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The Literary Venom of Anti-Brahminism
in Maharashtra, India
by Kedar Joshi Bookmark and Share

The snake looks strong and venomous, the antivenin wee and feeble. Bring out a criticism of Shivaji – the most revered historical hero in Maharashtra – and even though it may be truthful, you risk being beaten up and jailed. Bring out an untruthful criticism of a Brahmin hero, and you largely secure praise.
There can perhaps be no better example than ‘Prof. Namdevrao Jadhav’, a contemporary Maratha writer of popular history books and an advisor to the Marathi TV serial on Shivaji: ‘Raja Shiv Chhatrapati’.

Ref: Prof Namdevrao Jadhav. Shivray: Chhatrapati Maharajancha Ladhyayanvyatirikt Khara Itihas: Part - 1. Rajmata Prakashan. 6th Edition. 14 May 2011. Pg 1. [Marathi Book]

His understanding of science and history as well as his general knowledge seem hilariously weak;

Note: For example, Prof Namdevrao Jadhav. Shivray: Chhatrapati Maharajancha Ladhyayanvyatirikt Khara Itihas: Part - 1. Rajmata Prakashan. 6th Edition. 14 May 2011. Back Cover. [Marathi Book]

His hatred for Brahmins and his passion for bolstering anti-Brahminism seem exasperatingly strong.
For example, it is the ‘16th century’ in which Shivaji lived.

Ref: Prof Namdevrao Jadhav. Shivaji The Management Guru. Rajmata Prakashan. 5th Edition. 17 August 2011. Pg. 58, 61, 103, 115. [Marathi Book]

and it is the same century (or some century before it) in which the Industrial Revolution in Europe took place, he seems to suggest.

Ref: Prof Namdevrao Jadhav. Shivray: Chhatrapati Maharajancha Ladhyayanvyatirikt Khara Itihas: Part - 1. Rajmata Prakashan. 6th Edition. 14 May 2011. Back Cover. [Marathi Book]

Samarth Ramdas, the famous Marathi-Brahmin saint and poet, was Afzal Khan’s guru, not Shivaji’s, he states.

Ref: Prof Namdevrao Jadhav. Shivray: Chhatrapati Maharajancha Ladhyayanvyatirikt Khara Itihas: Part - 1. Rajmata Prakashan. 6th Edition. 14 May 2011. Ramdas Gosawi. Pg 341, 346. [Marathi Book]

No Muslim ruler opposed Shivaji’s coronation, he claims.

Ref: Prof Namdevrao Jadhav. Shivray: Swarajyasathi Ladhalelya Rashtranishtha Muslimancha Khara Itihas: Part - 3. Rajmata Prakashan. 1st Edition. 19 February 2011. Muslim Samajache Swarajya Yogdan. Pg. 22. [Marathi Book]

In his book on Shivaji’s son Sambhaji, he avoids the mention of chief traitors like Sambhaji’s mother-in-law ‘Soyarabai’ and his brother-in-law ‘Ganoji Shirke’ and holds Sambhaji’s Brahmin ministers almost entirely responsible for his downfall.

Ref: Prof Namdevrao Jadhav. Khara Sambhaji. Rajmata Prakashan. 10th Edition. 19 February 2011. Sambhaji Raje Jeevan Parichay. Pg 16. [Marathi Book]

He dedicates his book on the Third Battle of Panipat to ‘Malhar Rao Holkar’

Ref: Prof Namdevrao Jadhav. Panipatcha Vijay. Rajmata Prakashan. 2nd Edition. 1 February 2011. Pg 3. [Marathi Book]

(the Maratha noble who once consistently cosseted ‘Najib Khan’ – a cardinal architect of the Maratha defeat – by regarding him as his ‘religious son’, and who fled the battleground) and seems to put all blame on Brahmin ministers and generals.

Ref: Prof Namdevrao Jadhav. Panipatcha Vijay. Rajmata Prakashan. 2nd Edition. 1 February 2011. Pg 101, 121, 136-7, 266-270. [Marathi Book]

Prof. Jadhav’s venom for Brahmins is evident in virtually each of his books. He seems clearly to be the quintessence of the expeditiously spreading spurious and menacing anti-Brahmin mentality in Maharashtra. His motives look crystal clear: turning all non-Brahmins against Brahmins. And with such malice and fabricated writings, he only seems to be getting more popular. His books can be found in almost any local bookshop. The truth doesn’t appear to be on his side, but power does; and it is power that appears to matter in Maharashtra and India, the truth doesn’t!

More by :  Kedar Joshi
Views: 4716
Article Comment Good work Kedar. Keep it up. Politicians like Sharad Pawar, Jitendra Awhad and likes are all the more fanning this anti-brahmin fire for their vote bank. The truth is Shivaji Maharaj was opposed more by the maratha jahagirdars who couldn't accept his supremacy as 'Chattrapati'. Sambhajiraje was betrayed by his own brother-in-law Ganoji Shirke who leaked his information to the Mughals. And that Malharrao Holkar was nothing but an opportunist who first nurtured the rascal like Najib and fled from the battleground many times to save his life. He was a man of words than action.
Article Comment Nitin Mohite and ravi, what nonsense!

Some of the worst conspirators and traitors against Sambhaji were his mother-in-law (Soyarabai), who was a Maratha, and his brother-in-law (Ganoji Shirke), who too was a Maratha. (Ref. Vishwas Patil, “Sambhaji”, Mehta Publishing House, Pune, 11th edition, June 2013)

The first person to distort Sambhaji’s history was Malhar Ramrao Chitnis, a descendant of Balaji Avaji Chitnis. (Ref. Vishwas Patil, “Sambhaji”, Mehta Publishing House, Pune, 11th edition, June 2013, pg 832, point 1) Malhar Ramrao Chitnis was a Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu (CKP), not a Brahmin. (However, Baji Prabhu Deshpande is a good example of a CKP who valiantly fought and died for Swarajya and Shivaji Maharaj.)

I believe that a large portion of the Brahmin population has been snobbish and casteist, but I’m sure that the same is true about the Marathas. You know the 96 Kuli Marathas and how supercilious they generally have been. In fact, history seems to indicate that quite a few Marathas were against Shivaji Maharaj. Let me quote Jadunath Sarkar, “Shivaji and his times”, Orient BlackSwan, 5th edition, Reprinted 2013, pg 158: “It is also clear that the rise of the Bhonsles created much jealousy among the other Maratha families which had once been their equals in social status. These men consoled themselves by refusing to adhere to Shivaji as his servants, bragged of their being loyal subjects of Aurangzib or of Adil Shah, and sneered at Shivaji as an upstart rebel and usurper.” And was it not Suryarao Surve, a Maratha, who attacked Shivaji Maharaj and tried to stop him from reaching Vishalgad? (Ref. Ranjit Desai, “Shrimaan Yogi”, Mehta Publishing House, Pune, 29th edition, April 2015, pg 302) Baji Ghorpade is also an excellent example of such Marathas. And how about Khandoji Khopade, the cheater who was punished by Shivaji Maharaj! Khopade was not a Brahmin, was he?

Let us presume that majority of the Brahmins (initially) opposed Shivaji’s coronation since they did not believe that he was a Kshatriya; but the fact that Shivaji cared to be recognized as a hereditary Kshatriya and be crowned by a Brahmin in an orthodox Hindu fashion suggests that he himself believed in and respected the orthodox Hindu social structure. Let me again quote Jadunath Sarkar, “Shivaji and his times”, pg 158–59: “The Brahmans of all parts of India would attend and bless the coronation of Shivaji, only if he could be authoritatively declared a Kshatriya. It was, therefore, necessary first to secure the support of a pandit, whose reputation for scholarship would silence all opposition to the views he might propound. Such a man was found in Vishweshwar, nicknamed Gaga Bhatta, of Benares, the greatest Sanskrit theologian and controversialist then alive… After holding out for some time, he became compliant, accepted the Bhonsle pedigree as fabricated by the clever secretary Balaji Avji and other agents of Shiva, and declared that this Rajah was a Kshatriya of the purest breed… His audacious but courtierly ethnological theory was rewarded with a huge fee, and he was entreated to visit Maharashtra and officiate as high priest at the coronation of Shiva. He agreed, and on his arrival was welcomed like a crowned head, Shiva and all his officers advancing many miles from Satara to receive him on the way… Invitations had been sent to learned Brahmans of every part of India… Eleven thousand Brahmans, making 50,000 souls with their wives and children, were assembled at Raigarh and fed with sweets for four months at the Rajah’s expense.” Furthermore, Narhar Kurundkar’s scholarly prologue to Ranjit Desai’s “Shrimaan Yogi”, 29th edition, page 33, 1st paragraph, seems good enough to consolidate one’s belief in Shivaji’s Hindu orthodoxy.

I think many of the Brahmins have been, and are, pretty proud and respectful of Shivaji Maharaj. For example, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who was a Brahmin, wrote the famous, beautiful song “He Hindu Nrusinha Prabho Shivaji Raja” on Shivaji Maharaj. Samarth Ramdas, a Brahmin, wrote “Nischayacha Mahameru” and other wonderful poems and letters in praise of Shivaji. (Ref. Vishwas Patil, “Sambhaji”, pg 372–74) Shiv-Shahir Babasaheb Purandare, a Brahmin again, is well-known for his work “Raja Shivchatrapati”. Nearly each and every page of his work shows his profound love and respect for Shivaji Maharaj and Maharaj’s contemporaries loyal to him, of whatever cast they may be. But I wonder how many non-Brahmins truly admire the first Bajirao Peshwa, for instance? In case you do not know, Bajirao is credited with expanding the Maratha Empire, especially in the north, which contributed to its reaching a zenith during his son's reign twenty years after Bajirao's death. He is said to have fought for the establishment of "Hindu Pad Padshahi"(Hindu Empire). (Ref. The lead section) I guess most of the present-day non-Brahmins, and especially the people with Sambhaji Brigade-like poor, anti-Brahmin mindset, know the Peshwas as womanizers though. And I reckon all impartial and knowledgeable people know who distorts history! I also suspect that if Shivaji was a Brahmin, a Chitpavan Brahmin for example, most of the modern-day Maharashtra would have shown him less than zero respect. He was presumably a great man, but a major reason he earns the Godlike status is simply his non-Brahmin cast.
Kedar Joshi, the author of this article
Article Comment I feel pitty on you, The problem with Brahmins was they felt there caste is the highest caste and therefore were jealous with the greatness of a Maratha King. This same Bhramins distorted history and tried to create a negative image of Raje Sambhaji.
Raje Samhaji fought almost 108 wars and had been victorious in all the 108 wars. Shivaji had to employ the Bhramins in his ashta pradhan cos they were good in clerical & accounting work as the Maratha was mostly warriors caste, Marathas were educated in the war tactics n related fields. The Bhramins in Shivaji wanted to exploit the common mass by leving taxes on them as they are notorious for. But Sambhaji was a guy who knew more languages and was scholar in many studies (Sanskrit and many other language). He opposed this Brahmins whn they tried to exploit the mass. For the same reason they tried spoiling his character as history was mostly written by Bhramins. Bhramins have alwys tried to fool people by distorting history.
Nitin Mohite
Article Comment All of you above...if u says Prof. is wrong then why brahmis were opposing Shiviji maharaj's
"Rajyaabhisekh", Why they made raje Sambhahi negative in history....!
Article Comment These idiot maratha politicians are copying their counterpart from Tamil Nadu. They want to polarise voter on anti brahminism platform. But they are forgetting that Maharastra is open society and anything which happen in MH becomes national news which is not the case in Tamil Nadu. They have shown their mental bankruptcy by using such cheap tactics.
Article Comment Perfect analysis by you........I just gone through his book on Panipat and started laughing...........His language is full of anti brahmanism. His lack of GK is evident from the fact that he says in the book that brahmins are from Egypt he he..the theory wihich now scholar much hate is spread by books like this on basis of fabricated stories..any way your analysis is good..have u published book on this? If yes can u mail me? Are you on FB?
Article Comment thnx for bringing out a good book review.
As far Anti-Brahminism is concerned it is financed by politicians n Christian Missionaries to get votes n to break Hindu society.
One needs to work consistently. Only truth will survive, this shameless n baseless material cannot fool people too long.
Article Comment
I read article and feel good. Good that you at least tried to refute
Prof.Jadhavv's points.But I wonder that you call yourself philosopher. I heard that even great philosophers didn't call themselves philosopher until death.?????? Because you are now
just 33 years old
Article Comment In Tamilnadu, this is going on for nearly two centuries very successfully.
Even today, anti brahminism is a rallying point for BC/MBC/Dalits on one platform. Evil always spread fast and entrench deeply. Pray to God!Too many Hiranyakasups today! Atleast Brahmins should believe in God! Isn't it?
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