Kashibai

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Kashibai
Spouse(s) Bajirao I
Children Balaji Baji Rao
Ramchandra
Raghunath Rao
Janardan Rao
Parent(s) Mahadji Krishna Joshi
Shiubai[1]

Kashibai was the first wife of Bajirao I,[2] 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 (Emperor) Shahuji Raje Bhonsle of present-day India.

Biography[edit]

Kashibai was a daughter of Mahadji Krishna Joshi and Shiubai of Chas, belonging to a wealthy banker family.[3] She also had a brother named Krishnarao Chaskar.[4] She was married to Bajirao on 11 March 1720 in a household ceremony at Saswad.[5]

Kashibai and Bajirao had four sons together. Balaji Baji Rao aka Nanasaheb, was born in 1721 and was later appointed Peshwa by Shahu in 1740 after Bajirao's death. Second son Ramchandra died young. Third son Raghunath Rao served as the Peshwa during 1773–1774 and fourth son Janardan also died young.[4] She suffered from a type of arthritis.[6]

Bajirao married Mastani, the daughter of Hindu king Chhatrasal of Bundelkhand and his wife Ruhaani Bai, a Persian Muslim. This marriage was not accepted by the Peshwa family. Kashibai is also noted to have not played any role in the household war waged by the Peshwa family against Mastani.[7] Historian Pandurang Balkawade notes that various historical documents suggest that she was ready to accept Mastani as Bajirao's second wife, but could not do so going against her mother-in-law Radhabai and brother-in-law Chimaji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 orthodox India, she had no say in important matters.[8]

As the Brahmins of Pune boycotted the Peshwa family due to Bajirao's relations with Mastani, Chimaji Appa and Balaji Baji Rao aka Nanasaheb resolved to forceful separation of Bajirao and Mastani in early 1740. While Bajirao was out of Pune on expedition, Mastani was put under house arrest. Seeing deteriorating health of Bajirao, Chimaji asked Nanasaheb to release Mastani and send her to meet Bajirao. Nanasaheb instead sent his mother Kashibai.[9] Kashibai is said to have served him on his deathbed as a "loyal and dutiful wife"[7] and has been described as highly devoted to her husband.[2] She and her son Janardan performed the last rites.[10]

After 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.[8] She became more religious after her husband's death. She performed various pilgrimages and stayed in Banaras for four years.[11] On one such tour she was accompanied with 10,000 pilgrims and had expenditure of rupees one lakh.[12] 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.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

In the 2015 fictional drama film Bajirao Mastani directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Kashibai was portrayed by actress Priyanka Chopra. Her dance sequence in the song "Pinga" and her dressing sense met criticism from both Kashibai's and Mastani's descendant along with an outcry in social media.[8][13][14] Few historians also opined that apart from the inappropriateness of a woman of such stature to dance in public, Kashibai also suffered from a type of arthritis and such dance was not physically possible.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Balkrishna Govind Gokhale (1988). Poona in the eighteenth century: an urban history. Oxford University Press. p. 50-132. 
  2. ^ a b Mehta, Jaswant Lal (2005). Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707–1813. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 124. 
  3. ^ Sandhya Gokhale (2008). The Chitpavans: social ascendancy of a creative minority in Maharashtra, 1818–1918. Sandhya Gokhale. p. 82. ISBN 9788182901322. 
  4. ^ a b R. D. Palsokar, T. Rabi Reddy (1995). Bajirao I: an outstanding cavalry general. Reliance Pub. House. p. 53. ISBN 9788185972947. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Prashant Hamine (15 December 2015). "Rare manuscripts of Peshwa history lie wrapped in government apathy". Afternoon DC. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b I. P. Glushkova, Rajendra Vora (1999). Home, Family and Kinship in Maharashtra. Oxford University Press. p. 107. ISBN 9780195646351. 
  8. ^ a b c d Garima Mishra (3 January 2016). "Kashibai: The first lady". Indian Express. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  9. ^ H. S. Bhatia (2001). Mahrattas, Sikhs and Southern Sultans of India: Their Fight Against Foreign Power. Deep Publications. p. 66. ISBN 9788171003693. 
  10. ^ Imprint, Volume 21. Business Press. 1981. p. 169. 
  11. ^ The Sikh Review, Volume 25, Issues 277–288. Sikh Cultural Centre. 1977. p. 48. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Mrunmayi Ainapure (19 November 2015). "Why the outrage around Bajirao Mastani's 'Pinga' is casteist and hypocritical". Firstpost. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  14. ^ Satish Nandgaonkar (5 December 2015). "Bajirao and Mastani's descendants object to songs". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  15. ^ Prashant Hamine (15 December 2015). "Rare manuscripts of Peshwa history lie wrapped in government apathy". Afternoon DC. Retrieved 4 January 2016.