You and I, and everybody we know, have our first encounter with history through our textbooks. The textbooks are the source that takes us to the world that existed centuries ago; when India was being attacked by invaders from all sides; when instead of engine boats, sail ships were used. But our biggest misfortune is that the history was written for us by Marxist distorians, who instead of owning to the rich cultural history of the civilisational state that is Bharat, bowed before the English and shamelessly termed India as the ‘land of sanperas’. So, after 75 years of Independence have things changed? Well, it is in the process, there is still a majority who have not been able to come out of their colonial slumber.
The new ensign inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the Indian Navy’s new flag which was inspired by the royal seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. After the new flag was unveiled ditching the St. George cross, another symbol of our colonial past, modern colonial slaves got a major heartburn. You see, none can stand their masters getting disrespected, the same happened with the likes of the left-wing propaganda portal The Wire who after 75 years of Independence, still have not been able to come out of their colonial slumber.
The Wire distorts facts
Furious as the colonial symbol was dropped from the Navy’s flag, the Far-left propaganda portal which has a history of publishing hit-jobs, shoddy and malicious reports The Wire, published an article. The article was titled, ‘Why Modi is wrong to call Shivaji the ‘Father’ of the Indian Navy’. Right from the beginning, the writer at the left-wing portal makes you believe that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was not as ‘mahaan’ as the Modi government presents him. Rather, Shivaji Maharaj’s navy really sought to challenge the Europeans. The article says that since the Marathas understood their capabilities and limitations well, they remained close to the shore.
The article mentions that the Europeans were not the sole enemies of the Marathas, but the Mughals and the Siddis of African origin were also up in arms against the Marathas in the Konkan region.
The Wire and its old tricks
Then the portal goes on to say that it would be more appropriate to refer to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as the father of the Indian Coastguard and not as the father of the Indian Navy. Well, with this it is clear that the agenda was just to write against the ongoing narrative despite being aware of the bravery of Marathas in the waters. The Marathas played their classic hit-and-run tactics in the sea, the writeups accepted these facts as the article progressed.
The article then after half the length finally accepts India’s supremacy in the waters with the mention of Cholas, who sailed across the Bay of Bengal establishing Indian hegemony in a vast area including Java, Sumatra, Thailand and Malaysia, which lasted for centuries. To your surprise, the article also mentioned the history of Indian maritime tradition which is so old, that it goes by the Vedas, the Buddhist Jatakas and Sanskrit and Pali literature.
A history lesson for The Wire
Now, as the left-wing portal has itself accepted the bravery of Cholas, let us give them some necessary history lessons on the Marathas as well. And the story of valour is the story of Grand Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre. Kanhoji Angre found no space in history as the Grand Admiral of the Maratha Navy was dismissed by European historians as a pirate.
The actual story is that he had retained a number of ships of the East India Company and forced them to pay fines. This is not the only instance. He even did the same with the Portuguese as well. It was through Angre that the Maratha Empire challenged the European powers at sea.
Now, let’s talk about why The Wire thinks of Shivaji Maharaj as the father of the Indian Coast Guard. The reason lies in the tactics used by the Marathas. The favourite tactic of Marathas under the Angre was to use smaller but fast and manoeuvrable vessels to approach a European ship from astern in order to avoid the cannon broadside. Sometimes they would also tow a larger cannon-laden vessel that would direct its fire at the sails and rigging in order to disable the ship. While the European gunners were trying to extricate themselves from the tangle of rope and canvas, the faster Maratha boats would close in and board the ship. After Kanhoji Angre, his descendants would harass the EIC for the next two decades. It was Kanhoji Angre who defended Konkan from the Europeans.
In the late 17th and 18th centuries, when foreign invaders like the British, Portuguese, Mughals were trying to enter India through its vast coastline and it was brave warriors like Kanhoji Angre who protected the motherland. And instead of consuming propaganda from the likes of The Wire, we Indians should focus on reading our real history.
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