Monday, 2 March 2009

12. Shivaji's letter to Mughal official's

Shivaji’s energy, determination & enthusiasm are well brought out in this celebrated letter addressed to the Mughal officials.

“Far-sighted men know that during the last three years, famous generals & experienced officials have been coming from the emperor to this region. The emperor had ordered them to capture my forts & territory. In their dispatches to the emperor they write that the territory & the forts would be captured soon. Even if imagination were horse it would be impossible for it to move in these parts. It is extremely difficult for this region to be conquered. They do not know this. They are not ashamed of sending false reports to the emperor. My country does not consist of places like Kalyani & Bidar, which are situated in plains & could be captured by assaults. It is full of hill ranges. There are sixty forts in this region. Some of them are situated on the sea coast.

Afzalkhan came with a strong army, but he was rendered helpless & destroyed. After Afzalkhan’ death, the Amir-ul-Umara-Shasta khan, marched into my land, full of high hills & deep gorges. For three years he exerted himself to the utmost. He wrote to the emperor that he would conquer my territory in a short time. The end of such a false attitude was only to be expected. He was disgraced & had to go away.

It is my duty to guard my homeland. To maintain your prestige, you send false reports to the emperor, but I am blessed with divine favour. An invader of these lands, whosoever he may be, has never succeeded.”

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