“It was sheer dedication of his people and importance Shivaji gave to them that made him so popular a ruler in the medieval India,” Mukherjee said after inaugurating a full-size statue of the 17th century warrior at Kalwa in Thane.

The statue has been installed under an initiative taken by NCP leader and local MLA Jitendra Awhad.

“In the past, the teachings of Shivaji and systems put in place by him were ignored. Hence, our country went into the hands of East India Company and later came under British rule,” Mukherjee said.

"Had we listened and followed his teachings, we would have not suffered," he added.

In his speech, the President traced the life history of Shivaji and said three people, his mother Jijabai, Sant Tukaram and guru Ramdas, and their teachings had a huge impact on him.

Shivaji had no formal education or training but excelled in his rule just by winning the hearts and minds of his people, Mukherjee said.

"The teachings of Shivaji are relevant even today and people should adopt them," he added.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Minister Sharad Pawar, Governor Sankaranarayanan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar were also present on the occasion.

“The teachings and contributions of Shivaji were at times ignored in the history. However, it should be borne in mind that he cared for one and all unmindful of their caste, creed or religion,” Pawar said.

Chavan said his government was in the process of getting various clearances for erecting a world-class memorial of Shivaji in Arabian Sea.


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