Licchavi Lyceum


Licchavi Lyceum

Discuss the administrative system of Shivaji.

Shivaji Bhosale was the founder of the Maratha Empire in India during the 17th century. His administrative system was known for its efficiency, decentralization, and innovative features. Here is an overview of the administrative system of Shivaji:

1. Ashtapradhan Council: Shivaji’s administrative system was structured around the Ashtapradhan Council, which consisted of eight ministers or advisors who were responsible for various aspects of governance. These ministers were chosen based on their competence and loyalty to Shivaji.

  • Peshwa: The Peshwa was the Prime Minister and played a crucial role in policy formulation and administration. Balaji Vishwanath and his descendants later became prominent Peshwas in the Maratha Empire.
  • Amatya: The Amatya served as the finance minister and was responsible for revenue collection, financial management, and taxation.
  • Sachiv: The Sachiv functioned as the secretary and was in charge of maintaining official records and correspondence.
  • Mantri: The Mantri was the interior minister and oversaw matters related to the court, justice, and general administration.
  • Senapati: The Senapati was the commander-in-chief of the military forces.
  • Sumant: The Sumant managed foreign affairs, diplomacy, and communication with other states.
  • Nyayadhish: The Nyayadhish served as the chief justice and was responsible for the judicial system.
  • Panditrao: The Panditrao looked after religious and cultural matters.

2. Swarajya: Shivaji’s administration aimed to establish “Swarajya,” which means self-rule or self-governance. He sought to create a state where power was decentralized, and local self-government was encouraged.

3. Revenue System: Shivaji introduced a revenue system that was more equitable and efficient than the prevailing systems. He abolished the oppressive Jagirdari system and implemented a system based on land measurement and assessment of agricultural productivity. This ensured a regular revenue stream for the state.

4. Fortification and Defense: Shivaji recognized the importance of fortifications in defending his kingdom. He built and renovated several forts, strategically located in the Western Ghats, to protect his territories from external invasions.

5. Naval Strength: Shivaji also developed a strong naval force, which was instrumental in defending the coastal regions of his empire and launching attacks on enemy territories, including coastal towns and ports.

6. Promotion of Marathi Language and Culture: Shivaji promoted the Marathi language and culture as a unifying force within his empire. He encouraged the use of Marathi in administration and cultural activities.

7. Religious Tolerance: Shivaji was known for his religious tolerance. He treated people of all religions fairly and allowed them to practice their faith without discrimination.

8. Legacy: Shivaji’s administrative system and principles of governance laid the foundation for the Maratha Empire’s growth and continued to influence the Maratha state for generations. His concept of Swarajya and his emphasis on efficient administration left a lasting impact on Indian history.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s administrative system was a blend of traditional Indian administrative practices and innovative reforms. His ability to govern efficiently and his focus on decentralization contributed to the enduring legacy of the Maratha Empire in India.