President unveils Shahu Maharaj’’s statue

February 17th, 2009 - 6:45 pm ICT by ANI  

Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, Feb 17 (ANI): President Pratibha Patil unveiled the statue of prominent social reformer and educationist Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj in Parliament on Tuesday.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Leader of the Opposition LK Advani, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Maharashtra Governor SC Jamir, and a host of state cabinet ministers, Union Ministers and Members of Paliament, attended the unveiling ceremony.
Ram Sutar, the sculptor of the eight-foot statue was honoured by Patil.
Shahu Maharaj is remembered for his magnificent reign in the princely state of Kolhapur for 28 years from 1894 to 1922, in which he took initiatives for the eradication of poverty, ignorance, superstitions and backwardness prevalent in the society then.
He also took great efforts to remove untouchability by calling for non-discrimination at all places, including public wells, buildings, dharamshalas and state houses.
In 1902, Maharaj also introduced a reservation policy for backward classes, which proposed to retain 50 per cent of jobs in government offices for them. (ANI)

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