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Houston Youth Pays a Tribute to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

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By Ameya Wakde

SUGAR LAND: Har Har Mahadev, roared the Maratha soldiers under the leadership of a brave, and fearless warrior king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, winning many battles against the Moghuls. Shivaji Maharaj carved out an enclave from the declining Moghul rule that formed the gåenesis of the Maratha Empire. In 1674, he was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati (Monarch) of his realm at Raigad. He established a competent and progressive civil rule with the help of a disciplined military and well-structured administrative organization. He innovated military tactics and pioneered unconventional methods, which leveraged strategic factors, like geography, speed, and surprise and focused pinpoint attacks to defeat his larger and more powerful enemies. He revived ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions and promoted the usage of Marathi and Sanskrit, rather than Persian, in court and administration. Till date, Shivaji’s birthday is celebrated as Shiv Jayanti with great rigor and traditional style by Maharashtrians.

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Maharastrians grow up listening to inspiring stories and history of Chhatrapati.  To impart that experience with next generation Houston Marathi Mandal (HMM) organized the event as Shivjayanti celebration in Houston at Cornerstone Elementary School, Sugar Land. Inspired by the memorable stories of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the youth of Houston depicted Maharaj’s important life events through elocution, musical, dance, and art at the event. This event received an overwhelming response from Houston Marathi community. Over 300 people attended the event and enjoyed various cultural programs.

Hats off to all the young participants who eloquently showcased a ferocious and yet magnanimous personality through short speeches. It was amazing to watch US born kids as young as 5 years old reminiscing Shivaji Maharaj’s tales in Marathi language. Thanks to the Marathi school teachers for training these kids so well. While one group presented information about the forts captured by Shivaji Maharaj, the other group presented the song “Vedat Marathe” and “Powada”. There were in all 90 Marathi students who participated in the various cultural events. The entire Marathi generation respectfully salutes Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for upholding Swarajya values and Marathi heritage. The Marathi school initiative is exactly serving the purpose of expanding the Marathi heritage to generations. The event was further embellished by the beautiful art exhibition that ranged from paintings, stories and forts developed by kids and adults.

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This pillars of making the program successful were Marathi Shala coordinators, Vivek Chitale, Manjusha Jadhav, Abhishek Bhat, Prasad Kavathekar, Shreyas Bedekar, Manasi Bedekar, all participants and their parents, not to forget the community volunteers who contributed their time and creativity, efforts. Uma Rajguru, Neeta Patwardhan and Sonal Tuljapurkar were the judge panel for elocution and art competitions at the event.

The entire HMM community congratulates the committee members for a yet another fantastic successful event. Huge thanks to HMM committee for organizing Shivjayanti at Houston for very first time in last twenty years. For more details visit http://hmmhouston.org/

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