A look at Malik Ahmed and Ahilyabai Holkar
- December 30, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
A look at Malik Ahmed and Ahilyabai Holkar
- The Maharashtra Education Minister has sought a proposal from the district administration to rename the Western Maharashtra city of Ahmednagar as ‘PunyashlokAhilyadevi Nagar’, after the 18th century Malwa queen, Ahilyabai Holkar.
- In August this year, the Maharashtra Assembly unanimously passed two separate resolutions to send a proposal to rename Aurangabad as Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar and rename Osmanabad as Dharashiv.
What is the procedure of renaming a city?
- The task of renaming a city is given to the State Legislators.
- The procedure differs from state to state but the regulations remain the same.
- The first step involves raising a request in the form of a resolution by any MLA, which proposes the renaming of any particular city or street.
- On the basis of the request of the MLA, the issue would be deliberated upon and the consequences of the same shall be discussed upon.
- The final step involves voting on the validity of the resolution.
- If a simple majority is attained in favour of the resolution, the said resolution shall be declared passed.
- The State Legislation on the basis of the majority view shall make the necessary changes in the name of the state or city public.
- The proposal will go to the Centre for approval before the city is officially renamed.
Historical significance of Ahmednagar:
- Ahmednagar lies in the Western region of Maharashtra.
- According to the district’s official website, it has been a part of some prominent kingdoms, starting from 240B.C. when the vicinity is mentioned in the reference to the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka.
- The Rashtrakuta Dynasty, the Western Chalukyas, and then the Delhi Sultanate ruled over the region in the Mediaeval period.
- In the last case, the rule was not direct, and a revolt by Afghan soldier Alladin Hasan Gangu led to the establishment of the Bahmani kingdom in the Deccan.
How did the city of Ahmednagar first get its name?
- After some time, Ahmednagar (then known as Nizamshahi) became one of the five independent kingdoms to emerge from that empire.
- In 1486,Malik Ahmad Nizam Shah became the Bahmani Sultanate’s Prime Minister.
- He fought back an attempt by the king to dislodge him from power, and defeated the army of the Bahamani kingdom near Ahmednagar in May 1490.
- Finally, in 1494 he laid the foundation of a city close to where he defeated the army, on the left bank of Sina river, and named it after himself: Ahmednagar.
Hindu origin of Nizam shah:
- Jawaharlal Nehru, in his book A Discovery of India (1946), wrote of him, “Ahmad Nizam Shah, the founder of Ahmadnagar in 1490, was the son of Nizam-ul-Mulk Bhairi, a minister of the Bahmani kings.
- This Nizam-ul-Mulk was the son of a Brahmin accountant named Bhairu. Thus the Ahmednagar dynasty was of indigenous origin.”
- Nizam Shah also later captured the fort of Daulatabad and stationed his army there.
- By his kindness, peaceful demeanour & efficiency, he could win the loyalty of the local and foreign Muslims and also of the Maratha peasants and worriers.
- Since his origin was Hindu, he found no difficulty in winning over the confidence of Brahmins, who were highly regarded by the Hindus.
Who was Ahilyabai Holkar?
- Born in Chondi village of Ahmednagar to the village head Mankoji Shinde, on May 31, 1725, Ahilyabaiwas one of the few women rulers of Medieval India.
- While the education of girls and women was rare at that time, Mankojiinsisted on it for his daughter.
- When she was eight years old, Malhar Rao Holkar, the army commander to Peshwa Bajirao, is believed to have spotted her at a temple service in Chondi.
- Impressed by her devotion and character, he decided to get his son, Khande Rao, married to her.
- Ahilyabaitook control of Malwa after her husband’s death in the Battle of Kumbheragainst the king of Bharatpur in 1754.
- She established Maheshwar (in Madhya Pradesh) as the seat of the Holkar Dynasty.
- She defended the Malwa state against intruders and personally led armies into battle, with Tukoji Rao Holkar as her military commander.
Role in administration and temple-building:
- Nehru described Holkar’s rule, which lasted for thirty years (1765-1795), as “almost legendary as a period during which perfect order and good government prevailed and the people prospered. She was a very able ruler and organiser, highly respected during her lifetime.”
- Under her rule, Malwa remained an oasis of stability and peace.
- Under Holkar, the city of Maheshwar became a literary, musical, artistic and industrial centre, and she helped establish a textile industry there, which is now home to the famous Maheshwari sarees.
- In 1780, she had the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi rebuilt, nearly a century after Mughal king Aurangzeb ordered its destruction.
- Apart from holy sites like Badrinath, Dwarka, Omkareshwari, Gaya, and Rameswaram, Holkar also supported the construction of resting lodges for travellers, and of public ghats.
- In 1783Maharani Ahalyabai Holkarof Indore built another Somnath temple next to the original site, which was in serious disrepair.