Shivaji as a Nation Builder:
Shivaji’s greatest achievement was to weld together the Maratha race which was scattered like atoms through many Deccan Kingdoms into a mighty nation and to inspire them with ideals of unity and “Swaraj”. It was not in courage and physical strength that the Maratha lacked, it was the only inspiration that they needed most. It was Shivaji who attracted the people of his own race towards his magnetic personality and inspired in them, new courage, a new life. It was he, who brought home to them that they were not inferior to the Muslims in any way and if they lacked anything it was unity and solidarity and a will to strike collectively. (Sivaji breathed a new life in the Maratha race and raised them from the depth of depression to the height of glory and prosperity). When he began his task of nation-building the Mughal empire was at the zenith of its glory and the other powers of the Deccan. Sultans of Bijapur, Golconda and Siddis of Janjira and the Portuguese on the West Coast were ever ready to measure their swords with him. And yet he succeeded in founding an independent state in the teeth of the greatest opposition from these powers. It was the main achievement of Shivaji. He united the Maratha people so thoroughly and completely that even the mighty Mughal Empire could not defeat them and Aurangzeb himself had to admit- “My armies have been employed against him for nineteen years and nevertheless his state has always been increasing.” Possessed of a creative genius of a high order, he evolved order out of Chaos and welded the scattered fragments of the Maratha people into a nation. He infused into his people the spirit of nationality, a spirit that lived long even after him which made the Maratha the most formidable power in India. He was a nation builder par excellence. His greatest contribution was to infuse national spirit due to which Marathas continued their struggle in spite of ups and downs after him.