Kashibai

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Kashibai
Born c. 1703[1]
Chaaskaman village, near Pune, India
Other names Kashi
Spouse(s) Bajirao I
Children Balaji Baji Rao
Ramchandra Rao
Raghunath Rao
Janardhan Rao
Parent(s) Mahadji Krishna Joshi
Shiubai[2]
Relatives Krishnarao Chaskar (brother)

Kashibai was the first wife of Bajirao I,[3] who is acknowledged as the most influential of the nine Peshwas from the Bhat family, a general and prime minister to the fourth Maratha Chhatrapati Shahuji.

Kashibai was the mother of Bajirao's famed sons Balaji Baji Rao and Ragunath Rao. Balaji, the eldest, succeeded Bajirao as Peshwa upon his death in 1740.[4]

Family[edit]

Kashibai was a daughter of Mahadji Krishna Joshi and Shiubai of Chas, belonging to a wealthy banker family.[5] She was fondly called "Laadubai" and was born and raised in Chaaskaman village, which is located 70 kilometer away from Pune. Kashibai’s father, Mahadji Krishna Joshi, was originally from Talsure village in Ratnagiri and later shifted to Chaaskaman. Mahadji was a wealthy sahukar (moneylender) as well as the subedar of the Maratha empire in Kalyan, a factor which played a strong role in the alliance of Bajirao and Kashibai.[1] Mahadji had also helped the reigning Maratha emperor (Chhatrapati) Shahu in his difficulties and as a reward was appointed as his treasurer.[6] Kashibai also had a brother named Krishnarao Chaskar.[7]

According to historian Pandurang Balkawade, Kashibai was quiet and soft-spoken and suffered from a type of arthritis.[8]

Marriage[edit]

Kashibai was married to Bajirao on March 11, 1720 in a household ceremony at Saswad.[9] The marriage was a happy one and Bajirao was essentially monogamous by nature and the family tradition.[10] He always treated his wife with love and respect.[1] Kashibai and Bajirao had four sons together. Balaji Baji Rao (nicknamed "Nanasaheb"), was born in 1721 and was later appointed Peshwa by Shahu in 1740 after Bajirao's death. Their second son Ramchandra died young. Their third son Raghunath Rao (nicknamed "Ragoba")[4] served as the Peshwa during 1773–1774 while their fourth son Janardhan Rao also died young.[7] Since mostly male members of the Peshwa family were out on the battlefield, Kashibai controlled the day-to-day running of the empire, especially of Pune. And it was possible because of her social nature.[1]

Bajirao took a second wife, Mastani, the daughter of Hindu king Chhatrasal of Bundelkhand from his Muslim concubine. The marriage was purely a political one and Bajirao had accepted her hand out of sheer regard for the noble sentiments of the Bundela king.[10] However, this marriage was not accepted by the Bhat family. Kashibai is also noted to have not played any role in the household war waged by the Peshwa family against Mastani.[11] Historian Pandurang Balkawade notes that various historical documents suggest that she was ready to accept Mastani as Bajirao's second wife, but could not do so going against her mother-in-law Radhabai and brother-in-law Chimaji Appa. Like many women of 18th century India, she had no say in important matters.[12]

As the Brahmins of Pune boycotted the Peshwa family due to Bajirao's relations with Mastani, Chimaji Appa and Nanasaheb resolved to force the separation of Bajirao and Mastani in early 1740.

Bajirao's death[edit]

While Bajirao was out of Pune on expedition, Mastani was put under house arrest. Seeing the deteriorating health of Bajirao, Chimaji asked Nanasaheb to release Mastani and send her to meet Bajirao. Nanasaheb instead sent his mother Kashibai.[13] Kashibai is said to have served him on his deathbed as a loyal and dutiful wife[11] and has been described as highly devoted to her husband.[3] She and her son Janardhan performed the last rites.[14]

After the death of Bajirao, Mastani died soon in 1740 and Kashibai took care of their son Shamsher Bahadur and made facilities to train him in weaponry.[12] She became more religious after her husband's death. She performed various pilgrimages and stayed in Banaras for four years.[15] On one such tour she was accompanied with 10,000 pilgrims and had expenditure of rupees one lakh.[16] Returning from a pilgrimage in July 1747, she commissioned a temple dedicated to Shiva in her hometown Chas naming it Someshwar Temple. Built in 1749, the temple stands on a 1.5 acres (0.61 ha) land and is popular for Tripurari Poornima celebrations and finds mention in the Marathi book Sahali Ek Divasyachya Parisaraat Punyachya as a tourist spot near Pune.[12]

In popular culture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Mishra, Garima (3 January 2016). "Tracing Kashibai: The ‘first’ lady from Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani". The Indian Express. Retrieved 30 July 2017. 
  2. ^ Balkrishna Govind Gokhale (1988). Poona in the eighteenth century: an urban history. Oxford University Press. pp. 50–132. 
  3. ^ a b Mehta, Jaswant Lal (2005). Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707–1813. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 124. ISBN 9781932705546. 
  4. ^ a b Rap;son, Edward James; Burn, Sir Richard (1965). The Cambridge History of India. CUP Archive. p. 407. 
  5. ^ Sandhya Gokhale (2008). The Chitpavans: social ascendancy of a creative minority in Maharashtra, 1818–1918. Sandhya Gokhale. p. 82. ISBN 9788182901322. 
  6. ^ Sardesai, Govind Sakharam (1948). New History of the Marathas: The expansion of the Maratha power, 1707-1772. Phoenix Publications. p. 60. 
  7. ^ a b R. D. Palsokar, T. Rabi Reddy (1995). Bajirao I: an outstanding cavalry general. Reliance Pub. House. p. 53. ISBN 9788185972947. 
  8. ^ Prashant Hamine (15 December 2015). "Rare manuscripts of Peshwa history lie wrapped in government apathy". Afternoon DC. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Charles Augustus Kincaid, Dattātraya Baḷavanta Pārasanīsa (1922). A History of the Maratha People: From the death of Shivaji to the death of Shahu. S. Chand. p. 180. 
  10. ^ a b Mehta, J. L. (2005). Advanced study in the history of modern India, 1707-1813. Slough: New Dawn Press, Inc. p. 124. ISBN 9781932705546. 
  11. ^ a b I. P. Glushkova, Rajendra Vora (1999). Home, Family and Kinship in Maharashtra. Oxford University Press. p. 107. ISBN 9780195646351. 
  12. ^ a b c Garima Mishra (3 January 2016). "Kashibai: The first lady". Indian Express. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  13. ^ H. S. Bhatia (2001). Mahrattas, Sikhs and Southern Sultans of India: Their Fight Against Foreign Power. Deep Publications. p. 66. ISBN 9788171003693. 
  14. ^ Imprint, Volume 21. Business Press. 1981. p. 169. 
  15. ^ The Sikh Review, Volume 25, Issues 277–288. Sikh Cultural Centre. 1977. p. 48. 
  16. ^ B. R. Andhare (1984). Bundelkhand under the Marathas, 1720–1818 A.D.: a study of Maratha-Bundela relations, Volumes 1–2. Vishwa Bharati Prakashan. pp. 77–78. 
  17. ^ Jha, Subhash K (19 October 2015). "Bajirao Mastani review: This gloriously epic Priyanka, Deepika and Ranveer-starrer is the best film of 2015". Firstpost. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  18. ^ Maheshwri, Neha (May 27, 2017). "Ishita Ganguly to play the grown-up Kashibai in 'Peshwa Bajirao' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 July 2017.