Hailing Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji as a ruler who “united people rising above caste and religion” President Ram Nath Kovind expressed his happiness that the annual ‘Shivaji Rajyabhishek Mahotsav’ has become so popular.

Speaking at the event organised by Akhil Bhartiya Shivarajyabhishek Mahotsav Samiti, the President called Shivaji one of the one of the most inspiring figures in India.

The President said that the event, which is held at Raigad Fort every year, will help make citizens aware about the life and achievements of Shivaji.

“Shivaji’s struggle wasn’t for his personal pride or wealth but for Swaraj,” the President said.

Addressing the people at the event, which was also attended by Army chief General Bipin Rawat, President Kovind said that Shivaji not only infused a sense of self-esteem in the hearts of those who were suffering from slavery but also worked to integrate people beyond caste and other identities.

 

“He used to appoint military and administrative officials on merit without any discrimination of caste and creed,” the President pointed out.

He remains respected by people because of his good governance, generous and fair actions and for being engaged in public welfare, the President added.

“He was the first modern Indian ruler to have a navy and it was his inspiring leadership which made both Hindu and Muslim soldiers fight under one flag,” President Kovind said while referring to the military genius of the 17th century Maratha ruler.

“That is why Shivaji has a very special position in our history and folklore. The ideals of Shivaji’s social democracy are relevant even today,” he pointed out.