Battle of Bhima Koragaon
- On January 1, 1818, a battle took place in Bhima Koregaon between Peshwa forces and British soldiers.
- The British army, which was mostly made up of Dalit soldiers, fought the Peshwa army, which was dominated by upper castes.
(The Mahar community had been insulted by Peshwa Bajirao II, who had dismissed them from his army. As a result, they sided with the English in the face of the Peshwa’s numerically stronger army.)
- The Peshwa army was beaten by British soldiers.
- The defeat of the Peshwa army was hailed as a victory over caste-based oppression and discrimination.
- It was one of the final battles of the Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-18), which brought an end to Peshwa rule.
- Mahars are officially designated Scheduled Castes now. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s visit to the site on January 1, 1927, resurrected the memory of the Dalit community’s struggle, turning it into a rallying place and a declaration of pride.
- The British erected the Victory Pillar Memorial in Perne hamlet in the district for the soldiers killed in the Koregaon Bhima battle.
Why is the battle significant?
- The Maratha Empire, which was then under Peshwa rule, suffered losses in the fight, and the British East India Company gained control of most of western, central, and southern India.
- Because a substantial number of troops in the Company forces were Mahar Dalits, the battle has been viewed as a symbol of Dalit pride.
3rd Anglo Maratha War
- After Lord Hastings was appointed Governor-General in 1813, the third and final phase of the Anglo-Maratha struggle began. The fight between the British and the Pindaris led to the Third Anglo-Maratha War (1817-1818). The British suspected the Marathas of assisting the Pindaris, a group of mercenaries fighting for the Marathas.
- The armies of the Peshwa rose up against the British in November 1817, followed by the Bhonsle and Holkar forces, while Sindhia stayed neutral.
- The Treaty of Poona, signed in 1817, required the Peshwa to relinquish control of the Maratha confederacy and conduct contacts with other states through British Resident. The Peshwa also relinquished control of the Konkan, as well as his rights in Malwa and Bundelkhand.
- Lord Hastings signed the Treaty of Gwalior (1817) with Daulat Rao Sindhia as part of his preparations for a campaign against the Pindaris. As a result, the Pindari War became part of the Third Anglo-Maratha War.
- After yet another attempt by the confederacy against British control, all Maratha resistance to British power came to an end. With the Maratha Chiefs, a fresh agreement was reached.
- In exchange for an eight-lakh-rupee annuity, the Peshawa gave up his name and authority for good and retired to Bithur, near Kanpur.
- As the Raja of Satara, a tiny territory named Satara was set aside for Shivaji’s descendants. All of Peshawa’s remaining holdings were annexed to the Bombay Presidency.
Why in News:
- The UN Human Rights office has expressed serious concern about the detention of those arrested in the controversial Bhima Koregaon case, and has urged the Indian authorities to release the detainees on bail while they await trial.