In medieval times, back in the 17th century when the Maratha warriors led by Shivaji Maharaj (after the death of Mohammed Adil Shah of Bijapur) started re-capturing the surrounding area in the Adilshahi territory, Afzal Khan, an experienced and powerful Adilshahi General was sent to curb Shivaji Maharaj and his force. Afzal Khan with his elite 10,000 troops started moving from Bijapur to Wai via different routes.
4 Centuries later, the land of Marathas – “Maharashtra” is a state of Independent India, but the matter of ‘son of the soil’ and invader still remains. As mentioned by the Marathi Manoos and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, the modern version of Afzal Khan army is none other than their former ally BJP.
Why Uddhav Thackeray Compares BJP with Afzal Khan’s Army?
The Assembly elections is around the corner, October 15th to be precise, and entire BJP is parading in Maharashtra one by one – Starting from PM Narendra Modi, to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Minister Sushma Swaraj and even BJP Chief Ministers along with other senior leaders.
Back in the 17th century when Badi Sahiba of the Adilshahi dynasty sent Afzhal Khan to control and curb Shivaji Maharaj, the huge Afzal Khan and his army couldn’t do much. Well, Shivaji had already shifted his base from Pune to Pratapgad fort. Since this fort was well enclosed by the dense forest of Jawali, it made Afzal Khans’ army of elephants, horses, muskets and cannons ineffective.
At present, the state of BJP in Maharashtra looks same. Though BJP is a ruling party at the centre and is way more powerful than any other party in the country at present, after its “Maha” breakup with Shiv Sena, its situation in Maharashtra is very tricky. This is the reason why we see all the Senior leaders coming one by one in Maharashtra for campaigning. The Modi led BJP team is well aware of the fact that after the divorce, “Shiv Sena” in Maharashtra possibly stands at a better position than them.
According to the Sena leader this is the reason why Team BJP is constantly campaigning in Maharashtra – Just the way Afzal Khan and his army tried to garner support from local independent landlords who had their own military in the 17th century!
However, being the son of the soil and a Marathi manoos, the Shiv Sena supremo asserts that he would never allow an army of Afzal Khan (Modi led BJP) to break his state into pieces in the name of development and progress. He maintains that the people of Maharashtra will never tolerate the division of their state.
Uddhav Thackeray VS BJP
Uddhav Thackeray’s speech on the historical site of Tuljapur just before the election where the Afghani general Afzal Khan razed the statue of Maa Bhavani in order to provoke Shivaji, comes as an intelligent move, rather than bizarre/unfair as stated by the critics. A pure strategist, he knows where and when to trigger his gun.
After Balasaheb Thackeray‘s demise many thought, Shiv Sena is nearly finished with its soft spoken leader, little did they know that the same soft spoken leader would roar like a true Tiger and won’t further allow the friendly lotus to take its strength for granted in the name of “partnership.”
After 25 years of togetherness between the Tiger and Lotus, when the flower decided to take a U Turn over seat sharing, the tiger couldn’t bear the ‘betrayal’ because there was not one but several occasions in these 25 years where the Tiger (the Sainiks) shielded the Lotus (The BJPians).
Coming back to Afzal Khan’s army
Well, the break over seat sharing or betrayal to Shiv Sainiks (as termed by them) is more or less similar to the betrayal of Afzal Khan. How? Well, the mighty General in the name of alliance tried to kill Shivaji, the man who barely reached his arm pit. However, being attentive, sharp and clever, Shivaji in no time counter attacked Afzal Khan with his tiger claws (waag nakh), stabbed him with his Bichwa (a thin dagger), ultimately killing him forever.
The Result of the 21st Century War?
Now that the Shiv Sena Supremo has called Team Modi an army of Afzal Khan – do you think the mighty BJP ,which is powerful at the Centre, can get their hold in the state of Shiv Sainiks ? Or will the Shiv Sainiks curb them just the way Shivaji did, four centuries ago?
Or in the war of the Shivaji (Shiv Sena) and Adilshahi general Afzhal Khan (Modi led BJP), the Mughals (Congress or maybe NCP) would actually win an easy war, just like it happened in the history?