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Raj Thackeray has an apt question: Why spend money on memorials when historical forts are in a state of neglect?

With the BJP and Shiv Sena busy bickering over who was “hijacking” the grand Shivaji Memorial for reaping “political gains”,  Raj Thackeray, leader of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), had something pertinent to say.

Barely two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed the ‘jal-pooja’ for the proposed memorial in the Arabian Sea — a Rs 3,600-crore worth of grand affair —  Thackeray questioned how the state government planned to finance it. “Where is the money going to come from? Do they have the money for the project? In the past, they have made many similar announcements, but the funds never came,” he said

Alleging that the state government keeps making such announcements, without planning the resources, he suggested that the money should be utilised for the development and maintenance of the scores of forts and palaces in Maharashtra, many built during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Incidentally, this had been a long-standing demand of the MNS.

As the state government is busy basking in the glory of another multi-billion project to claim the legacy of the the 17th century warrior king, the 3oo forts that the Maratha war hero built and captured during some of Indian history’s most iconic wars are languishing in a state of neglect.

Here’s a look at Maharashtra’s most prominent edifices that are the legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj — an integral part of the Maratha pride.

Rajgad Fort

Aerial view of Rajgad Fort. Wikimedia commons

Aerial view of Rajgad Fort. Wikimedia Commons

The 14th century majestic edifice, built atop a hill near Pune, was the capital of the Maratha king and one of the most notable hill forts in the country. However, today, it remains callously ignored and is in dire need of fortified security measure as reports of thefts of historical artifacts from the fort have surfaced. According to a report in Pune Mirror on 12 Decembera piece of Shivaji’s sword disappeared that was a part of a well-known statue called Raj Sadar Sinhasan (the grand throne), at the fort. The report further states that the Maharashtra government has no paperwork to document the exact number and location of these artifacts, which makes it difficult for such thefts to be reported and documented.

From a tourism point of view also, the development of these forts remains far from satisfactory. Another report in The Times of India states that poor sanitation facilities at the fort and lack of a proper motorable road to the hill top are an impediment in harnessing the true tourism potential of the fort. The government, according to the report, is pushing for the historical site to be included among the World Heritage Sites maintained by the Unesco, but with shoddy upkeep, the Maratha heritage is unlikely to be restored to its past glory.

Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad fort. Wikimedia

Sinhagad fort. Wikimedia Commons

The Maharashtra Tourism website boasts of the strategic fort’s grandeur in these words, “As one of the top military outposts during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the fort of Sinhagad not only offers a fascinating peek into the history of the Maratha Empire but is also a perennial favourite… While taking in the panoramic view of the landscape below, you cannot help but wonder at the vision of those who built such imposing structures at such great heights.”

However, the structure sadly is in a dilapidated state and not much of it’s original structure has remained intact with time. According to The Times of India, parts of the structure are crumbling down due to lack of repair and restoration. The report also states that unmanouverable road, lack of security at the fort and garbage strewn across the place have further reduced its former glory. Vandalistaion is another problem, as visitors, in the absence of proper security carve out names and paint graffiti on the historical structure.

Sindhudurg Fort

Sindhudurg fort. Wikimedia Commons

Sindhudurg fort. Wikimedia Commons

Noted for its serene coastal beauty, the Sindhudurg Fort was built by Shivaji in 1664 AD off the Malvan coast. According to the Maharashtra Tourism website, it is believed that Shivaji personally chose the site for the construction of the fort, and it also has a temple dedicated to the warrior king, built by his son Rajaram.

However, this oceanic fort is also in a poor state, as the administration chooses to look the other way. As per The Times of Indiathe lashing waves from all sides have weakened the structure and its once impregnable boundary wall is crumbling in places. It’s well camouflaged and the sturdy gate has developed creaks because of which it cannot be closed anymore.

Walls of the Shivaji temple now has cracks. This temple has hosted many politicians who have wished to invoke Shivaji’s valour as a symbol of Maratha pride for making political gains.

Shramik Gojamgunde, the founder of Pune-based Sahyadri Pratishthan which is involved in spreading awareness about the conservation of forts in Maharashtra, rues at the terrible state of the over 350 forts dotted across Maharashtra. “The central government has 35 forts under their purview, while the state has 45. Who is responsible for the rest of the forts?” Gojamgunde is quoted in Mid-Day as saying. According to the report, frustrated by the lack of renovation and restoration initiatives, Gojamgunde’s organisation is taking up the work in its own hands and is involved in cleaning up a few forts. They have also installed information boards, where necessary, to inform the tourists about the glorious past of these monuments.

“The only reason we are taking on the responsibility is because the government shuns it. If we don’t do anything about these 2,000 year-old forts, they won’t exist 200 years down the line,” Mid-Day quotes him as saying. However, restoration and maintenance of historical structure should ideally be overseen by historians and the due authorities. The weathering and ageing of these structures is also an essential part which adds to their historical value. Unwarranted renovation work can damage the rustic beauty of these places. Installing newer and more lavish memorials to glorify the Indian history and heroes is a great idea but what is needed is the administration’s attention and support to protect the existing historical heritage.

With inputs from IANS

First Published On : Dec 27, 2016 19:41 IST

Shiv Sena takes dig at PM Modi for greeting Nawaz Sharif

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a veiled dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for wishing his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday amid chill in relations between the two countries, Shiv Sena on Tuesday invoked Chhatrapati Shivaji saying the warrior king never extended such greetings to “the enemies of the nation.”Significantly, the Sena’s barb at Modi came within days of his laying the foundation for a grand memorial to Shivaji in Mumbai.The ally also voiced its displeasure over the BJP supporters chanting “Modi, Modi” during a public meeting addressed by the Prime Minister, which was also attended by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray.”What is outstanding about Shivaji Maharaj’s thoughts is that he considered enemies of Swarajya as enemies of the nation. Shivaji Maharaj never extended birthday greetings to Aurangzeb, Afzal Khan and Shaista Khan,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.During the build-up to ‘jal pujan’ for the memorial, Sena did not hide its feeling that BJP has sought to “hijack” the event for claiming the legacy of the Maratha icon to secure political mileage.”We only ask politicians not to use Chhatrapati to play low-grade politics. Those who claim rights on Chhatrapati will bite the dust in the end. They would do well remember the history,” the editorial said today.”Ensure that the memorial does not get trapped in selfish politics, thereby forcing Shivaji Maharaj to use his sword against these self-centred politicians,” it said.The ruling alliance partner, however, said it understood the importance of Modi in the BJP, and that his party is what it is today only due to the “Modi tonic”.”While the Sainiks and Shivaji fans were chanting slogans hailing the Chhatrapati, BJP workers were shouting slogans in the name of Modi. Can anyone compare himself to Shivaji? Modi himself will not approve of this,” Sena said.Notably, during the public meeting addressed by Modi here on Sunday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s speech was interrupted for a while, apparently by BJP supporters present among the audience by chanting “Modi, Modi.”

Double standard over Dalit icons: Mayawati slams BJP over Rs 3600 crore Shivaji statue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Sunday alleged the Narendra Modi government of double standards, saying that at one end Shivaji statue is getting worth Rs. 3,600 whereas statues of schedule caste and OBC are being criticised for being waste of expenditure. BSP supremo Mayawati in a statement said the double standards of the saffron party exposes the caste discriminatory attitude ‘Not against Shivaji Memorial worth Rs. 3,600 crore, but why are memorials of great OBC and Dalit leaders constructed by us being criticised” it added. According to the statement, the work done by the BSP government for great poets and writers have always been criticised by the past governments including Congress, BJP and Samajwadi Party.’These tactics used by BJP and Samajwadi Party will not be able to woo the people of Uttar Pradesh as they have exposed themselves,’ the statement added.This comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday laid the foundation stone for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on board a hovercraft in the Arabian Sea off the Mumbai coast.The main feature of the Shivaji memorial is that it costs Rs. 3,600 crore.The Maharashtra Government will fund the entire project and has already set aside Rs. 2,300 crore for the first phase of construction.

PM speak: Thorns for corrupt, roses for the rest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that after the deadline of 50 days (from November 8 when demonetization was announced), inconvenience faced by honest people would mitigate and trouble would increase for the dishonest.The war against black money will not be called off until victory is achieved, he said. But he offered the dishonest a chance. “There is still some time left and they can still bring themselves into the mainstream of honest ones,” he said. Though the government does not want to destroy such people, it cannot spare them if they loot the common man’s money, Modi said. The Prime Minister was addressing a public rally at the MMRDA ground here after laying the foundation stone for the Arabian sea memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The recent local body elections in Maharashtra, where BJP has emerged as the largest party, prove that people are with the demonetization drive, he said. He said 125 crore people backed his decision. “There are very powerful people, who have enjoyed many benefits in the last seven decades, trying to defeat the demonetization drive. But the country cannot be defeated by such people,” he said.“Some people thought that they can escape by convincing bankers, but those who tried this route not only endangered their future but also that of the bankers,” he said. These people will have to ultimately bow down before 125 crore Indians who would not tolerate dishonesty anymore, he said. He said that 125 crore Indians have now become the baton holders of the war against black money and that is the reason why this war will not stop, he said.

Modi sounds poll bugle with remote control button

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eyeing ensuing elections, including the one to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday underlined the importance of development and warned that history would not forgive those who have destroyed the country for the last 70 years. With UP elections in mind, the Prime Minister also focused on the war against black money and development. The annual budget of the BMC is Rs 37,000 crore.Addressing a function to mark the foundation-laying ceremony of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial in Arabian Sea, Modi said that development is the only solution to many present-day problems.He also laid the foundation for Metro II B, Metro IV, Kalanagar flyover, Mumbai Trans Harbour Link and the elevated corridors between Kurla and Vakola.The Prime Minister laid the foundation stones of all these projects by pressing a remote control button and told the audience that projects worth Rs 1.06 lakh crore have been kicked off with this one button.He said that increasing the pension of 3.5 million people to Rs 1,000, providing domestic gas connections, generic medicine shops and access to electricity to 18,000 villages showed that the focal point of his government was development.Stating that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was not only a great warrior but also a multi-faceted visionary, he cited the establishment of a strong navy during that era by Shivaji as an example. Shivaji Maharaj realised the importance of sea, coastal security, and provided a strong water supply system, which is inspiring to even present-day engineers, Modi said. The Prime Minister’s address lasted for 36 minutes.Earlier, Modi, along with Maharashtra Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the proposed site of the Arabian sea memorial and performed the Bhoomipoojan and Jalpoojan at the site. He travelled to the site on a Coast Guard hovercraft.Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Subhash Bhamare, state ministers Chandrakant Patil and Vinod Tawde accompanied them.Later, Fadnavis took the cue from Modi and gave examples of his government’s development drive. He said that his government would create additional capacity to carry millions via metro and other projects. This is unprecedented, he claimed.Like the US, which is known for its statue of Liberty, India would be known for the proposed Shivaji Maharaj memorial, Fadnavis said. He said that the previous (Congress-NCP) government could not avail permissions for the project and only made announcements, but his government procured all permissions. Fadnavis said that his Government would createThackeray requested the Prime Minister to hand over the forts of Maharashtra to the state government, so that the state would not be required to approach the Archeological Survey of India for even small works.History comes aliveA cultural show depicting greatness of Shivaji Maharaj was performed before arrival of prime Minister. Descendants from almost 100 families from the lieutenants of Chhtarapati Shivaji Maharaj were invited for the function.The entire Maharashtra cabinet was present and audience chanted Modi, Modi time and again during the programme. Fadnavis had to intervene during Chandrakant Patil’s welcome speech to pacify the crowd and shouted “Shivaji Maharaj ki Jai”, which received a huge response.

LIVE: Narendra Modi lays foundation for Shivaji Memorial in Mumbai, arrives at BKC

Dec 24, 2016

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Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a day’s visit to Maharashtra on Saturday, where he will lay foundation stones for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the metro rail projects in Mumbai and Pune.

Modi will inaugurate the newly-built campus of the National Institute of Securities Management in MIDC Patalganga in neighbouring Raigad district.

He will then proceed to the site in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai coast, where the state government is planning to build a mega memorial for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The Prime Minister’s visit assumes political significance as the high-stake elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are just a few months away.

Narendra Modi. PTINarendra Modi. PTI

Narendra Modi. PTI

The main feature of the Shivaji memorial, slated to cost Rs 3,600 crore, will be a 192-metre-tall statue of the iconic Maratha king. The site is a rocky outcrop, roughly 1.5 km from the Raj Bhavan shore.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently said the ‘Shiv Smarak’ will not only be the tallest memorial in the country, but in the entire world. He had thanked Modi for “making it possible.”

Later, Modi will address a public function at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) ground in suburban Bandra, after laying foundation stone for two Metro rail projects, Elevated Rail Corridors Project and Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL).

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party is an ally of ruling BJP, is expected to share the dais with Modi at the MMRDA event.

The PM will then leave for Pune, where he will lay the foundation stone of the Pune Metro Rail project. NCP leader Sharad Pawar will share the stage with Modi at this event.

The memorial project has been facing stiff opposition from fisherfolk and environmentalists, who have alleged that it would affect marine life and ecology of the Arabian Sea.

A rally was flagged off at Chembur on Saturday, where representatives from various districts gathered with collections of sand and soil from Chhatrapati Shivaji’s forts across the state.

The rally led by a ‘Shivaji chariot’ will conclude at the Gateway of India, where the Chief Minister will receive the vase carrying water and soil from all districts of the state. This will then be handed over to the Prime Minister and carried to the memorial site.

For the MMRDA event, the government has sent out invitation to over 3,000 VVIPs and dignitaries, including members of the royal family and Shivaji historians.

Ever since it came to power in Maharashtra in October 2014, BJP has been quietly trying to usurp the near-monopoly that bickering ally Shiv Sena has held over the 17th century Maratha king for the last many years.

Ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly election in 2014, BJP had used the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji for electoral gains, with a famous tagline seeking to evoke Shivaji’s blessings.

The government and BJP are trying to make the memorial event a success with hoardings at important places of all districts and also through campaigns in print, TV and social media.

Meanwhile, an official said those who would accompany Modi in the hovercraft to the jalpujan and bhumipujan venue off Mumbai coast, will include Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP’s Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale and BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP from Kolhapur Sambhaji Raje Bhosle.

First Published On : Dec 24, 2016 16:03 IST

LIVE: Demonetisation is short term pain for long term gain: Narendra Modi in Mumbai

Dec 24, 2016

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    PM Modi talks on demonetisation ​PM Modi assures that the government will take sound economic decisions, will not shy away from difficult decisions which are in the interest of the country. He said, “Demonetisation is an example. It gives short term problems but long time gains.” He said, “India is been seen as bright spot. To see how far we’ve travelled we should look back to 2012-13 when the currency was falling sharply.”

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Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a day’s visit to Maharashtra on Saturday, where he will lay foundation stones for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the metro rail projects in Mumbai and Pune.

Modi will inaugurate the newly-built campus of the National Institute of Securities Management in MIDC Patalganga in neighbouring Raigad district.

He will then proceed to the site in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai coast, where the state government is planning to build a mega memorial for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The Prime Minister’s visit assumes political significance as the high-stake elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are just a few months away.

Narendra Modi. PTINarendra Modi. PTI

Narendra Modi. PTI

The main feature of the Shivaji memorial, slated to cost Rs 3,600 crore, will be a 192-metre-tall statue of the iconic Maratha king. The site is a rocky outcrop, roughly 1.5 km from the Raj Bhavan shore.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently said the ‘Shiv Smarak’ will not only be the tallest memorial in the country, but in the entire world. He had thanked Modi for “making it possible.”

Later, Modi will address a public function at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) ground in suburban Bandra, after laying foundation stone for two Metro rail projects, Elevated Rail Corridors Project and Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL).

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party is an ally of ruling BJP, is expected to share the dais with Modi at the MMRDA event.

The PM will then leave for Pune, where he will lay the foundation stone of the Pune Metro Rail project. NCP leader Sharad Pawar will share the stage with Modi at this event.

The memorial project has been facing stiff opposition from fisherfolk and environmentalists, who have alleged that it would affect marine life and ecology of the Arabian Sea.

A rally was flagged off at Chembur on Saturday, where representatives from various districts gathered with collections of sand and soil from Chhatrapati Shivaji’s forts across the state.

The rally led by a ‘Shivaji chariot’ will conclude at the Gateway of India, where the Chief Minister will receive the vase carrying water and soil from all districts of the state. This will then be handed over to the Prime Minister and carried to the memorial site.

For the MMRDA event, the government has sent out invitation to over 3,000 VVIPs and dignitaries, including members of the royal family and Shivaji historians.

Ever since it came to power in Maharashtra in October 2014, BJP has been quietly trying to usurp the near-monopoly that bickering ally Shiv Sena has held over the 17th century Maratha king for the last many years.

Ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly election in 2014, BJP had used the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji for electoral gains, with a famous tagline seeking to evoke Shivaji’s blessings.

The government and BJP are trying to make the memorial event a success with hoardings at important places of all districts and also through campaigns in print, TV and social media.

Meanwhile, an official said those who would accompany Modi in the hovercraft to the jalpujan and bhumipujan venue off Mumbai coast, will include Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP’s Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale and BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP from Kolhapur Sambhaji Raje Bhosle.

First Published On : Dec 24, 2016 13:09 IST

PM Modi in Maharashtra for inauguration of Shivaji memorial, Mumbai and Pune metro

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a day’s visit to Maharashtra on Saturday, where he will lay foundation stones for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the metro rail projects in Mumbai and Pune.

Modi will inaugurate the newly-built campus of the National Institute of Securities Management in MIDC Patalganga in neighbouring Raigad district.

He will then proceed to the site in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai coast, where the state government is planning to build a mega memorial for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

The Prime Minister’s visit assumes political significance as the high-stake elections to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are just a few months away.

Narendra Modi. PTINarendra Modi. PTI

Narendra Modi. PTI

The main feature of the Shivaji memorial, slated to cost Rs 3,600 crore, will be a 192-metre-tall statue of the iconic Maratha king. The site is a rocky outcrop, roughly 1.5 km from the Raj Bhavan shore.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently said the ‘Shiv Smarak’ will not only be the tallest memorial in the country, but in the entire world. He had thanked Modi for “making it possible.”

Later, Modi will address a public function at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) ground in suburban Bandra, after laying foundation stone for two Metro rail projects, Elevated Rail Corridors Project and Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL).

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, whose party is an ally of ruling BJP, is expected to share the dais with Modi at the MMRDA event.

The PM will then leave for Pune, where he will lay the foundation stone of the Pune Metro Rail project. NCP leader Sharad Pawar will share the stage with Modi at this event.

The memorial project has been facing stiff opposition from fisherfolk and environmentalists, who have alleged that it would affect marine life and ecology of the Arabian Sea.

A rally was flagged off at Chembur on Saturday, where representatives from various districts gathered with collections of sand and soil from Chhatrapati Shivaji’s forts across the state.

The rally led by a ‘Shivaji chariot’ will conclude at the Gateway of India, where the Chief Minister will receive the vase carrying water and soil from all districts of the state. This will then be handed over to the Prime Minister and carried to the memorial site.

For the MMRDA event, the government has sent out invitation to over 3,000 VVIPs and dignitaries, including members of the royal family and Shivaji historians.

Ever since it came to power in Maharashtra in October 2014, BJP has been quietly trying to usurp the near-monopoly that bickering ally Shiv Sena has held over the 17th century Maratha king for the last many years.

Ahead of the Maharashtra Assembly election in 2014, BJP had used the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji for electoral gains, with a famous tagline seeking to evoke Shivaji’s blessings.

The government and BJP are trying to make the memorial event a success with hoardings at important places of all districts and also through campaigns in print, TV and social media.

Meanwhile, an official said those who would accompany Modi in the hovercraft to the jalpujan and bhumipujan venue off Mumbai coast, will include Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP’s Satara MP Udayanraje Bhosale and BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP from Kolhapur Sambhaji Raje Bhosle.

First Published On : Dec 24, 2016 09:02 IST

Shivaji memorial row: Ahead of Modi’s visit, Maharashtra fishermen withdraw stir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fishermen in Maharashtra protesting against a proposed Shivaji Maharaj memorial off Mumbai coast have decided to withdraw their agitation, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays the foundation stone.”Fishermen have agreed to withdraw their agitation against Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial Bhoomipujan,” a senior official said, after a meeting between Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and fishermen association leaders here last night.Fadnavis assured fishermen that the government will look into their concerns.
ALSO READ BJP using Shivaji memorial event to market PM Modi, CM Fadnavis: Congress”At the meeting, it was decided to constitute a joint committee to resolve their issues. The CM thanked fishermen associations,” the official said.The main feature of the memorial will be a 192-metre-tall statue of the Maratha king. The site is a rocky outcrop roughly 1.5 km from the Raj Bhavan shore of Mumbai.
ALSO READ Shivaji memorial in Arabian Sea to be the tallest memorial in the world: FadnavisMembers of Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti (AMMKS), an association of fishermen from Cuffe Parade, Machhimar Nagar, Geeta Nagar (near Navy Nagar), near Raj Bhawan and Backbay Parade, had said they will fly black flags on their boats and homes as a sign of protest.Fisherwomen were to form a human chain from Nariman Point to Girgaum Chowpatty, holding black flags, ahead of Modi’s arrival for the inauguration, said AMMKS leader Damodar Tandel.The livelihood of 1.5 lakh fishermen residing across five villages in south Mumbai, who have 1,500 large boats and 450 small boats, will be affected by the construction, he had claimed.

Silent Maratha Morcha held in Nagpur, descendants of Shivaji among participants

Nagpur: The Marathas today took out a ‘silent march’ as part of their statewide mobilisation to press for demands like reservation in jobs and education for their community.

The community is also seeking action against misuse of SC/ST Atrocities Act 1989. It has also denounced the brutal rape and murder of a Maratha girl at Kopardi in Ahmednagar district.

Representational image. IBN-LokmatRepresentational image. IBN-Lokmat

Representational image. IBN-Lokmat

After the Sakal Maratha Samaj, which organised the protest march here, allegedly decided to go alone excluding the Kunbis from the agitation, the Marathas turned out in large numbers to showcase their strength.

The march, however, began late by an hour from the historic Reshimbagh ground in South-eastern part of the city.

A bust of Maratha warrier Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was placed on the small dais and garlanded on the occasion.

Sporting saffron caps and holding banners, hundereds of community members including direct discendants of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj from Satara gathered for the march. Shrimant Shivrajsingh Raje Bhosale, Kalpitrape Bhonsale, Rutujaraje Bhonsale, Rajendrra Singh Bhonsale and Shrimant Janojiraje Bhonsale were among those who participated in the protest.

A member of erstwhile royal family Raje Mudhoji Bhonsale, former MP and staunch pro Vidarbha leader Jambuwantrao Dhote, former Minister and former president of Pradesh Congress Committee, Ranjeet Deshmukh, former MLA Sunil Shinde, former Vice Chancellor of PDKV (Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth), Dr Shrad Nimbalkar were also present.

The morcha culminated at Kasturchand Park ground, and later five girls from community submitted a memorandum to the District Collector. The Sakal Maratha-Kunbi Samaj has announced 14 December as the date for its march.

Mumbai: More political than religious banners removed in 2015

If the number of banners, boards, posters, flags and other defacement removed in the city is any indication, then 2015 seemed to be the year of the “Godfathers” rather than the “Gods”. Far more political banners than religious and social ones were removed in 2015.Of the 12,853 banners, boards, posters, cut-outs, flags and other wall defacement removed, 4,924 were political banners, as compared to 4,893 in the religious and social categories. The number of commercial banners and posters stood at 1,200. As per the information provided under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, while 194 such items were removed in January, the number jumped to 2,539 by the year end.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The information was sought under the RTI Act by Andheri resident Ashok Pai. “I had sought the information when I saw the party flag of Shiv Sena hoisted on the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) on the Western Express Highway (WEH),” said Pai.In his application, Pai asked if a political party flag could be hoisted at public places, if the BMC had given the permission for the same, and if so, then under what rule. He also sought the copy of the same and details of removal of flags from across the city.According to the reply given by the public information officer, who is also the deputy superintendent of licenses, political parties are not permitted to hoist their flags at any public places and that no such permission was given to any political party.Pai has now written to the municipal commissioner, seeking action against officials who did not take the action of removing political flags near the Shivaji Maharaj statue at the international airport. “Despite court orders, they are not acting on it,” said Pai. The information provided showed that the number of political banners and boards did not fall sizeably, despite court orders. dna tried contacting the license department but there was no response.

Controversy erupts after BJP leader poses with her hand on shoulder of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s bust

A controversy was erupted after a picture of a BJP corporator posing with a bust of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji by placing her hand on its shoulder went viral on social media. With the incident evoking sharp reactions from political parties, Rajshri Shirwadkar, the corporator with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, expressed “deep regret”.”One of my picture has gone viral at social media. It was taken on the occasion of Maharashtra Day celebration. I realised my mistake and expressing my deep regret as I have immense respect for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” Shirwadkar said in a statement. She said the opposition is unnecessarily politicising the incident.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”My respect to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj would remain forever in my heart. The opposition is seeing this as a political opportunity, but please try to understand my position and co-operate with me,” the corporator said.Meanwhile, a Congress committee from Sion-Koliwada area organised a peace march in protest against the BJP leader near King Circle and demanded a police action against the “earring corporator”.”I am very hurt and angry to brief you that Rajshree Shirwadkar has shown utter disrespect to Maharashtra’s ‘aradhya daivat’ Shivaji Maharaj. We demand that she should be booked and criminal case be initiated against her,” said Amit Shetty, a local Congress leader.The morcha was led by former MLA Jagannath Shetty and attended by District Mahila Congress Committee (DMCC) Roshna Shah, DCC INTUC president Ranganathan Iyer besides other leaders.However, Amit said, “It’s not an act of lack of judgement that could be explained and she can get away by simply tendering a apological statement (sic). Her deed is unforgivable and police action is the only remedy for such an act of disrespect to whom we love so much”.The said picture was taken during an event organised for children suffering from cancer, on May 1.

Shiv Sena should quit govt and then criticise BJP: Congress

Taking a swipe at Shiv Sena for its constant criticism of the BJP-led Maharashtra government while simultaneously being a part of it, Congress on Monday said the party, “helpless for (its need of) power”, should stop invoking King Shivaji’s name as it had lost its self-respect.”Sena is bent on reaping the fruits of power while at the same time is indulging in constant drama of behaving like an opposition party and attacking the government. If it is not happy with the BJP government’s functioning and has any self- respect left, it should immediately quit the government,” Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If it remains helpless for power, how can it play the politics in the name of Shivaji Maharaj? People are more unhappy with Sena for being in power for selfish motives,” he said.The Uddhav Thackeray-led party can criticise BJP as much as it wants, but only after regaining its diminishing self- respect, Sawant said.Referring to media reports that discussion is on between BJP and Sena over the state cabinet’s expansion, Sawant said it is “surprising” that they were discussing this rather than the drought.”Maharashtra is reeling under extensive drought and both parties are surprisingly discussing cabinet expansion, which is not a matter of discussion at all at this moment. Both parties should at least get their priorities right,” he said.

Maharashtra: Shivaji Memorial to be completed in stipulated time, says CM Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday expressed hope that work on the memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji would be completed in stipulated time.”We got all the permissions which were pending since 15 years, in just 12 months and all the work will be completed in stipulated time,” he said while inaugurating the Project office and Emergency Management Plan Cell for the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial in Arabian sea.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As announced we are committed to build this grand memorial in 40 months, the chief minister said, adding a project consultant is also being appointed.Prime Minister Narendra Modi would perform ‘Bhumipujan’ for this memorial soon, he said.

Watch: MNS chief Raj Thackeray marks birth anniversary of Shivaji with special tribute

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) will be celebrating the birth anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj according to the Hindu calendar. This year it falls on March 26.To commemorate the occasion, the party has shared a video paying tribute to the Maratha king.The video features all the aerial shots of forts and castles which were once conquered by Shivaji. MNS chief Raj Thackeray​ has given voice to the picturesque video which is shared on official Facebook page of the party.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Check out the video here: पक्षाचे उपाध्यक्ष अभिजित पानसे यांनी चित्रफितीच्या माध्यमातून हिंदवी स्वराज्य संस्थापक सर्वांचे लाडके श्री. छत्रपती शिवाजी महाराज यांना वाहिलेली एक अनोखी आदरांजली. या चित्रफितीतील आवाज राजसाहेबांचा आहे.
MNS Adhikrut on Thursday, 24 March 2016

Won’t allow ‘senile’ Shrihari Aney inside Marathwada: Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena, an ally of BJP, on Wednesday said it will not allow Shreehari Aney to enter Marathwada, a day after he quit as Maharashtra Advocate General following controversy over his remarks on separate Marathwada.”We won’t allow Aney to step in Aurangabad, in Marathwada,” Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire told reporters at Aurangabad. “Aney keeps coming here in the High Court bench. We won’t let him set foot inside Aurangabad. We will continue our opposition to those who betray Shivaji Maharaj’s dream of a united Maharashtra,” he said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to RSS’ M G Vaidya’s views on division of Maharashtra into smaller states, Khaire said, “Vaidya has become old and what he said are senile thoughts.” Meanwhile, reacting to Shiv Sena’s demand that he be prosecuted for treason, Aney said, “Unfortunately, they (Shiv Sena) would need a good lawyer to tell them what sedition is.The creation of a State is a constitutional process that will be followed. I am not talking about destroying the country, only asking for a separate state.”

US firm Aegis chosen project consultant for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue

The Maharashtra government on Thursday finalised US-based Aegis Design as a project management consultant (PMC) for the 190-metre-high, Rs 2,000-crore Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue and memorial in Arabian Sea.Sources said that the government is planning the Bhumipujan (ground-breaking ceremony) at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi around May 1, 2016.”The date will be fixed as per the high and low tide reports. We have to hold the function when there is low tide. We are aiming for May 1 — Maharashtra Day,” said a senior government official, requesting anonymity.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the chief engineer of public works department (PWD), Mumbai, HS Pagare, three other bidders – STUP Consultant Pvt Ltd, Tata and Patil Consultancy – were also in the race.Aegis and STUP were short-listed. Aegis was later chosen as it was the first bidder. This decision has been taken by the technical bid committee.”We will refer this decision to the high-power committee headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who will sign the financial contract with the short-listed firm,” Pagare told dna.He said that they will soon start other sea- and ground- related work such as developing the jetty and platform.”The platform in the sea, where construction activities will take place, will be 2-3 metres above sea level, so that no one will face any problem even during high tide. We are happy that things are moving in a positive direction,” Pagare added.Interestingly, this was the fifth time that the government had floated a tender to finalise the PMC.The memorial project idea was conceived more than 15 years ago during the Congress-NCP regime. The budgetary provision was also made, but, on ground, no significant work took place.The Fadnavis government had formed three committees to fast-track the memorial work. The high-power committee is headed by Fadnavis and the implementation and monitoring committee is headed by Shiv Sangram president and MLC Vinayak Mete.Another senior official said that the government will pay Rs 90 crore to Aegis as consultancy fee. “Aegis has to finalise the design and the time frame for further work. We have given them the primary and conceptualised drawing and design. Additions and alterations can be made in the basic design,” officials said.”The proposed memorial will be 4 km into the sea from Girgaum Chowpatty. There will be ferry services to take people there. Besides the memorial, government is also planing to develop a library. There will also be a food court. This statue will be taller than the Statue of Liberty” Mete added.The Statue of Liberty is 93 metres tall.Foundation-laying ceremony soon: CMChief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday announced that the foundation-laying ceremony of the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj memorial statue would be held soon since the state government has acquired all the necessary permissions.

Man petitions Google for a doodle on Shivaji’s birth anniversary

A Shivaji enthusiast from Maharashtra has started an online petition asking Google to put out a doodle dedicated to Shivaji, the great warrior king of Maharashtra from the 17th century, on his birth anniversary.Shivaji ruled a sizeable area in Maharashtra during the 17th century and fought famous battles against the then Mughal rulers.In his petition on Change.org, Wankhade wrote, “February 19th is the 386th birth anniversary of Chhatrapati (monarch) Shivaji Maharaj, one of the most respected and revered kings of India. We would love to see a Google Doodle honouring Shivaji on this day.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Statue of Shivaji at Raigad fort, Maharashtra. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons29-year-old Amit Wankhade started the campaign asking the online search giant to commemorate Shivaji’s birth anniversary in the same way that several other stalwarts of history, science and art are celebrated by it.Wankhade, a teacher in a Zilla Parishad School from Yavatmal district in Maharashtra, believes a doodle will help spread Shivaji’s great victories and his values to other parts of India, and not just Maharashtra.Shivaji is one of the most iconic rulers from Maharashtra and has been heralded as the greatest ever by generations of Maharashtrians. State politics revolves around Shivaji’s life and Shiv Sena, a major player in Maharashtra politics, borrows its name from Shivaji (Shiv Sena meaning ‘Shivaji’s army’).Wankhade claims to have received a wide support for his #DoodleofShivray campaign. He has appealed to the people to ask Google for a doodle by going here or e-mailing them on [email protected]

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