Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj must be the only king in India who is looked up to as the Reincarnation of God (अवतार) by people from Maharashtra. Hence we might be curious to know what the Muslims in Pakistan thought about him.
I would narrate a story happened in Lahore in 1960’s.
A MNC honcho, who happened to be a Maharashtrian, was visiting Lahore, Pakistan. He personally knew few high ranking government officers and he expressed his desire to meet General Ayub Khan, the then President of Pakistan, who was visiting Lahore.
The officials said they will take a chance. Next day, he visited the office of the President and sent his visiting card inside. He was surprised when the President summoned him to his chambers. After the initial pleasantries, the President told him that the reason he agreed to meet him was, “since you are from Mumbai, I presumed that you must be a Marathi, and hence you would definitely know Chhatrapati Shivaji“. The President said that he had high regards for Maharaj as a commander.
Though I can’t produce a proof for dialogue of the President, I would tend to say that it must have happened, as being narrated. I base this argument on the documentary evidence of the history textbook for the last school year of Pakistan. (This is the 4th edition printed in 1980)
The book describes Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in one of the paragraph and ends it by saying – He indeed, was one of the constructive geniuses that Hindu India ever produced.
The President of our enemy country had no qualms in praising the king of erstwhile India from a religion they hated the most. Such examples were not rare even when there was a palpable tension within our two countries.
Let us hope that people learn from such examples not from too distant past.
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