Short Essay on the Early Life of Pratap Singh & Shahji

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When Sahau II died in 1808, he was succeeded by his son Pratap Singh. The relation between the Chhatrapati and Peshwa Bajirao were not cordial. The result was that on many occasions Pratap Singh approached the British Government to help him against the Peshwa. When the Peshwa fell in 1818, Pratap Singh was installed once again in his former position by the British. A small territory nearly equalling the present district of Satara was given to Pratap Singh for his rule.

On 25th September, 1819, a formal treaty was entered into between the British Government and Pratap Singh. By that treaty, Pratap Singh undertook not to hold any correspondence with the outside Powers. He was not to increase his forces but was to remain forever loyal to the British Government.

To begin with, the relations between the British Government and Pratap Sinh were cordial and he was even honoured by the British Government. However, later on the relations became strained and he was deposited on 4th September, 1839, without giving him an opportunity to explain his conduct. Pratap Singh died in 1847.

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According to a contemporary Maratha Author, “He (Pratap Singh) possessed a very keen intellect and an uncommon address. An expert rider and brave soldier, a pure generous heart, trained in the traditional lore, he quickly detected the merits and foibles of those he came in contact with.

He adjudicated complicated disputes with exemplary impartiality and conducted the administration with firmness and regularity. He was ever disposed to forgive rather than to avenge. He was careful in his religious observances and took delight in relieving the misery of the poor and the oppressed.”

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