A Maratha prince’s morality play4 min read 16 Jun 2018, 03:02 PM IST
The 'Sati Dana Suramu' is, on the face of it, a simple parody. But viewed in its context, Shahuji Bhonsle, we find, was making a comment on society itself
In 1684, a 12-year-old Maratha boy was installed as ruler in Tamil Thanjavur, not long after the region’s older Nayaka dynasty came to an end. The event was emblematic of India in this bustling age, with Tamil Nadu alone attracting Afghan horsemen, Bundela Rajputs, Telugu warriors, and diverse other groups of adventurers. Our adolescent prince, Shahuji Bhonsle, however, came from a family that was of especial significance for the country. Ten years earlier, his half-uncle, the celebrated Shivaji, had crowned himself king of the Marathas, and theirs was a clan that would seek power over distant reaches of the subcontinent.
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