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202nd Anniversary of Battle of Koregaon Bhima

Posted on : 31 Jan 2020

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  • Bhima-Koregaon, a small village in Pune district of Maharashtra, has a rich Maratha history. Two hundred years ago, on January 1, 1818, a few hundred Mahar soldiers of the East India Company, led by the British, defeated the massive Peshwa army, led by Peshwa Bajirao II, in Koregaon.
  • Legend has it that about 500 Mahar soldiers under the East India Company clashed with a 25,000-strong army of Peshwa Bajirao II.
  • Mahars, at this point, were considered an untouchable community, and were not recruited in the army by the peshwas.
  • This battle has, since, attained legendary stature in Dalit history.
  • The Dalits who follow BR Ambedkar view this battle as a victory of Mahars over the injustice and torture meted out to them by the Brahminical Peshwas.
  • The battle has come to be seen as a symbol of Dalit pride because a large number of soldiers in the Company force were the Mahar Dalits.
  • Since the Peshwas, who were Brahmins, were seen as oppressors of Dalits, the victory of the Mahar soldiers over the the Peshwa force is seen as Dalit assertion.
  • Thus, in the first battle and the last battle (1757-1818) it was the Untouchables who fought on the side of the British and helped them to conquer India.

Article Related Questions

  1. With reference to Battle of Koregaon, consider the following statements
    1.It was a battle between Mahar soldiers of the East India Company and massive Peshwa army, led by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
    2.The pillar was erected by the East India Company in memory of those who fought the battle.
    Which of the following statement is/are correct?

  2. 1.1 only

    2.2 only

    3.Both 1 and 2

    4.Neither 1 nor 2

    Right Ans : 2 only

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