Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar :
Death - 28th October 1811
28th October 2011- 200th Death Anniversary Day
28th October 2011- 200th Death Anniversary Day
Chhatri (Samadhi Sthal) of Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar at Bhanpura
“ First Country and then Religion! We will have to rise above caste, religion, and our states in the interest of our country. You too must wage a war against the British, like me.” (Appeal to head of Indian States)
“ My country and property are upon the saddle of my horse, and please God, to whatever side the reins of the horses of my brave warriors shall be turned, the whole of the country in that direction shall come into my possession. ”
- Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar
“ My salutation and humble homage to the Maharaja Yashawntrao Holkar, the Napoleon of India on behalf of Rashtriya Samaj Party on his 200th Death Anniversary year. Maharaja Yashawntrao Holkar is first King who was trying to build Nationality among Indian States, after Chandra Gupta Mourya the first Emperor of India. Nationality is SOUL of Rashtriya Samaj Party. Therefore our party will be organising Nationwide “Rashtriyata Jaagran Rally” in Death Anniversary Year of Maharaaj Yashwantrao Holkar .”
(Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar Maharaja of Maratha Empire, the first freedom fighter king was born in 1776, and died on 28th October 1811. So 28th October 2011 is 200th Death Anniversary of Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar. In the name of Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar Yashvant Sena was formed. Mahadev Jankar was Senanayak of Yashwant Sena. Yashwant Sena then turned into Rashtriya Samaj Party. Thus Yashwantrao Holkar is the main inspiration to Mahadev Jankar and his commanders. In the history of India, Rayanna of Sangolli (1798-1831) and Umaji Naik (1796-1832) and many others are seen fighting for Swaraj against British. As a tribute to Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar on behalf of our blog we publish the article)
Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar
Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar started the first freedom struggle in 1803; he was a gifted military leader. If the Battle of Assaye was Wellesley's first major success, and one that he always held in the highest estimation as his finest battle, surpassing even his victory at the Battle of Waterloo, then the victory at the Battle of Bharatpur undoubtedly makes Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar the Napoleon of India. Yashwant Rao Holkar rose to power from initial nothingness entirely by dint of his personal valour and spirit of adventure. So great was his personality that even in those troublesome times, no state or power could venture to commit aggression on his territory; and this influence kept the Holkar State secure even after his death for some years! His battles were the most remarkable in the History of Indian Wars and the title given to him by the Mughol Emperor gave him a prominent position amongst the rulers of India. He was as clever organizer as he was skilful in war. The various branches of the army were organized on the sound military basis. As a military strategist he ranks among the foremost generals who have ever trod on Indian soil. His heroic achievements shed a noble lustre on his military genius, political sagacity and indefatigable industry. He was undoubtedly the greatest and most romantic figure on the stage of Indian history.
Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar Maharaja of Maratha Empire was born in 1776. He was the son of Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar, and grandson of Malhar Rao Holkar, who had conquered Attock in 1758 and had hoisted the saffron flag beyond the Sindhu River. Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar had defeated Tippu Sultan and hoisted the saffron flag beyond the Tungabhadra River. After the demise of Malharrao Holkar (20 May 1766 at Alampur), his daughter-in-law Punyaslok Rajmata Ahilyadevi Holkar succeeded to the throne. Tukojirao Holkar crowned as the Maharaja on 13 August 1795 at Maheshwar and ruled 1795-1797. He died on 15 August 1797 at Khadki, near Pune. Tukojirao had four sons: Kashirao, Malharrao (II), Vitthojirao, and Yashwantrao. Kashirao was not an able ruler, Malharrao Holkar (II) had all the qualities of an able ruler and was also a military leader; naturally, the people and the soldiers preferred Malharrao (II). Malharrao (II), Vitthojirao, and Yashwantrao opposed Kashirao and demanded that Malharrao(II) should be the heir after. On 14 September 1797 Daulatrao suddenly attacked Malharrao (II) and killed him near Pune. Vitthojirao Holkar, Yashwantrao Holkar escaped. Scindia arrested Malharrao’s pregnant wife, Jijabai, who gave birth to Khanderao Holkar (II), and Bhimabai Holkar, daughter of Yashwantrao Holkar. Yashwantrao Holkar took shelter at Nagpur’s Raghoji II Bhonsle. Yashwantrao Holkar was arrested on 20 February 1798.
But any howYashwantrao escapedonce again from Nagpur on 6 April 1798. After these incidents, Yashwantrao Holkar never trusted anybody. Meanwhile, support for Yashwantrao Holkar was growing. Vitthojirao Holkar, Fatthesinh Mane, Aamir Khan, Bhawani Shankar Bakshi, Zunzhar Naik, Govardhan Naik, Rana Bhau Sinha, Balaji Kamlakar, Abhay Sinha, Bharmal Dada, Parashar Dada, Govind Pant Ganu, Harmat Sinha, Shamrao Mahadik, Jiwaji Yashwant, Harnath Chela, Vazir Hussain, Shahmat Khan, Gaffur Khan, and Fatteh Khan had joined the army of Yashwantrao Holkar. In December, 1798, Yashwantrao Holkar defeated the army of Shevelier Duddres and captured Maheshwar.
In January 1799 Yashwantrao Holkar was crowned King. In May, 1799, he captured Ujjain. Vitthojirao Holkar declared that he was working for Amrutrao, who was more capable of being the Peshwa than Bajirao (II). To grow their empire, Yashwantrao Holkar started a campaign towards the north, whereas Vitthojirao started a campaign towards the south.
Vitthojirao was arrested and taken to Pune in April 1801. He was sentenced to death under the feet of an elephant by Bajirao Peshva. His wife and son Harirao were imprisoned. When Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar learned this he vowed to take revenge. In May 1802, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar marched towards Pune. He kept on corresponding with the Peshwa, and he put forward propositions, releasing the son of Malharrao II and recognizing this son Khanderao II as the head of Holkar family in place of Kashirao. He conquered Sendhwa, Chalisgaon, Dhulia, Malegaon, Parol, Ner, Ahmednagar, Rahuri, Nashik, Sinnar, Dungargaon, Jamgaon, Pharabagh, Gardond, Pandharpur, Kurkumb, Narayangaon, Baramati, Purandhar, Saswad, Moreshwar, Thalner, and Jejuri.
On Sunday 25 October 1802, on the festival of Diwali, Yashwantrao Holkar defeated the combined armies of Scindia and Peshwa at Hadapsar, near Pune. This Battle of Poona took place at Ghorpadi, Banwadi, and Hadapsar. When cannonballs were fired from other side; Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar ordered his army to attack. As soon as he won the war, he ordered his army not to harm the civilians of Pune. When the Peshwa learned that he was defeated, fled from Pune. Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar asked Peshwa to return to Pune. But on 1 December 1802 he went to Bassein and surrendered his residual sovereignty and allowing the English to put him on the throne at Poona. This Treaty of Bassein (1802) was signed on 31 December 1802.
The British Government feared that if they had not adopted measures for the restoration of the peshwa’s authority, Yashwantrao Holkar would have either attacked the Company’s territories, or those of their ally the Nizam of Hyderabad. The flight of Peshwa left the government of Maratha state in the hands of Yashwantrao Holkar. After conquering Pune, the capital of Maratha Empire, Yashwantrao Holkar took the administration in his hands and appointed his men. He appointed Amrutrao as the Peshwa. All supported the new regime. He freed Phadnawis, Moroba, Phadke, etc., who were imprisoned by Bajirao (II) and went to Indore on 13 March 1803. British reinsted Bajirao (II) as the Peshwa at Pune on 13 May 1803, but soon the Peshwa realised that he was only a nominal peshwa and that British had taken total control.
Attempting to unite the Maratha Confederacy and rest of the Indian kings
Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar wrote letters to different kings to unite and fight against the British. He stated, "First Country, and then Religion. We will have to rise above caste, religion, and our states in the interest of our country. You too must wage a war against the British, like me.] His appeal fell on deaf ears, as all of them had already signed treaties with the British. Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar, Daulatrao Scindia, Satara Chattrapati, and Chatarsinh met at Sabalgad. It was decided that, united, they would uproot the British from Indian soil. The King of Jaipur, Bhosale of Nagpur, Ranjit Singh of Punjab, accepted his appeal. When the British learned that Holkar and Scindia were united, they informed Lord Lake to pursue them. The British were worried because of the continuous failure against Holkars. They felt that Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar would drive out the East India Company. Finally, they called back Lord Wellesley and appointed Lord Cornwallis as the Governor General of India. As soon as he came to India, he wrote to Lord Lake on 19 September 1805 and stated that all the territory of Yashwantrao Holkar be returned and that he was ready to make peace with Holkar. Holkar refused to sign any treaty with the British. George Barlow the new Governor General immediately tried to divide Holkar and Scindia. The British signed a treaty with Daulatrao Scindia through K N Munshi on 23 November 1805, and in this way, Holkar was left alone to fight with the British. Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar sought help from Raja Bhag Singh of Jindh, Raja Fathesinh Ahuwalia of Patiyala, and other Sikh rulers; they all refused to help Holkar against the British. He then went to Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Punjab) of Lahore, who also turned down his request to fight against the British. Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar defeated the British army, led by Colonel Fawcett, at Kunch, in Budhlekand. On 8 June 1804, the Governor General, in a letter to General Gerard Lake, wrote that the defeat caused a great insult. This would endanger the company rule in India, and hence Yashwantrao Holkar should be defeated as soon as possible.On 8 July 1804, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar defeated the army of Colonel Manson and Leukan at Mukundare and Kota. Bapuji Scindia surrendered before Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar. From June till September 1804, he defeated the British at different battles.
On 8 October 1804, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar attacked Delhi to free Mugol Emperor Shah Alam II, who was imprisoned by the British. He attacked the army of Colonel Actorloni and Berne. The battle lasted for a week, but Yashwantrao Holkar could not succeed as General Lake came to help Colonel Actorloni. Assessing the situation, he changed the plan, and postponed it. Admiring his bravery, Mughol Emperor Shah Alam gave him the title of "Maharajadhiraj Raj Rajeshwar Alija Bahadur". On 22 August 1804, Wellesley marched against Holkar from Pune along with Bajirao Peshwa's army. In a letter dated 11 September 1804 written to Lord Lake, Wellesley said that if Yashwantrao Holkar was not defeated at the earliest, the rest of the Kings of India may stand united against the British. On 16 November 1804, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar reached Deeg by defeating the army of Major Frazer. After the death of Major Frazer, Manson took the charge of the British army. The Jat King Ranjit Singh of Bharatpur welcomed him and decided to be with Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar against the British.
Lord Lake attacked Deeg on 13 December 1804 (Battle of Bharatpur); the army of Holkar and Jat resisted successfully and reached the Bharatpur Durg. Lord Lake attacked Bharatpur on 3 January 1805, along with General Manson, Colonel Marey, Colonel Don, Colonel Berne, Major General Jones, General Smith, Colonel Jetland, Setan, and others. The war lasted for three months in Bharatpur and was compared with the Mahabharata war. Many poems on this war were written, praising Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar. It is said that Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar cut off the nose of 300 English soldiers. To keep the Indian kings divided, the British declared that they would distribute the territory of Holkars amongst its Indian friends. Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar had become famous throughout India, due to his bravery. The failure of General Lake to conquer the fort of Bharatpur shattered the myth of invincibility of British arms, and raised the fears about the revival of Maratha Confederacy against Wellesley’s wars of aggression in India. British Prime Minister was therefore constrained to take decision and thus Lord Wellesley was recalled.
The British Council told Lord Lake to make peace with Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar at any price, because if they were late and the other kings accept the appeal of Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar, it would be difficult for them to remain in India.The British commander halted after crossing the boundary-line of Alexander’s conquests and encamped his troops on the banks of the Hyphasis (the Beas) within the reach of the troops of Holkar, where, upwards of two thousand years before, the veterans of the Macedonian conqueror had pitched their tents after the Battle of the Hydaspes where Alexander and his army finally gave in and returned by securing the banks of the river as the borders of his empire and refused to go further into India. Later Chandragupta Maurya had recaptured the Macedonian territories in India.Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar was a man of self-respect. He was the only king in India whom the British approached with an unconditional peace treaty as per the London policy of withdrawal. It was not a Treaty of Subsidiary alliance that the British had entered with others. He was the last to sign a treaty with the British, on 24 December 1805 at a place called Rajpur Ghat on the bank of Beas River. The treaty was named 'The Treaty of Peace and Amity between the British Government and Yashwantrao Holkar.' The British recognised him as a sovereign king and returned all his territories and possessions, and accepted his dominion over Jaipur, Udaypur, Kota, Bundi, and some Rajput kings. They also accepted that they would not interfere in the matters relating to Holkars. The Victorious king reached Indore and started ruling his kingdom by declaring that he had saved his ancestral State. In a letter dated 15 February 1806 to Vyankoji Bhosale of Nagpur Yashwantrao Holkar states, “The Maratha state had been grasped by foreigners. To resist their aggression, God knows how during the last two and a half years I sacrificed everything, fighting night and day, without a moment’s rest. I paid a visit to Daulatrao Sindia and explained to him how necessary it was for all of us to join in averting foreign domination. But Daulatrao failed me. It was mutual cooperation and goodwill which enabled our ancestors to build up, the Maratha states. But now we have all become self-seekers. When I found myself abandoned on all sides, I accepted the offer which the British agents brought to me and concluded the war.” Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar again tried to unite the Maratha Confederacy however, the British once again succeeded to divide Scindias from Holkars.
Finally, Maharaja Yashwantrao Holkar decided to fight with the British singlehandedly and drive them out of India. He decided to stay in Bhanpura to gather a large army and manufacture cannons to defeat the British. He was successful in keeping the British out of his state, but he wanted them out of India. He knew that this was impossible without sufficient cannons, so he built a factory to manufacture cannons in Bhanpura. He worked day and night and manufactured 200 short and long range cannons. He gathered an army of 1 lakh soldiers to attack Culcutta. The stress of the work and the deaths of his nephew Khanderao Holkar (II) on 3 February 1806 at Shahapura and Kashirao Holkar in 1808 at Bijagad lead to a stroke, from which he suddenly died at Bhanpura (Mandsaur, M.P.) on 28 October 1811 at the age of 35 years. The most probable cause of his death must have been a brain tumor.
Yashwant Sena – In the name YASHWANTRAO HOLKAR
Late B K Kokre Bachelor of Engineer formed Yashwant Sena (In the name of GREAT YASHWANTRAO HOLKAR) and started the battle against economical, social, and political injustice faced by Dhangar community... Meanwhile the leadership of Yashwant Sena was crowned to Mahadeo Jankar. Mahadeo Jankar (Bachelor of Engineer) realized that only NATIONAL LEVEL POLITICAL MOVEMENT CAN solve the problems of Dhangar and other similar communities. Mr. Jankar realized that the root cause of problems of Dhangar and other communities is in POLITICALLY DEPRIVEDNESS. Prime aim of Yashwant Sena was to transform RULED community into RULER community! Through Yashwant Sena, Mahadev Jankar Jankar organized record break programmes for socio-political awareness among the deprived community i.e. Dhangar-OBC Pratinidhi Shodhyatra, IAS-IPS MLA-MP Shodhyatra, Aapla Paksh Shodh-Bodh Yatra, Rashtriya Samaj Nirman Yatra, Raj Karo Yatra etc. Under the vigil leadership of Mahadeo Jankar, a community level social movement of Yashwant Sena transformed in a politically Broad Based, (Geographically and Socially) Mass Based and Cadre Based RASHTRIYA SAMAJ PARTY on 31st May 2003.( In Chondi Tal- Jamkhed Dist- Ahmadnagar, the Birth Place of Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar on her Birth day-31st May )
(Excerpts from the article, RSP - Party of Politically Deprived Community)