ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Shahu Chhatrapati Facts and Prejudice

Shahu Chhatrapati: Facts and Prejudice M H Jadhav G P DESHPANDE (GPD) has commented on the controversial fresh assessment of Shahu Chhatrapati of Kolhapur in the new edition of the Maharashtra government's District Gazetteer ('Modern History and Unmodern Minds', EPW, July 6-13). On the basis of new material which is supposed to have become available after 1960, the editor of the Gazetteer has made the profound discovery that Shahu Chhatrapati had collaborated with the British rulers in disclosing to them the activities of freedom fighters. According to the editor of the Gazetteer, Shahu Chhatrapati could not have acted against the British power since he would not have remained king of Kolhapur otherwise. GPD has noted how some newspapers in Kolhapur had instigated the people of the city to go on a rampage and organise a bandh to protest against the alleged malign- ing of Shahu Chhatrapati in the District Gazetteer and has concluded that we are living in times in which we will only invite wrath and agitation if we criticise leaders such as Mahatma Phule or Ambedkar or Shahu Chhatrapati. According to him, "this is a dangerous situation. We are systematically destroying the 'modern' elements in life and culture".

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