2 rupee: Chhatrapati Shivaji
Chhatrapati Shivaji founded the Hindu kingdom in the Deccan against all odds , fighting against the mighty Mughals.He inspired and united the common man to fight against the tyranny of Mughal ruler Aurangjeb, by inculcating a sense of pride and nationality in them.
At the age of 16, he took a pledge to establish a sovereign Hindu state.He clearly outstands all the rulers and generals of India by the exemplary life he lived and is thus respected by the entire cross section of Indians. Shivaji's military skills could be compared to those of Napolean.
He raised a strong army and navy, constructed and repaired forts, used gureilla warfare tactics,developed a strong intelligence network,gave equal treatment to the people from all religions and castes based on merit, and functioned like a seasoned Statesman and General. He appointed ministers with specific functions such as Internal security,Foreign affairs,Finance,Law and Justice,Religious matters,Defence etc.
He introduced systems in revenue collection and warned the officials against harassment of subjects.He thought ahead of times and was a true visionary.In his private life, his moral virtues were exceptionally high.His thoughts and deeds were inspired by the teachings of his mother Jijabai,teacher Dadaji Konddev,great saints like Dnyaneshwar & Tukaram and the valiancy and ideals of the Lords Rama and Krishna.
The tiny kingdom established by Chhatrapati Shivaji known as "Hindavi Swaraja" (Sovereign Hindu state) grew and spread beyond Attock in Northwest India (now in Pakistan)and beyond Cuttack in East India in course of time, to become the strongest power in India. After the death of Chhatrapati Shivaji & his son Sambhaji, their prime ministers or ‘the Peshwas' became the defacto rulers. The Peshwas and the Maratha Sardars (Chieftans) like Shindes of Gwalior, Gaekwads of Baroda & Holkars of Indore contributed to the growth of the Maratha Confederacy.
The history of India is incomplete without the history of Marathas and Shivaji is the nucleus of Maratha history. Shivaji has been a source of inspiration and pride to the past generations and will continue to inspire generations in future.
2 rupee: Chittaranjan Das
Chittaranjan Das, whose life is a landmark in the history of India's struggle for freedom, was endearingly called 'Deshbandhu' (Friend of the country). Born on November 5, 1870 in Calcutta, he belonged to an upper middle class Vaidya family of Telirbagh in the then Dacca district. His father, Bhuban Moban Das, was a reputed solicitor of the Calcutta High Court. An ardent member of the Brahmo Samaj, he was also well-known for his intellectual and Journalistic pursuits. Chittaranjan's patriotic ideas were greatly influenced by his father's.
In 1894 Das came back to India and enrolled himself as a Barrister of the Calcutta High Court. But he did not get the backing badly needed to make a good start in the profession.
In 1907 he appeared as the defence lawyer of Brahma (bhadhav) Upedhyaya and Bhupendranath Dutta who were prosecuted for sedition. His abilities as an advocate evoked general admiration, though he did not succeed in baffling the prosecution. The turning point in his career came when he was called upon to appear on behalf of Aurobindo Ghose in the Alipore Bomb Case (1908). It was due to his brilliant handling of the case that Aurobindo was ultimately acquitted. This case brought Das to the forefront professionally and politically.
Chittaranjan was the defence counsel in the Dacca Conspiracy Case (1910-11). He was famed for his handling of both civil and criminal law.He came to the forefront of nationalist politics in 1917.
In 1918, both at the Congress special session in Bombay and at the Annual Session in Delhi, Das opposed the scheme of Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms as wholly inadequate and disappointing. The demand for Provincial Autonomy was successfully propounded in the teeth of vehement opposition from Mrs. Besant and others. In 1919 Chittaranjan went to Punjab as a member of the non-official Jallianwala Bagh Enquiry Committee. At the Amritsar Congress (1919) he made the first advocacy of obstruction while opposing the idea of co-operation with the Government in the implementation of the 1919 Reforms.
Deshbandhu wanted "Swaraj for the masses, not for the classes." He believed in non-violent and constitutional methods for the realisation of national independence. In the economic field, Das stressed the need of constructive work in villages. A champion of national education and vernacular medium, he felt that the masses should be properly educated to participate in the nationalist movement. Chittaranjan also made his mark as a poet and an essayist. His religious and social outlook was liberal. A believer in women's emancipation, he supported the spread of female education and widow re-marriage. An advocate of intercaste marriage, he gave his own daughters in marriage Brahmm and Kayastha families.
Chittaranjan passed away on June 16, 1925 at Darjeeling at the age of 55. Great as a jurist, Chittaranjan was the greatest and most dynamic leader of the then Bengal. Above all, he was an apostle of Indian nationalism.