Saturday, February 2, 2013

VEER BAJI PRABHU DESHPANDE WHO SACRIFICED HIMSELF TO SAVE HIS KING



             VEER BAJI PRABHU DESHPANDE WHO SACRIFICED HIMSELF TO 
                                                           SAVE HIS KING

                                                    Dr K Prabhakar Rao

                A country that does not respect past history and its heroes will never prosper and would decay and it is a naked truth. This we are experiencing every day in India.  This is because national spirit will  dwindle in such societies and this  is happening in our country. Major portion of our Youth have no time, no interest, no zeal, no aptitude and no respect to our historical past and its heroes. They are carried away in modern vices, western life style, pub culture and discothèques. This article is a call to our youth to spend some time in remembering our past valiant men as it is their noble  duty towards motherland.

             Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj established Swarajya right under the nose of religious bigot Aurangzeb in 17 century. This was possible mainly due to un-flinched support and loyalty from his nobles, Generals and commanders. Each and every one was as determined as the Maharaj himself over the issue. Probably there was no occasion in his life where he had to goad his men to fight even under adverse conditions against superior enemy. The magical leadership qualities of Maharaj inspired every one     towards Swarajya. Baji Prabhu Deshpande is one such General who shines like a glorious star in the history of India. His sacrifice did not go invain as Shivaji Maharaj escaped the seize by Bijapur army at Panhala fort  to Vishalgad near Kolhapur to  fight on another day. Safety of the leader is a most important aspect in achieving the results.  Sadly the aspects of leadership has  changed very greatly  in the present times where we find all types of men and women masquerading    as leaders and patriots keeping themselves busy with self interests and personal rise and glory.

               Baji Prabhu served under Chandra Rao  More of Javli a feudal lord before he joined Shivaji Maharaj. He was  15 years  elder to Shivaji Maharaj. Shivaji defeated Chadra Rao More and persuaded baji Prabhu to jin the cause of Swarajya and he accepted. He earned  the confidence of his king   and soon rose in position and importance. After slaying of Bijapur General Afzal Khan by Shivaji Maharaj at Pratapgarh, Sultan of Bijapur made another strong attempt to capture the Martha leader  under the able leadership of Siddi jauhar assisted by Siddi Masud and  Fazal Khan . Bijapur army laid a seize with 15000 strong army  to Panhala fort once they knew that  Shivaji was  at Panhala with limited troops. He had only 600 light infantry assisted by Baji Prabhu, Jadhav Rao and Bandal.    It was an intense operation. At the same time, Shaistan khan the Mughal governor also attacked Pune provinces to keep Maratha armies occupied. All approaches to the fort were cut off and the invading army was far  superior in numbers that could not be defeated in open battle by Maraths as they had very limited strength. The seize lasted for long period and efforts to defeat the  Bijapur army by the Senapati  Netaji Palkar of Shivaji Maharaj from outside did not yield results. The situation soon was becoming desperate and Shivaji Maharaj devised a plan. He sent an emissary to the  Commander of the invading army that he was willing to negotiate with him.  This made the  Bijapur army  slightly complacent and the army lowered the guard.
               On one  full moon stormy night  Shivaji Maharaj escaped the seize along with his troops led by Baji Prabhu       without getting detected. However soon the Bijapur army got the news and started chasing them. They caught some Maratha soldiers and captured a   person who was looking like Shivaji. Soon they realized that he was an imposter named Shiva kashid a barber. They     started the chase again. But  in this mean time, Shivaji Maharaj with his men reached a very strategic location called Ghod khind which is a very narrow defile through which very few soldiers could pass at a time .At this point of time Baji Prabhu persuaded Shivaji Maharj that he along with 300 men would defend the Ghodkhind that would enable the Maharaj to escape to Vishalgad fort. Shivaji Maharaj did not accept the suggestion that was very dangerous to the lives of his men. But Baji Prabhu prevailed over him and guarded the  pass. Soon the  Bijapur army arrived at the pass and there was an intense fight between Marthas and  enemy soldiers.
The pass was very narrow and the Bijapur army found it extremely difficult to pass through it and there were many casualties among them. But their strength was very high. The dare devil Marathas led by Baji Prabhu, his brother  Fulaji and Sambhaji Jadhav successfully defended the pass till Shivaji Maharaj reached Vishalgad fort and fired a cannon. Maratha soldiers sacrificed themselves at the  pass fiercely  fighting  with swords in both hands and profusely bleeding and it was  shock for the Bijapur soldiers. They gave up only after listening to the firing of cannon.

                   When Shivaji reached Vishalgad fort he found enemy troops led by another  officer Surve and with a violent charge they broke through them and reached the fort safely and fired the cannon. The Bijapur army after  passing the Ghod khind attacked Vishal gad fort. They were defeated with heavy losses by  Rango Narayan Sarpotdar  an young and brave officer of the fort. Marathas lost 300 men while  Bijapur army lost 3000 men . Soon Shivaji learnt about the sad demise of Baji Prabhu in the operation and the place of his sacrifice has been named as Pavan khind. Shivaji was much grieved at the loss of Baji Prabhu and  visited his  house at Kasabe sindh near Bhor at Pune to console the family. The family was given suitable honors and his sons were taken care of.

                   Battle of Pavan khind was the lost major battle with Bijapur sultans and after this Shivaji Maharaj consolidated his position as independent kingdom.

1 comment:

GVC Exec said...

Dear Sir - thank you for sharing a detailed description of the valour and sacrifice of the great veer Bajiprabhu Deshpande. It is a very inspirational story, especially for the youth of our country who struggle to find political leaders with the courage and moral fibre of Shri BajiPrabhu Deshpande. Also, lots of lessons from a military strategy perspective from this story that I am sure are taught at our Military Colleges.

Once again, thanks for sharing!

Jai Hind!
Regards,
Rahul Aranha-Shenoy