An ardent fan of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has launched an online petition seeking support to have a 'Google Doodle' of the Maratha warrior king, to commemorate his 368th birth anniversary on February 19.
Amit Wankhede, a Maharashtra government employee from Yavatmal district, launched the petition on February 6 and has claimed to have received over 22,000 signatures in support from across the country, mostly from interior Maharashtra.
A 'Google Doodle' is one of the best ways to pay homage to Chhatrapati Shivaji in today's digital age, he said.
"Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, (is) one of the most respected and revered kings of India. We would love to see a 'Google Doodle' honouring (Chhatrapati) Shivaji on this (his birth anniversary) day. Shivaji is famously known as 'the people's king' and is still remembered and celebrated, not just in Mumbai or Maharashtra, but all across India," Wankhede said.
His petition highlights Shivaji's heroic efforts of defeating the might of the Mughals and creating a Maratha empire that endured for centuries after his time. "Known for pioneering innovate battle strategies like guerrilla warfare and building a navy, Shivaji was a king way ahead of his time. His forts still line the Western Ghats and stand testament to the sheer brilliance and spirit of this ingenious ruler," reads the petition.
In addition to his petition, Wankhede claimed that Shivaji's supporters have sent over 30,000 emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, the proper channel to request for a doodle.
Apart from launching the online petition at change.org, an international online platform provider, he said he has also appealed to Google CEO Sundar Pichai to extend a favourable response to his request, he said.
Wankhede has also suggested tentative designs of the Chhatrapti Shivaji Maharaj 'Doodle', saying that the doodle could be "designed based on his forts" or it could be a collage of his conquests over various kings and generals. He expressed hope that Google will gauge the popular sentiment of Indians everywhere and agree to the request to 'celebrate Shivaji Maharaj Google style'.
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