Raigad, Jun 2 (IANS): Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is completely different from other historical heroes because of his vision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Friday on the occasion of the legendary Maratha icon's 350th anniversary of coronation.
In a special message to mark the momentous occasion, Modi highlighted the Chhatrapati's public welfare and governance character which assured that people live with self-respect.
Along with this, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj also sent out a strong message to those who tried to hurt Swaraj, religion, culture and heritage, which boosted confidence among the people and propagated the spirit of self-reliance, the Prime Minister said.
"The bravery, ideology and justice of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj have inspired many generations. His bold style of action, strategic skills and peaceful political system are an inspiration for us even today," Modi said in a live video-address to the six-day celebration going on at the historic Raigad Fort here.
The series of events commemorate Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's (February 19, 1630-April 3, 1680) grand coronation held here on June 6, 1674.
The Prime Minister noted that Chhatrapati's vision resulted in boosting respect for the nation and whether it was farmers' welfare, women's empowerment or making governance accessible to the common masses, and his "system of governance and policies are equally relevant even today".
Stressing the responsibility of leaders to keep the citizens motivated and confident, Modi remarked that one can imagine the confidence levels of the country at the time of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's reign.
He mentioned that the confidence of the citizens was at the lowest due to hundreds of years of slavery where invasions and exploitation by invaders coupled with poverty made the society weak.
"An attempt was made to break the morale of the people by attacking our cultural centres," said the Prime Minister, adding that the Chhatrapati not only fought the invaders but also instilled the belief in the public that self-governance is a possibility.
"Shivaji Maharaj inspired people for nation-building by ending the mentality of slaverya He established 'Swaraj' as well as 'suraj'," Modi said.
The Prime Minister highlighted that Shivaji Maharaj gave an example of his military leadership by conquering forts and defeating enemies at a very young age, as after becoming a king, he showed the way of good governance by implementing reforms in public administration.
"Completion of 350 years of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal' is an inspiring occasion. Even after so many years, the values established by him are showing us the way forward," said Modi, and urged to complete the 25 years of Amrit Kaal based on the Chhatrapati's values.
"This journey will be to build the India of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's dreams will be the journey of Swaraj, good governance and self-reliance. This will be the journey of a developed India", the Prime Minister said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the descendents of the Chhatrapati and thousands of people participated in the grand inaugural ceremony for his 350 years of the crowning.