Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti 2024: History, Significance & Bank Holiday in Maharashtra on Shiv Jayanti – News18

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Curated By: Nibandh Vinod

Last Updated: February 19, 2024, 00:41 IST

Artists raise flags and dress up in costume of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as they celebrate Shivaji Jayanti in Surat. (Image: PTI file)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti, also called Shiv Jayanti, is celebrated across Maharashtra and is a public holiday. Banks in Maharashtra will be closed today on Monday, February 19, but it will operate as usual in other states.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s birth anniversary, fondly known as Shivaji Jayanti, isn’t just a state holiday in Maharashtra – it’s a vibrant celebration of courage, justice, and cultural pride resonating across India. Every year, on February 19 – though the exact date varies based on the Hindu lunar calendar- the nation remembers the visionary king who established the Maratha Empire and carved a path towards Swarajya, self-rule for his people.

This year marks the 394th birth anniversary of Chhratrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Banks in Maharashtra will be closed today on Monday, February 19, but it will operate as usual in other states.

(Image: Shutterstock)

FROM FORT WALLS TO EMPIRE BUILDER

Born in 1630 within the formidable Shivneri Fort in Pune, Shivaji Maharaj displayed exceptional leadership and valour from a young age. Fuelled by his mother Jijabai’s teachings and the dream of Swarajya (self-rule), he carved his path. He strategically seized forts, employed innovative warfare tactics, and built a powerful navy, laying the foundation for the Maratha Empire.

SHIVAJI JAYANTI: HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE

  1. Social reformer Mahatma Jyotirao Phule was the first to initiate the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti in 1870, after he discovered his tomb in Raigad Fort.
  2. Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti was first celebrated in Pune, as the Raigad Fort lies 100 kilometres away from the place.
  3. After Jyotirao Phule, great freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak continued the tradition of celebrating the day.
  4. The freedom fighter is also credited for highlighting the contributions of the Maratha King among the public during the freedom movement.

BEYOND MAHARASHTRA, AN ALL-INDIA ICON

Shivaji Maharaj’s legacy transcends state borders. Revered not just in Maharashtra but across India, he is celebrated for his progressive ideas, religious tolerance, and unwavering commitment to justice. He championed education, encouraged regional languages like Marathi and Sanskrit, and established a strong administrative system. His policies were inclusive, respecting all faiths and communities.

A DAY OF REVELRY AND REMEMBRANCE

Shivaji Jayanti comes alive with a kaleidoscope of colours and infectious energy. Grand processions snake through cities in Maharashtra, echoing with patriotic songs and energetic dances. Performances depicting war scenes and showcasing his legacy enthrall audiences. Statues are adorned with flowers, devotional songs fill the air, and people from all walks of life come together to pay homage.

MORE THAN JUST A FESTIVE DAY

Beyond the pomp and show, Shivaji Jayanti serves as a potent reminder of his values. His principles of good governance, respect for all faiths, and unwavering courage in the face of adversity continue to inspire generations. Educational institutions organize lectures and competitions to educate the youth about his life and achievements. Social initiatives aimed at promoting unity and equality echo his vision of a just society.

A LEGACY THAT ENDURES

The spirit of Shivaji Jayanti extends beyond a single day. It’s a call to action, urging individuals to embody his ideals, stand up for justice, and work towards a better future. As the nation remembers its valiant Maratha king, his legacy continues to be a beacon of hope, reminding us that even the most audacious dreams can be achieved with courage, determination, and unwavering belief. While Maharashtra stands as the heart of the celebrations, states like Karnataka and Goa also observe Shivaji Jayanti with fervour.

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