Umaji Naik – Emulating Ideals of Shivaji Maharaj | The Unsung Hero

Discover the inspiring story of Umaji Naik, the unsung hero who embodied the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This article delves into the life and legacy of this remarkable figure, shedding light on his invaluable contributions to history.

Umaji Naik
Umaji Naik

Introduction

Umaji Naik – a name that may not be as well-known as Shivaji Maharaj but carries immense significance in the history of Maharashtra. Umaji Naik, the unsung hero, was a true embodiment of the ideals and principles set forth by the great Maratha king, Shivaji Maharaj. In this comprehensive article, we will take a deep dive into the life and legacy of Umaji Naik, exploring the ways in which he emulated the ideals of Shivaji Maharaj and left an indelible mark on history.

And before this article ventures in to the historical account, I would like to wish this great man a Happy Birthday as I write this article on 6th September and his Birthday is just couple of hours away. “Happy Birthday Umaji Naik”. You will always be our inspiration!

Ramoshi Connection

Umaji Naik was born into a Ramoshi family on September 7, 1971 in a village called Bhiwadi, in Maharashtra. Ramoshi community was known for its role in assisting rulers in staying well-informed about societal developments and potential threats. they can be termed as serving the “Intelligence Department” of the Kingdom.

Following the decline of the Maratha Empire after the Third Anglo-Maratha War, the British assumed control of the entire territory, leading to the dismissal of all former Maratha Empire employees, including the Ramoshis. With their livelihoods taken away, the Ramoshis found themselves relying on forest resources for survival. However, the British imposed stringent regulations on the Ramoshis, which stirred discontent among them. In response, the Ramoshis initiated movements aimed at ousting the British from India.

Umaji Naik grew up watching the atrocities faced by the people and as he belonged to the Ramoshi community, he joined this movement against the British, and in no time he became the leader of the Ramoshi community because of his vision for Freedom

Umaji Naik – A true Follower of Shivaji Maharaj

There are some personalities in the history like Shivaji Maharaj who inspire us through the work they have done. After the initial inspiration, more or less, It changes the vision or our pathways or our Goals for betterment. Then we tend to forget those Idols till there is a requirement for Inspiration or motivation in our life. Not actually forget, It plays in our subconscious mind. So, as a human being we become better. But, seldom it happens so that you follow your Role model and follow his/her ideologies in a very effective way so that the community sees that personality of the Role Model within you.

Umaji Naik was one of them who followed Shivaji Maharaj as his Role Model in true sense. After the initial Inspiration sinked in, his first thought was why not apply the same in his era. So, the journey to the freedom movement began and he followed all the ethics and principles of Shivaji Maharaj. At the same time, he also followed the same method to fight with the British successfully and that too in limited resources

The Robinhood style

Umaji Naik looted the landlords and used the money for his freedom movement. In February 1824, he successfully plundered a government treasury, even though it was heavily guarded. The loots and attacks increased and British Government was fed up with his activities. they tried to stop him. To teach them a lesson, In October 1826, Umaji Naik launched an assault on a police station located in Jejuri. During this daring act, he not only took the lives of police officers but also seized all available weaponry and ammunition.

But, the purpose was very clear. To make the British helpless and compel them to sign a peace treaty. But, they always helped the poor people. They had zero tolerance against disrespect for women. They didn’t believe in the caste divide. On one hand they helped the people of lower caste with jobs whereas on the other hand they helped the temples and gave Dakshinas to the brahmins.

Dominance of Umaji Naik

Dominance of Umaji Naik in the eyes of British are clearly expressed in their Reports written to the British Government. Robertson, the collector of Pune district expressed his feelings in the report as follows

Common mass is waiting for big political changes. These Ramoshis are creating hatred against Europeans and want to throw them out, and common public is very supportive to Ramoshis. Citizens are gossiping that Europeans will be defeated by Ramoshis on battlefield and that rebel Umaji will reinstall Maratha Empire like Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Daftarkhana of Maharashtra

The feelings clearly indicate that they saw in him the glimpses of Great Shivaji Maharaj and they were worried about him and wanted to eliminate him at any cost. Right from 1824 (Captain Mackintosh) to 1830 (British officer Boyd) he had several fights with Britishers and always remained on the winning side.

Call for Mass Movement

In February 18, 1831, Umaji Naik made a bold declaration, calling for a nationwide revolution. His appeal extended to people across India, urging them to resign from government positions, join mass protests, and create a state of disorder. He encouraged individuals to raid government treasuries, refrain from paying taxes, and work towards ending foreign rule.

Umaji Naik firmly believed that British rule was destined to be short-lived. He also cautioned those collaborating with the British government that they would face severe consequences once Swarajya was established.

Betrayal with Umaji Naik

Umaji Naik’s activities had escalated to a point where they could no longer be ignored by the British. There was a growing concern that if left unchecked, Umaji’s movement could evolve into a massive uprising. In response, the British government offered substantial rewards for Umaji Naik’s capture.

One individual, Kaloji Naik, who had previously incurred Umaji Naik’s wrath for his involvement in the abduction and mistreatment of a woman, saw an opportunity for revenge. He decided to collaborate with the British in their efforts to apprehend Umaji Naik. The promise of ten thousand Rupees and four hundred bighas of land sparked a wave of betrayals within Umaji Naik’s own ranks. Even Umaji Naik’s trusted aide, Nana Chavan, defected under the lure of these rewards.

Capture of Umaji Naik

This series of betrayals ultimately led to an unavoidable outcome. On December 15, 1831, Umaji Naik was apprehended in Utroli village, located in the Bhor district near Pune. Captain Mackintosh led the operation, and following Umaji’s capture, he underwent intense interrogation by the British authorities. Despite their rigorous efforts, the British failed to extract any valuable information from Umaji Naik.

The Britishers were outraged as they could not gather any information. So, in a bid to put an end to Umaji Naik’s mass movement, first he was kept in a dark cell for almost a month. He was interrogated by Captain Mackintosh. Eventually, Umaji Naik was sentenced to death by hanging.

Unyielding Legacy of Umaji Naik

In an effort to set a chilling example and strike fear into the hearts of other freedom fighters, Umaji Naik, the courageous warrior, was left hanging for three days after his execution. However, even this brutal display could not extinguish the flame ignited by Umaji Naik. His remarkable story continues to be etched into our collective consciousness, firmly establishing him as a pioneering freedom fighter. Remarkably, even British officers couldn’t help but respect his resolute valor.

Frequently Asked questions (FAQs)

Who was Umaji Naik?

Umaji was a Freedom fighter who started the Freedom movement against the Britishers much before the revolt of 1857

When and where was Umaji born?

Umaji was born into Ramoshi Family on September 7, 1791 in a Village called Bhiwadi, Maharashtra

Did Umaji follow Shivaji Maharaj?

Umaji Naik was a true follower of Shivaji Maharaj as he followed all the ethics, principles and ethics of the Great king and also executed the plans successfully as Shivaji Maharaj did in his era.

If he looted the landlords then how we can defend his action?

The word “looted” does not fit the actions taken. The loots was in a Robinhood style just on the lines of Shivaji Maharaj. The purpose of the loot was to use it in the Freedom movement and to help the poor people

What was the role of Ramoshi community?

Role of Ramoshi community was to assist the Maratha rules of their times by staying well-informed about societal developments and potential threats. They served as an “Intelligence Department”

When did Umaji Naik gave a call for mass movement?

Umaji Naik gave a call for mass movement on February 18, 1831, He made a bold declaration, calling for a nationwide revolution.

What did Umaji Naik asked for in the mass movement?

Umaji Naik extended his appeal to people across India, urging them to resign from government positions, join mass protests, and create a state of disorder. He encouraged individuals to raid government treasuries, refrain from paying taxes, and work towards ending foreign rule.

Conclusion

Umaji Naik – The Unsung Hero, is a testament to the enduring legacy of a man who dedicated his life to upholding the principles and ideals of Shivaji Maharaj. His contributions to the Fight against the Britishers, his commitment to justice, and his understanding of Shivaji Maharaj’s vision make him a true unsung hero of history. Umaji Naik’s life is a source of inspiration, reminding us of the enduring power of determination, courage, and the pursuit of justice.

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