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The Battle of Koregaon: A Saga of Mahar Valor and Struggle Against Oppression

 the Presence of Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar at the Koregaon Vijay Stambh

The Presence of Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar at the Koregaon Vijay Stambh.

Introduction The Battle of Koregaon

Embarking on the first day of January 1927, a momentous gathering unfolded at the Koregaon War Memorial, orchestrated by leaders of the Depressed Classes. In a poignant oration, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, a luminary in his own right, unravelled the tapestry of historical injustices endured by the community. Thus began an enthralling narrative spotlighting the gallant saga of the Mahars—a marginalized community that etched its indomitable mark in the Battle of Koregaon against the repressive Peshwa regime.

Historical Background of The Battle of Koregaon

Dr. Ambedkar underscored the untold chronicle of Mahar’s contributions to the British forces across various battles, with a focal point on the Koregaon clash. Confronting discrimination and economic privation stemming from caste-based biases, numerous Mahars enlisted in the British military. Dr. Ambedkar called upon his community to vociferously oppose the ban on their military pursuits, underscoring the paradox of their characterization as a non-military community by the British.

The Battle of Koregaon vijay sambh

The Battle of Koregaon Vijay samba.

The Battle of Koregaon

The narrative then navigated the labyrinth of the Battle of Koregaon, an epochal confrontation between a modest contingent, including Mahar warriors, and the formidable Maratha Army. Guided by Captain F. F. Staunton, the British forces valiantly contested against a colossal Maratha cavalry and infantry. The Mahars exhibited extraordinary courage, weathering adversities and emerging triumphant despite facing overwhelming odds.

The Aftermath and Recognition

The triumph of the Mahars at Koregaon reverberated far beyond the battleground. Acknowledging their “heroic valor and enduring fortitude,” an obelisk ascended at the site in 1821. This monument immortalized the names of those who perished and those wounded, accentuating the unwavering loyalty and valor of the Mahar soldiers. Commemorative medals and clasps were bestowed to immortalize their contributions in subsequent conflicts.

The Social Context

Amidst the historical tapestry, the article delved into the societal milieu encountered by the Mahar community under Peshwa’s dominion. Dr. Ambedkar vividly depicted the discriminatory practices, spotlighting the untouchability and ignominy heaped upon them. The Battle of Koregaon, in essence, metamorphosed into an emblem of the struggle against caste-based oppression.

Interpretation of the Battle

Dispelling certain claims, Dr Ashok Bharati clarified that the Battle of Koregaon wasn’t a vendetta against the Marathas but a crusade against Brahminical supremacy. The Mahars aspired to dismantle Brahmin-imposed untouchability, propelling them to align with the British. The Mahar community’s strife wasn’t against the Marathas but against the oppressive social fabric perpetuated by the Brahmins.


The Battle of Koregaon stands tall as a testament to the fortitude and resilience of the Mahar community in the face of oppressive socio-political structures. The article accentuated the imperative of accurately comprehending historical events, devoid of distortions, to grapple with contemporary challenges related to caste-based discrimination and social justice. The narrative exalted the valor of the Mahars while imploring society to ponder over the true import of the battle in the ongoing struggle for equality.

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