Pune: For decades, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had financially supported the annual celebration of legendary Maratha king Shivaji’s escape from Agra and his subsequent meeting with Jija Bai at Rajgarh in 1666.
This year, the organisers of the event, Shri Shivaji Rajgarh Smarak Mandal lamented that the precious funds have now dried up ever since the PMC officials insisted on following a ‘tendering process’, which is not a practical approach for such an event.
Director of the Mandal, ex-corporator Uday Joshi, said at a press interaction at Patrakar Bhavan, on Wednesday, that the event involves a lot of sundry expenditures. He also gave details about the 38th commemoration of Shivaji Maharaj’s escape, which will be celebrated this month.
He said that till three years ago, the PMC would contribute Rs 5 lakh towards this event. “Ever since they insisted on starting a tendering process, the funds have dried up,” said Joshi.The event is now meeting all the expenditures thanks to voluntary contributions from enthusiastic individuals.
Over 1,000 visitors from the State are expected to attend the ‘Fort Ceremony’ on December 15-16 at Rajgad. The organisers have made arrangements for their accommodation and food.
Joshi resented that the present generation cannot differentiate between Raigad, capital of the Maratha empire after Shivaji’s coronation, and Rajgad, the capital prior to that.
He is confident that such events can motivate the youth of Maharashtra. He also urged all to support this great cause financially as per one’s capacity.
38th Commemoration of Shivaji’s Escape
- December 12, Pune: A ‘Palanquin Procession’ from Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal in Sadashiv Peth at 0930 am in the presence of Mayor Mukta Tilak and dignitaries from political parties.
- December 15, Rajgad: ‘Garh Jagran’ (translated as ‘all night prayer vigil on fort’) to include drum beating and ‘Bharud’ (musical drama on Shivaji Maharaj).
- December 16, Rajgad: The D-day will witness flag hoisting ceremony at Rajgad at sunrise. The palanquin, supported by a drums contingent will march from Pali gate to the royal court followed by garlanding of Shivaji’s statue.