Sharad Pawar says Shivaji killed Afzal Khan because he was against ‘swaraj’ | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Sharad Pawar says Shivaji killed Afzal Khan because he was against ‘swaraj’

Pawar’s statement comes in the wake of strong objections by Hindu organisations to NCP leader Jitendra Avhad’s statement on Afzal Khan a few days ago in a television debate.

pune Updated: Jun 21, 2017 23:06 IST
HT Correspondent
Sharad Pawar during book launch 'Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj' in Balgand harva Auditorium in Pune.
Sharad Pawar during book launch 'Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj' in Balgand harva Auditorium in Pune.(HT PHOTO)

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president and former Union minister Sharad Pawar said that Chhatrapati Shivaji killed Afzal Khan not because he was a Muslim but enemy of “swaraj”.

Pawar made the statement after releasing a book on Shivaji written by Shrimant Kokate in Pune on Wednesday.

The NCP leader stressed that Shivaji was not against any particular religion. “He would not have killed Krishnaji Kulkarni, a diplomat accompanying Afzal Khan, if he was against a religion,”Pawar said, adding that Shivaji did not spare his relatives who opposed swaraj.

Pointing out that several Muslims were posted to crucial posts by Shivaji, Pawar said that the warrior king’s body guards were Muslim. Pawar added that Mahatma Phule termed Shivaji as “kulwadibhushan” (protecter of farmers), which has been supported by historians,” he said.

Pawar described the teaching of history as unfortunate as it was not based on facts. He urged teachers to throw light on true history for students.

Pawar praised writer Shrimant Kokate for rewriting history based on facts.

Pawar’s statement comes in the wake of strong objections by Hindu organisations to NCP leader Jitendra Avhad’s statement on Afzal Khan a few days ago in a television debate. Hindu organisations have demanded the withdrawal of the statement by Avhad.

His statement also assumes significance against the backdrop of a series of controversies on Shivaji Maharaj which Maharashtra has witnessed in the past decade. The controversies included the date of birth of Shivaji Maharaj and the portrayal of his son Sambhaji.

American author Jame Laine’s book trigerred controversy about Shivaji’s biological origins following which Maratha outfits targeted the Oriental Research Institute where the author had done his research.