7. SHIVAJI LEAVING AURANGZEB’S COURT IN ANGER
Shivaji reached Agra on the 12th May 1666 by noon, and had to be rushed to the Court to attend the special darbar on Aurangzeb’s 50th lunar birthday. Shivaji was presented to the Emperor by Asad Khan in the Diwan-i-Khas and was then directed to stand in the line of 5 hazari mansabdars. “The Emperor neither talked nor addressed any word to him.” The work of the court proceeded and Shivaji seemed to have been forgotten.
Shivaji was not expecting this kind of reception. He was very much upset when Kumar Ram Singh (son of Mirza Raja Jai Singh of Amber), in response to his query, informed him that the noble standing in front of him was Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur. He flared up “Jaswant, whose back my soldiers have seen! I too stand behind him? What it all means ?”
He was made to feel neglected in other ways also. At this he began to fret and “his eyes became wet with anger.” The Emperor noticed the commotion and told Ram Singh, “Ask Shivaji, what ails him.” When Kumar came, Shivaji burst forth, “You have seen, your father has seen, and your Padishah has seen, what sort of man I am, and you have wilfully made me stand up so long. I cast off your mansab …”
After saying this he then and there turned his back to the throne and rudely walked away. Kumar Ram Singh caught hold of his hand, but Shivaji wrenched it away …
In the painting above, the said scene, based on a contemporary letter, has been depicted. Shivaji is shown coming out of the Court in great anger, his back towards Aurangzeb, his sword half drawn, and Kumar Ram Singh of Amber trying in vain to pacify him. Wrote Parkaldas of Amber to the State’s Diwan in his letter of 29th May 1666, “The people had been praising Shivaji’s high spirit and courage before. Now that after coming to the Emperor’s presence he has shown such audacity and returned harsh and strong replies, the public extols him for his bravery all the more …”