The Satara Raj : A Study In History, Administration And Culture
The establishment of the British rule in Maharashtra in 1818 was an event of cataclysmic proportions. Politically, spelled the end of the Maratha supremacy in India. Socio-culturally. It signified the end of the old order to things in Maharashtra, where new order was yet to strike roots. The period was one when the traditional Marathi society was trying to adjust itself to a new-and an alien-structure of administration. It was a dichotomous position sometimes leading to a clash of values. The State of Satara, which was allowed to continue its existence, albeit on much reduced scale, could not escape this turmoil. The Raja of Satara was expected by his subjects to uphold the traditions of a medieval society. While the English rulers expected him to introduce reforms which must necessarily lead to the destruction of these very traditions. Caught between these opposing pulls, the Chhatrapatti tried to perform balancing acts, which sooner or later were bound to lead to some kind of confrontation. A gradual modernization of administration without the modernization of social structure was likely to lead to ? as it actually did ? a crisis of values. Of the State of Satara was continuation of a historic tradition, the British administration was a new historic fore. A clash between them was inevitable. In 1839 the British deposed Raja Pratapsinha, the descendant of the senior branch of the Chhatrapati Shivaji. The final act was performed in 1948 when the State of Satara was abolished altogether. The administrative history of Satara during the period 1818 ? 1848, is in reality a story of an enterprising sovereign who wanted to modernize his state without disturbing the essentially traditional fabric of the society.
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