President salutes Chhatrapati Shivaji

Thane (Maharashtra), Dec 28 : President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday paid homage to Marathi warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, describing him as "a great military genius, a brilliant strategist and a great ruler".

Inaugurating a 2,200-kg bronze statue of Shivaji at a public junciton in Kalwa suburb of Thane, near Mumbai, the president said that though Shivaji's resources were limited, "he confidently faced the mighty Mughal empire by forming an army from hard working peasants".

"Chhatrapati Shivaji was a born leader with a personality that drew the best men to his side and commanded devoted service from his officers," Mukherjee said.

The president said that during his reign, Chhatrapati Shivaji instilled a sense of self-respect in his subjects by following basic principles like tolerance for all views, secularism, discipline, respect for women and protection of women's honour, self-restraint, dedication and commitment to duty and strict enforcement of morality.

"He believed that good governance is no substitute for independence and sovereignty. Good governance is required, but cooperation of people is important," Mukherjee said.

The president also mentioned the three people who had a great influence in shaping the 17th century ruler's thoughts - his mother Rajmata Jijabai, Sant Tukaram and Samartha Ramdas Swami.

--IANS (Posted on 28-12-2013)

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