Rajshri Shahu Maharaj Research Centre

About Rajashri Shahu Maharaj

Rajashri Shahu Maharaj was a visionary ruler, a crusader for social justice and pillar of social democracy.    He ushered in a new era of social movements. The dalits, peasants, non-Brahmins, laborers and women fought their educational social and economic struggles under his guidance. He cherished the idea of bringing about a casteless society. He was against all kinds of exploitation and slavery. He abolished untouchability, within his domain his attempt to abolish mahar watan, imparting education to illiterate masse, giving land and jobs to non-Brahmins, dalits, tribal's and nomadic tribes has set the agenda of social transformation in Maharashtra. He initiated the co-operative movement, which not only increased production but also carried out equitable distribution leading towards empowerment of all toiling castes and women. He was a harbinger of social justice who introduced caste-based reservations in India.

His developmental vision combined people’s participation and state initiatives and evolved developmental thought based on social justice He made concrete efforts to alleviate the poverty of the poverty of the masses and introduced practical economic measures against the exiting laissez-faire policy of classical economist. He introduced famine relief programmes, carried out experiments in agriculture, improved agriculture, set up industries in co-operative and public sector, generated employment-oriented public projects. His development strategy avoided centralization and evolved a multi-centered developmental model where regional and social disparities were eliminated. He took a keen interest in the socio-cultural and economic up liftmen of dalits, peasants, tribal's, nomadic tribes and women. His developmental model based on social justice was later on emulated by Maharashtra Government. His passionate Endeavour to educate the illiterate masses. Provide health facilities to them and his commitment to women’s reform to be later on substantiated by amartya sen (Nobel Laureate) in his economic thought.

He introduced compulsory and free primary education in Kolhapur principality. He built hostels, started schools in remote villages, awarded scholarships. He took innovative measures in spreading education aiming to the create capabilities, which has enabled the toiling masses to transcend caste barriers and elevate themselves; He remained an ardent supporter of democracy and strived hard to create democratic institutions. He wanted to liberate all toiling masses from the clutches of religious slavery, he encouraged Satyashodhak and dalit movements.


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