Wednesday, November 22, 2006
painting on the peshwas
shravan gopal gurav of pune exhibited his paintings at the leela during the end of last month.the paintings depicted the lives of the peshwas who ruled in the western region after the death of shivaji's son shambaji. the peshwas were well educated and deeply religious. they managed the maratha empire(1674-1818) which extended from the north of india right upto the karnataka and tamil regions extremely well and thwarted many attempts of the mughals to make inroads into southern india..
after shambaji's murder in the hands of the mughals,the peshwas who were playing an advisory role to the king started playing a dominant role.bajirao(1721-1740) was one of the first peshwas to rule over the empire.he was responsible for many social reforms during his reign.in 1818 the peshwas surrendered to the british and the curtain came down on the rule of the peshwas. in 1828 there was an inexplicable fire in the palace fort in shanivar wada which was built by bajirao peshwa in 1730.
four generations of peshwas resided in the luxurious stately mansions in shanivar wada that was built by bajirao.it was also the place where romance,intrigue, plotting and politics played a big part in causing the downfall of the peshwas.however,the peshwa rule was a glorious chapter in the annals of indian history.
peshwas belonged to the brahmin community and genetically unequipped to take over the reigns of power.by a combination of circumstances they were literally left with no choice. how was their rule? were they benevolent rulers? were they fair in their dealings.did they do a good job of consolidation and expansion of their kingdom or did they like many other kings fritter away their territories to the capricious enemies by forgetting their main task and indulging in sports,games, music and sex? all this should make interesting reading for those who are fond of history.