“Though conversant in all scriptures, you remain a stupid
Your inability to understand words leaves me perturbed.”
We know how the Emperor Aurangzeb treated Shivaji. But was that a stray incident? Probably no, this Mughal Emperor ascended the throne defeating his brother and imprisoning his father applying incomparable smartness, intelligent movements and excellent warfare. He was alone – never trusted anyone in his court enough revealing own mind. His forehead was marked by deep lines of thought.
Now we see him contemplating – at times his bright eyes shows signs of anger, ego or determination; at times pleasure of success brought a smile in the corner of his lips. The Emperor uses everyone as his puppet – making them move following his sharp intension, never ready to listen to anyone. He is driven by the passion to rule the entire territory by himself.
He is sitting there for long – wakes up when a sentry comes and bows before him, “Long Live the Emperor! Ram Singh, son of King Jai Singh is waiting at the gate.” The Emperor orders him to bring the visitor. The lines of thoughts from his forehead disappear. He wears a pleasant smile on his face.
After a formal salutation to the Emperor, Ram Singh says, “Meeting the Emperor at this time of the day is not right for my kind of a servant, but my father sent an important message to inform His Majesty as soon as possible.”
“I received a letter carrying the message from your father. I know everything!” – reacts the Emperor.
Ram Singh: “Then His Majesty also knows that my father attacked the capital city of Bijapur defeating all enemies; but could not capture the city with very less number of soldiers. Moreover, The Sultan of Golkunda sent a large force under a commander named Neknaam Khan to support Bijapur Sultan.”
Aurangzeb: “I know it all.”
Ram Singh: “Abiding by the Emperor’s order, my father is still fighting even though surrounded by enemies. But ensuring victory in this battle is difficult. He requests the Emperor to send another battalion for help.”
Aurangzeb: “Your father is a leading hero of the land – and he cannot win a battle against Bijapur with own force?”
Any other Emperor would have granted this prayer in such circumstances while it would bring him a chance to conquer southern part of India as well. Aurangzeb’s way of proving himself to be wise and astute was disapproving others. He decides not to help, “Ram Singh! You friend is my best friend. I am sorry to know the trouble he is facing. Send him a message that the Emperor is praying for his victory which he will make certain on his own. But the very less number of armed force in Delhi is forcing me decide not to send them to the far South.”
The young man does not know that his prayer would not distract Aurangzeb from following his shrewd policy. What his policy is destined for? Jai Singh as a King has power; as a warrior he is vigorous. He leads a large army. He is serving the Mughal Empire since ages but such an influential status of a subsidiary is a threat to Aurangzeb. If Jai Singh is proved unsuccessful in that war against Bijapur, his influence would reduce significantly. On the other hand, his death at the hand of Bijapur force could remove a thorn from Aurangzeb’s life. Any influential person in the empire is a thorn to the Emperor.
If Jai Singh had bet his own like on the success of mighty Mughals, he should die for that. His timid son might cry before the Emperor begging for his father’s life, but that could not be a reason for the Emperor of the universe to change his decision.
At this very moment, he realises that the death of Jai Singh is necessary for the success of his crooked practice. He does not need to consider whether the old commander was friendly or unfriendly, loyal or disloyal – he only needs to make his destruction certain.
Within a few months, a message will reach Delhi that the humiliation of failure in battlefield forced Jai Singh commit suicide. The news will satisfy the Emperor irrespective of another faint rumour’s hovering around that Jai Singh was assassinated by poisoning by the order of the Emperor.
That day, Shivaji got up at one in the afternoon. As soon as he got up, he heard a noise before the mansion he was staying in. He looked downwards through the window – the sight left him astounded.
He found armed sentries at both sides of the gate and even in front of the gate. They were not allowing people to cross the gate without identifying them. He remembered Sadanand’s words. He could flee the day before, but he turned into a prisoner.
As he started collecting information, he came to know that his appeal for going back to homeland created some doubt in Aurangzeb’s mind. Hence he ordered the keeper of the city to arrange sentries to keep an eye on Shivaji day and night. The guards would accompany Shivaji even if wanted to move out of the mansion. The King of Maharashtra realised, how well informed Sadanand Swami Swami was.
Like some snakes, which benumbs an animal by embracing it with own long serpentine body before swallowing, Aurangzeb also intended to slowly benumb Shivaji before destroying him completely. Shivaji already understood his purpose. He sent for Raghunathpanth Nyasastri. The old man arrived and silently sat before him. Shivaji told, “Pundit! You are watching the game of Aurangzeb. Last night I received the news of a plan to imprison me today. But I do not want to run away before safeguarding my loyal soldiers. What do you suggest about this?”
Nyaysastri thought for a while before replying, “Please appeal to the Emperor to permit your soldiers to go back to the homeland. He will be happy if the number of soldiers under an imprisoned enemy reduces. I think you will get permission as soon as you ask for.”
Shivaji too was convinced that the trick would work. They prepared a letter of appeal. Their anticipation was correct. The appeal for releasing all of Shivaji’s companions from Delhi pleased the Emperor so much that he immediately granted a letter of permission for them. Shivaji received it soon. He thought, “You idiot! You think you will be able to keep Shivaji imprisoned once his companions are away? What can you do if I leave Delhi in disguise of my soldier now? Anyway, I will let them leave safely; later I will find some option for me.”