Those who have been counted as untouchables since ancient times have a glorious history. In ancient times the untouchable class was a large number of merchants, officers and soldiers. There is a glorious history of those who were counted as untouchables from the time of Chakravarti Emperor Ashoka to the time of the British. In the time of Emperor Ashoka, there were officials like Rathik, Petnik, Bhoj, in the Satvahana period, there was an official named Mahabhoja Maharathi. From the Kanishka period to the Wakataka, the Gupta, the Chalukyas, the Vallabhi, the Kadamba and the Rashtrakutas, the so-called untouchables seem to have been great knightly officers. In the inscription of Sridhar Verma, his commander is Satyanag and there is an example that he is from Maharashtra. You get to see the whole history of bravery. The Buddha period is considered to be the glorious period. Undoubtedly, the glorious story of untouchables can be seen here for twelve and a half hundred years. The world has a long history of honesty, integrity, bravery and dedication.
Amrutnaka, who was in the service of the Bahmani Sultan, had rescued the Sultan’s beloved Begum from the clutches of the enemy on the strength of her bravery. Amritnaka had presented a proof of his sacrifice as a severe test of the sincerity of the Mahar caste. Amritnaka had won 52 rights for his caste without asking for anything for himself. In the Muslim rule, the Mahar people had got 52 rights and accordingly they got a small position in the government. Mahar people have got many copper plates during the Muslim period. These copperplates are proof of their heroic history. Mahars have certificates of allegiance. The measure of Mahar’s modesty and loyalty is that during the Muslim rule, the courtiers of the sultans had more faith in the Mahar people. As an example of this, Mahar was the bodyguard of the daughter of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Mahar was the guardian of Aurangzeb’s brothel.
We find many examples of the bravery of the Mahar people during the reign of Shivaji Raja. During the reign of Shivaji Raja, the soldiers in his infantry were called Pike. In it the Mahar army was called Naik or Nayak. During the Shiva period, the Mahar army was an important part of Shivaji’s army. More than half of the forts were in the possession of the Mahars. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had entrusted the Mahar community with the task of overseeing the forest roads, the secret passage leading to the hill fort, the open path as well as providing fodder to the people on the hill fort. During the reign of Shivaji, Mahar was seen leading an important army of infantry.
The bravery of the Mahars is considered very important during the Peshwa period.
During the Peshwa period, when Raigad was attacked by the British, Rainak, the chief of the Marathi army, had fought for the fort for fifteen days. When Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj invaded Siddhi in 1732, 100 Mahars swam across the creek with swords in their mouths and hoisted the victory flag of the Marathi state on Janjira fort. In 1738 AD, the Kondanak chief of Nagewadi had achieved great feats in the battle of Janjira fort. In the battle of Vasai fort between Portuguese and Peshwa, Tuknak Mahar along with Chimaji Appa crossed the creek of Vasai and attacked the Portuguese and captured the fort of Vasai.
The military history of the Mahar people in the British period is world famous. Battle of Bhima Koregaon January 1, 1818 is considered a day of valor. The bravery of the Mahars who defeated the army of 30,000 Peshwas was very loud. Soldiers on both sides were killed in the battle, but in exchange for only 23 Mahars, they defeated the mighty Peshwa army and made history. The Revolutionary Pillar was erected on March 26, 1821 in memory of these troops. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar used to visit this pillar of revolution every year from January 1, 1927.
The majority of the troops formed by the East India Company in the Mumbai area till 1857 AD and after that by the British government were Mahars. Ratnagiri district had more soldiers than other districts. By 1880, there were about 2,180. The platoon consisted of 20 infantry regiments of the East India Company and one Marine Corps, 8 Subhedars Major, 32 Subhedars and 34 Jamadars of Mahar caste. Out of these 32 Subhedars, Vishwaratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s father Subhedar Ramnak Malnak was a Subhedar in the Seventh Bombay Infantry.
Due to the military presence of Mahar forces and the hatred of Hindu soldiers and officers, the British government formed three separate battalions of Mahars as required.
1st Mahar Battalion 1st October 1941 Belgaum.
2nd Mahar Battalion 1st June 1942 Kamati Nagpur.
3rd Mahar Battalion 1st November 1943 Naushera.
During the Second World War, the Mahar Battalion displayed unparalleled prowess.
In 1942, the 1st Battalion carried out the task of transporting Italian prisoners by train from Ranchi to Bangalore, to the delight of all the officers.In August 1942, there was a civil disobedience movement in Nagpur province. She could not be apprehended by ordinary police. At that time, the 1st Battalion was tasked with establishing peace in the Shita Birdi area.
He stayed for 9 months in a very icy region in the needy center of Waziristan and firmly guarded the Waziri gangs. Shipai Mallappa Waghmare No. 1219 and Shipai Balwant More No. 440 returned their sacrifices to the Waziri gang.
In November 1942, in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar, the 1st Battalion carried out a 180 mile long march. The battalion walked 20 to 25 miles daily. Seeing the existence of the army, the people calmed down and law and order was restored.
In 1947, the battalion was responsible for transporting 25,000 to 30,000 families to Pakistan by 22 trains from Delhi.
On September 1, 1947, a train was carrying Muslim refugees from Delhi to Attari. A detachment led by subhedar K Gaikwad was sitting as a guard in each compartment of the vehicle. Someone attacked and the train derailed after the city of Jalandhar. When the assailants came to attack, Gaikwad ordered the soldiers to open fire and chased away the assailants. Also in Jalandhar, while a train for Muslim refugees led by Subhedar More was on its way, in the incident between the attacker and Subhedar More, firing orders had to be issued to drive out the attackers. Both of these leaderships enabled the displaced Muslims to reach their rightful places.
In October 1947, the battalion was sent from Hoshiapur to Multan. The reason for sending the Mahar Regiment from India to Pakistan was that the Nationalist Hindus in Multan, Muzaffar Gad and Dera Gazikho districts in Pakistan were selected to bring them to safety.
On December 24, 1947, Constable Rau Kamble was the commander of the small section of the machine gun. The enemy killed three jawans of his section while Rau Kamble was injured. Even then, he continued to use his machine gun. The enemy came from behind and separated the head from the head with the sword, but the grip on the machine gun was strong till the end. So even though the head was blown off, the machine gun kept firing.
On December 10, 1947, Barakya Kamble was leading a detachment of machine guns in Jhangad. As the enemy approached, they opened fire, killing 40 people. Later on 24th December, as many Indian troops gathered as they could against the enemy. But they had to leave the battlefield, but the main hero of the Mahar detachment, Barakya Kamble and his jawans, did not leave their field and remained on their front. Firing for three hours in a row inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. But as the enemy approached, they were surrounded and the place where the guns were set on fire. Barakya Kamble and his six jawans were martyred without falling into the hands of the enemy. alive.
The Maratha soldiers were safely evacuated from the siege of the enemy. On January 25, 1948, while the patrolmen of the Third Maratha Company were surrounded by the enemy on the north-western border of Naushera, two other companies came to her aid. But they could not help the soldiers. At that time, a detachment of medium machine guns was sent under the command of Lance Nayak Kalya Sawant of Mahar Battalion. Regardless of his life, he fired a machine gun at a high place, rained bullets on the enemy and released the soldiers of the Maratha Company safely.
The Battle of Naushera was considered to be the biggest battle in the Battle of Kashmir. Because he won this battle with great courage and bravery. The battle was won by the bravery of Naik Krishna Sonawane and Shipai Pundalik Mahar. Shipai Pundalik Mahar was injured while operating a machine gun for an hour and a half. He was replaced by Naik Sonawane, who maintained resistance by firing a machine gun with his left hand while his right hand was pierced by a bullet. When the machine gun later failed, he threw grenades at the enemy with his left hand, defeating the enemy. In the end, the Mahar troops were victorious. In return for this bravery, hero Krishna Sonawane was honored with Mahavir Chakra and soldier Pundalik Mahar was honored with Vir Chakra.
Naik Baliram Salvi and Shipai Dhondu Jadhav were also honored with Veer Chakra. Naik continued to attack the enemy even when Baliram Salvi was shot in the head.
The military history of the Mahar soldiers is timeless. From 1892, recruitment of Mahars in the British Army was stopped. Subhedar Ramaji Baba, Gopal Baba Valangkar and Shivram Janba Kamble have been making efforts since 1904 to re-recruit untouchables by submitting requests to the British. During Babasaheb’s time, the Mahar Regiment was re-launched in the British army, demanding that Babasaheb be recruited into the Mahar army. Today’s generation should follow the example of honesty, valor and selfless sacrifice of our forefathers. In the event of an emergency of the Unjust Atrocities Movement, the youth must protect the movement in the uniform of the Samata Sainik Dal. This history of the ancestors of the soldiers of the Samata Sainik Dal will surely inspire the youth.