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Shivaji was a secular king, says Modi
March 12, 2008 22:45 IST
In a veiled attack on Congress-led UPA Government, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] on Wednesday said the Centre should take a leaf out of King Shivaji's life.
"In a letter written to Aurangazeb protesting the imposition of 'jazia' (tax) on Hindus, Shivaji had endorsed secularism...even three hundred years ago he knew about secularism," Modi said, inaugurating an exhibition of the 17th century Maratha king's life in Mumbai.
"Unfortunately, three hundred years on, our Prime Minister today says people of a particular community have first right to country's resources," the BJP leader said.
He also said "today's rulers must look up to King Shivaji, as even three hundred years ago he had paid heed to development of infrastructure... He built roads connecting his forts".
The Maratha legend was not given his due by the history, Modi rued, saying Indian historians hail likes of Alexander and Napolean, but few rulers in the world could build an empire with scarce resources and hard topography that Maharashtra offered.
Shivaji should be an ideal figure for all those fighting terrorism, he said.
Modi also claimed that the Supreme Court had upheld a Gujarat legislation banning cow slaughter. Saying that even Mahatma Gandhi [Images] was proponent of ban on cow slaughter, he appealed to the government to bring in similar law for other states.