Chhatrapati Shivaji
Main article3 Shiva%i

Shiva%i was an able warrior and established a government that included such modern concepts as cabinet :$shtapradhan mandal;, foreign affairs :+abir; and internal intelligence. Shiva%i established an effective civil and military administration. 6e also built a powerful navy and erected new forts like Sindhudurg and strengthened old ones like @i%ayadurg on the west coast. The Maratha navy held its own against the .ritish, Aortuguese and +utch till Maratha internal conflict brought their downfall in (2-4. Shiva%i is well known for his fatherly attitude towards his sub%ects. 6e believed that the state belonged to the people. 6e encouraged all socio9economic groups to participate in the ongoing political changes. To this day he is remembered as a %ust and welfare9minded king. 6e brought revolutionary changes in military, fort architecture, society and politics. .ecause of his struggle against an imperial power, Shiva%i became an icon of freedom fighters :along with the Rani of =hansi; in the #ndian independence struggle that followed two centuries later. 6e is remembered as a %ust and wise king and his rule is called one of the si" golden pages in #ndian history. School te"ts in Maharashtra glorify Shiva%i8s period and he is considered the founder of the modern Marathi nationB his policies were instrumental in forging a distinct Maharashtrian identity. #ndeed, Marathi 6indus, +alits, Muslims, Christians and .uddhists, all consider him as a hero. $ popular *uotation, CMaratha tituka milavava Maharashtra +harma vadhavavaC translates as, C.ring as many people into Maratha domain as possible and grow the Maharashtra ationC.

Expansion of Maratha Influence under Shahu 1 rule

The death of $urang/eb in (252 after an e"hausting >2 years of war against Marathss led to the swift decline of the Moghul empire. The Marathas, under the leadership the .hat family of Aeshwas, rapidly filled the power vacuum and occupied much of the subcontinent in the following decades.

Maharashtra under British rule and The Freedom Movement

The .ritish &ast #ndia Company slowly e"panded areas under its rule during the (Dth century. Their con*uests of what is Maharashtra was completed in (D(D with the defeat of Aeshwa .a%irao ## in the Third $nglo9Maratha War. .himrao Ram%i $mbedkar, the first ,aw Minister of #ndia, an erudite scholar with a number of doctorates, and a .arrister, championed the cause of +epressed Classes of #ndia, the lower caste population who were oppressed for centuries. +r. $mbedkar disagreed with mainstream leaders like 1andhi on issues including untouchability, government system and Aartition of #ndia. This did not prevent him from struggling for the rights of his brethren among the lower castes of the

country. 6is leadership of +alit or +epressed Classes, lead to the +alit movement that still endures. +r. $mbedkar most importantly played the pivotal role in writing the constitution of #ndia and hence he is considered as the father of the Indian Constitution. ,okmanya Tilak played a ma%or role in the #ndian independence movement. 6e was widely recognised as a leader of national importance E a man of method. .eing a person with an e"tremist attitude, he was instrumental in encouraging the #ndian masses in participating in the freedom struggle. $ popular *uotation3 Swarajya ha majha janmasiddha hakka ahe, ani toh mi milavnarach! Swara% :self9rule; is my birthright E # will achieve itF The ultimatum in (7?> to the .ritish to C0uit #ndiaC was given in Mumbai, and culminated in the transfer of power and the independence of #ndia in (7?2. Raosaheb and $chutrao Aatwardhan, anasaheb 1ore, S.M. =oshi, Geshwantrao Chavan, Swami Ramanand .harti, ana Aatil, +hulappa avale, @.S. Aage, @asant Aatil, +hondiram Mali, $runa $sif $li, $shfa*ulla 'han and several others leaders from Maharashtra played a prominent role in this struggle. .1 'her was the first Chief Minister of the tri9lingual .ombay Aresidency in (7)2. Hther revolutionaries from Maharashtra3 @inayak +amodar Savarkar, Shivaram Ra%guru, @ishwanath @aishampayan, 1anesh +amodar Savarkar, @asudev .alwant Ahadke, and Chapekar brothers.