Bhima-Koregaon Battle





History is always one-sided account of the academic historians,” said by Nepolean (Ref: Best selling book, “Da Vinci Code” penned by Dan Brown). As such, we ought to read our marvelous ancestor’s histories which will give us “another side of account of our factual histories”.

"Those who forget history of their own; never create history": Dr.Ambedkar. Therefore it is necessary to remember our warrior ancestors from time to time. On remembering; we get indication of our existence and self respect too. Our ancestors were very obedient and brave people. They have shown their immense bravery whenever they got opportunity. It is said, “If you want to see what the man he is; place him in authority". Indeed! They were loyal people, their very important virtue was patience, loyalty and to face any circumstance bravely without any complaint In Marathi, there is a popular proverb " Hota Jiva mhanun wachla Shiva" i.e. As Jiva (Shudra) was there, Shiva (King Shivaji) could survive. The excerpts of the history are as such: Jiva disguised as Shivaji to save life of his master, the real king Shivaji from enemy at a certain crucial guerrilla war. Subsequently, when enemy came to know the fact, Jiva was killed by the enemy and saved the precious life of his master - king Shivaji .Thus Jiva who hailed from barber caste had shown a great loyalty by his sacrifice on behest of his master. Such many evidences are available in history. But alas! we don't know due to lack of underground/hidden knowledge; because BSO (Brahminical Social Order ) never reveal such truths of history in academic text books. Hence we must keep our curiosity alive and habit of reading additional, other than what is being taught by the existing educational systems which are run by the BSO in this country. It is said, " Repeat 99 times lie ; at 100th count the lie becomes truth", is main strategy of BSO which helps them to put the slaves to enjoy their slaveries. It is rightly stated by Pope, "Those who do not have ability to think, they treat all the happiness in only entertainment". As such, in order to have fore-vision, it is essential to develop habit of reading histories of our ancestors, our books, periodicals etc., than sitting in front of TV (Idiot Box) and wasting our precious life time.

Really, it is very sad part of us that no trace is made available ; is regrettable and astonishing. It is evident that BSO fear and try hard to suppress truth so that people as a whole should not know their black background history. If anything written in those days must have either been destroyed or distorted by treating as vicious show of our ancestors. The evidences indicate that our brave ancestors always used to revolt against injustice for ages.

Obviously, there is no doubt that BSO destroyed marvelous history of Mahars in pre-independence period. Yet, some traces of this history is as follows:

Ref.: Times of India, dated 31/03/03, article under caption ‘Dalit battles’ an interview of Raja Sedhar Vundru, Editor of ‘Dalit Millennium’ with Rajesh Ramachandran on intentionally forgotten war of Bhima-Koregaon which was enriched with the martial role of Dalits in pre-independent India.. A question was put up as follows : How come this Bhima-Koregaon history of Dalit valour has completely disappeared from public consciousness? Answer.:--According to one scolar, the British erected a monument in 1821 as a tribute by the valour and loyalty of the Mahars after the battle of Koregaon. This cenotaph had the names of 22 Mahar soldiers who fell in action. In fact in the Battle of Koregaon, the British force of 774 men, of which at least half were Mahars, fought non-stop without food and water to defeat the Peshwa’s army of 25,000 cavalry and 8,000 infantry. There is a great deal of research going on into this lost history of Dalit valour and martial spirit.

Ref.: Marathi book ‘Nagvawnshiyanno Tumch Asmita Geli Kuthe?’ i.e. Erstwhile Nagawanshi— Mahar! Where did did your valour and martial spirit go? author Shriniwas Bhalerao has reveal what had actually happened in the incredible war, is as follows.:

Ref : P-10 :----It was a great opportunity, ( though very difficult) came to Mahars to retaliate with Peshwas for their discrimination in every walk of life, by way of their (Peshva’s) hypocrisy, selfishness, religion, god. Mahars were totally suffocated with harassment in Peshwa regime. Their pride was annihilated and consequently British who were fighting with Peshwa, co-incidentally brought opportunity to Mahars to retaliate with Peshwas . This fact cannot be ignored. British had started employing Mahars in their military in large number everywhere in Maharashtra. This is because of their martial and fighting qualities. They were dedicated, loyal and honest whosoever task assigned to them. On the contrary, in Peshwa reign, Mahars were so badly ill-treated that had no parallel example in the history of any place of the world and at any time. Some selfish people, vested interests used comment on this war that , what did Mahars achieve by fighting with their own country- men? So moot question is---- Can anybody enslave his own country-men? Can anybody molest his own country-men’s women? Can anybody leave his or her own countrymen without food and water? Can anybody prohibit his own country-men brothers? Can anybody observe untouchabilities with his own country -men brothers and sisters? If such kind of maltreatment meted out, then who the hell would become brothers and sisters in this country during Peshwa regime? On the contrary, the British had given good treatment justice, goodwill, enquired about personal, domestic difficulties, given homely treatment without caste discrimination. Having been so, there was no reason why had not the British liked by the Mahars?

One British messengers all the way came from Poona and reached HQ Shirur-Camp with an important messages and handed over Lieutenant Colonel Filsman. In this letter Colonel Barton stated that there was acute shortage of forces for security of Poona, hence he should send his armour with immediate effect. Filsman thought how to handle the situation. Which armed forces to be deployed?

II Bajirao Peshwa was eager to capture Poona from British, for he had marched ahead with his huge army, reached ‘Chakan’ and stationed there to chalk out strategy. Yet British army with another squad under leadership of General Smith was chasing after Peshwa army from opposite end.

. Indeed, it was a crucial juncture and Herculean task before Filsman. There was a bad need of forces with proven outstanding qualities to get rid of enemy Peshwas having vast well equipped army or 25,000 to 30,000. After weighing/foreseeing situation of imminient do or die war, Filsman’s mind flashed with an idea. He thought of the best option i.e. it was to deploy the most dedicated, determined, dare deviled and loyal battalion i.e. Bombay Infantry First Regiment’s Second Battalion. This Battalion comprised of 500 Mahar soldiers, 250 Horseriders24 British officers and gunners having 205 small guns/Tof arms and ammunition. Caption Stanton was leader of the battalion.

Caption Stanton ordered his battalion to attack enemy. It was a plan terrain of Bhima-Koregaon. As such, it was a direct fight, no guerrilla tactics. Peshwa’s army comprised of 25000 soldiers, 5000 horse-riders, whereas British army was of mere 500 Mahar soldiers, 300 horse riders and 5 British officers. It was indeed do or die war for Mahars for retaliation, hence spirit was at their pinnacle hight, there was no fear of death in Mahar soldiers. The fight last for one day and one night continuously. One soldier was fighting with 40 soldier of enemy Peshwa. Looking to grave situation of war, Captain Stanton ordered to surrender his army and declared themselves defeated. On knowing this, Mahar soldiers who were ceaselessly fighting with enemy, got furious at Caption Stanton and shouted, “Sir!, please do not think to go back at any rate, do not get afraid, this Mahar soldiers will fight till last breath. We shall not leave this war place till last enemy and till last bullet.” Captain Stanton was pleased see so. He again freshly order to attacked the enemy i.e. last enemy and last bullet. Consequently, Mahar soldiers had inspiration and started fighting with double cheer. The Peshwa’s army discouraged with this development. The war was continued whole night. Mahar soldiers were fighting as if death was afraid of them. In course of the war, Commander-in-Chief of Peshwa army Bapu Gokhale’s son Govind Baba was killed and he got the news. He was totally discouraged. He cried and terribly shouted with pain by taking his son’s dead body on his laps. He completely lost his mental balance. As such, he ordered his force to get back to Fulgaon where Bajirao Peshwa II was camped. Mahar soldiers chased the enemy till the enemy crossed the Bhima river. Thus British won the incredible battle.

It may be recalled about the Commander-in –Chief Bapu Gokhale. (Ref. : Maratha Jaga Hotoy. i.e. Maratha being awaken.(Latest Marathi Book) that to become Commander-in-Chief of the army, he was compelled to offer his tin-aged daughter to Bajirao Peshva for fortifying his physical lust. It was so common in Peshwa regime that in order to achieve power, position, blessings one had to appease Peshva with something, especially offering of his young sisters, daughters and women irrespective of qualities to handle the position or power. Having been so, Commander-in-Chief of Peshwa’s army Bapu Gokhale (Brahmin) was incompetent person as he had no basic qualities required for the post, because he had had this post not through his fighting qualities/skills; but through bribing or such other offerings for achieving blessings from the Peshwa king. In autocracy (king rule) king is like a lion and people (Praja) are like lambs. As such, lion has full liberty to eat any lamb. So, Peshwas were so merciless that they spread havoc over people and for their illegitimate acts, they used to authenticate their illegitimate acts into legitimate acts by way of their evil-cum-orthodox prone with lack of scientific approach, logic, cause and effect relationship, scriptures Ramayana, Mahabharata, Manusmruti, Vedas and other such vested interest scriptures. Other than Brahmins, had no mercy at all in their regime. Their philosophy based on superior Caste/Race which they used to make nonstop propaganda so as to enable them to authenticate on people’s mind. Obviously, the propaganda were well adhered to their religious scriptures which were only for their benefit and so tactfully written by Brahmins only. But Brahmins do not accept that these scriptures were not written by them and their ancestors, but by god. It is utter false. “Repeat 99 times a lie, then at the 100th count, the lie becomes truth.” So is this case.

If we see the history of Peshwa regime, we find Peshwas had snatched ready made kingdom of Shudra King Shivaji who had so labouriously built up by means of his loyal people who all hail from Bahujan Samaj. Of course, Mahar community was among the military force of the King Shivaji. Peshwas are seen involved perennially in wine, women, all kind of luxuries, entertainment. They had princely life. They were excellent orators, expert manipulators for their selfishness. Basically they were timid. They could not bear physical onslaught, physically weak as they were indulged in luxurious life perennially. They were too much busy in worshipping gods, religious ceremonies, Yajna, Satyanarayan Pooja, receiving donation (dakshina) from people. They established fear of god in people’s mind, spread blind beliefs in name of god. Thus they manage to stop thinking power of people. They admired their-selves and their community relentlessly and boosted like anything., though it was not true at all They had full political power, being they (Peshwas) were rulers. But, basically they hailed from profession of receiving offerings (Dakshina) being Brahmins. So their attitude of receiving Dakshina had not changed, though they were rulers. Consequently, they did not bother quality of person while appointing responsible post, viz. Commander in Chief of armed forces post was offered to incompetent person Baapu Gokhale in lieu of offering his tin-aged daughter to Peshwa. They had huge army and were in apprehension that they wont be able to get defeated at any circumstance. So was their ego and over-confidence which ultimately attributed to their waterloo.

I would like to state an important incidence that had happened during 1934. Government had ordered to investigate about Nana Phadnavis’s life. So, a delegation went to his house. A vital evidence’s piece of paper was found, containing the list of women to whom Nana Phadnavis had extra-marital relationship. A delegate having pro-Peshva mind, had eaten and swallowed the paper. With this, the very important evidence was destroyed. Thus the curtain on evil deeds of Nana Phadnavis was closed for ever. There are such kind of evidences available in Indian history, that BSO had either destroyed Bahujan’s marvelous history or distorted in various spell of time, because authority of education was confined to Brahmins only for ages. So it was Brahmin to decide to whom to project better and to whom not, disregard with the fact. Brahmins were to decide, whether it is fact or not , of course it was vested interest oriented So is the case of Bhima-Koregaon war during 1818 where Mahars martial spirit was not projected by BSO. So it is our Bahujan’s duty to read the history of our marvelous ancestors and bring the same before people.

Here I recall once again about golden chapter of Indian history and harmony of various communities including Muslims and Mahars at crucial war time with excellent and professional teamwork of Indian forces in war of Wadgaon that won against the British forces during 1779. That time Mahars were fought under the leadership of Mahadaji Shinde, against the British. Mahar soldiers had played key role and won the war against British. Indeed, it is seen in pre-independence history of India that whenever Mahars fought either in favour of British or Maratha the side was found won. i.e. At Wadgaon Maratha won and at Bhima-Koregaon British won. It was sure that without Mahar victory was not possible, so was the equation in those days. So was their martial, do or die spirit on war place, never think of leaving war place despite all odds, defying Commander-in-Chief during war at crucial junction by disobeying order to weapon down. There is no doubt that innumerable events, (which never came into light as BSO had suppressed their chapter of marvelous history, their loyalty for nation, though they were maltreated during Peshwa regime. Had Peshwas been treated them fraternally, harmoniously with justice, without paying heed to their evil scriptures (evil to Mahar and entire Bahujans in India), they (Peshvas) would have named respectfully, and perhaps, they would have remain invincible as against British forces. So I dare say that the evil scriptures made they egoist, overconfident, compel them making dissociation with fighting communities and association with worthless people by offering highly responsible posts which ultimately lead them to their own waterloo.

Ref. Special issue “Bharatiya Janata” (Marathi) on Bhima-Koregaon war, dated 1/1/2000:-- In decisive do or die war, 500 Mahars and 300 Arabs (mostly horse riders) including a few others made waterloo i.e. demolished Peshva's huge and 40 times well equipped army of 30,000 soldiers and with this, they annihilated Nazi Peshva’s long standing ego by teaching lesson, “100 days are of goldsmith; but one day is of blacksmith” . Indeed! it is incredible, if any one just imagine as this was the fact not fictions like Ramayana and Mahabharata (the brain washing cock and bull stories far off from authenticity being prescribed not to be inquired about, simply shut the door of mind by keeping away from inquiry as these stories are regarded as divine and final thoughts imposed on us by BSO). Dr. Ambedkar as a journalist-cum-rationalist, had questioned to astrologists in "Muk Nayak" that, did they all 500 Mahars belong to " Lion-zodiac sign (Raashi)” who had won the battle of Bhima-Koregaon war ? Well, I would confidently say, "Certainly not". Rather, I would say, the man with his strong will, what he wants to be, he achieves that position today or in future with his ceaseless struggle by defeating circumstances in way of his life, and not by wishes of hypocrite astrologers who impose their wishes over ignorant as well as elite (read matrimonial columns in every Sunday in Times of India, so-called elites asking for production of Horoscope details) people and fear them with evil planets which are more than crores of mile from the earth, and nothing to do with man's life on the earth. Astrology is a witchcraft of astrologers, as rightly stated by Periyar Ramaswami Naicker in his book "Periyar on astrology". Also in similar way it is stated by Wrengler R.P. Parajape, "So far, it has not been proved any effect on man's life by Horoscope/Astrology. There is no relation between movement of planets and life of man on the earth". Dr Ambedkar gave a rational thought, " As far as nature is concerned, man is free." This thought is too an eye-opener enough if any wise individual thinks deeply, meaning of this line what Dr. Ambedkar meant to say.

During 1817 relation in between Peshvas an British were culminated badly. As such, Bajirao Peshva II and British had no option but to go for war. The British had requested battalion consisting of brave Mahar community at Mumbai, for help. Consequently, the battalion understood and foresaw the war was imminent. Having been so, the battalion Commander Shiknak with his foresight in welfare of his people , at that crucial juncture played very important diplomatic role. That is, he met Peshva at Shirur, and made his stand clear. He said to Peshva, " I and my battalion nevertheless interested to fight in favour of British. However, if our battalion fight against British (of course from your side), and won the British, what will be the position of our people in your kingdom and in army.?". But the Peshva instead of accessing the alarming situation of the country i.e. his kingdom, he got furious and immediately told that whatever prescribed in "Manusmriti" would be applicable to you i.e. Shudras. Such was the mad decision of Peshva . I like to tell the people so-called today's "Patriots" , they must learn and see in their within that, are they not thinking on line of Peshva in actual in this age ? This was the turning point that, Peshva was more interested in saving his "Manusmriti" than that of the nation i.e. his kingdom.

The commander Shiknak thought deeply and finally decided to vote for human rights which were denied to them under prescription of Varnashram Dharma of Manusmriti for ages. Eventually, this was the opportunity for retaliating although they were exceptionally small in numbers; yet their zeal for do or die was extreme in a hope for better and respectful life for them and for generations to come. That is, they decided to fight in favour of British. This was their prudent decision in their opinion. This decision was not merely against prevailing situation of mental slavery; but physical and financial also , i. e. for their very existence with self respect and teach lesson to the Nazi Peshvas who had been ill-treating them in every sphere of life . They decided to opt hazard once than perennial fear of Peshvas at that crucial juncture. Famous Burke's quote is that a dispute can be resolved/settled by three ways i.e. 1) One party has to surrender to wishes of another. 2) by amicable solution (pact) 3) by war. (However exception is--Rule by Kindness. e.g. : Emperor Ashoka The Great ). After having failed 2), the commander Shiknak had no option but to go for 3) i.e. War.

I feel necessary here to recall an interesting episode in foreign history. That is, in the history of negotiations for preventing the partition of Ireland, Redmond (majority’s leader) said to Carson, “Ask for any safeguards you like for the Protestants minority, but let us have a United Ireland”. Carson’s (minority’s leader) reply was, “Damn your safeguards we don’t want to be ruled by you”. In comparison to this, Nazi Peshvas (rulers) did not have even courtesy during nation’s crisis like foresighted Redmond , though Shiknak (Mahar’s leader) could not even think to say like Carson i.e. “Damn your safeguards, we don’t want to be ruled by you”. Simply, Shiknak had asked for a little i.e. humanitarian treatment and usual job with self-respect from Peshvas. As such, any individual can realise how Nazi Peshvas were allergic towards depressed class people which was attributed to Varnashram Dharma of Manusmriti. This kind of inhuman treatment (untouchability) has no parallel in history of any country at any period (e.g.: 1) Depressed class people had to tie a broom at back side for auto cleaning the path on which they walked and earthen pot had to be hanged around neck for spitting. 2) During 1803, a famine was occurred in Peshvas Kindom, people starved and requested food grain stuff from kingdom's main food store, but the store was opened by Nazi Peshvas for Brahmins only and rests were left to die. Similar other countless incidences must have been there of which no record is available because education right was with the rulers- Brahmins as prescribed in Manusmriti. An eminent philosopher "Pascal" has rightly quoted, " Man has committed innumerable sins without any obstacle with support of religion than any other means. This is reality in history Therefore, Dr. Ambedkar used to say , “Poona is the locality of dacoits”.

The Shudra King (as per prescription of Manusmriti) Shivaji established free state with his skill and immense bravery with dedicated 12 different group of Shudras and others . One of the brave castes was Mahar. But, subsequently cunning Nazi Peshvas (Brahmins) were able to success in converting the free state of Shivaji into "Nazi Peshvai". Even at verge of fag end of Peshvas kingdom, the Mahars had intended to fight in favour of Peshvas though former were ill-treated and victimised by the latter. This was due to their immense loyalty to nation, ignoring the past for sake of freedom of nation, though the nation was Peshva's kingdom. But Nazi Peshvas were egoist and overconfident that they wont be defeated and above all, preservation of Manu-Dharma was the supreme factor to them. As such, I opine that Peshva's Manusmiti and other Hindu holy scriptures prescribing Varnashram Dharma along with their (Peshvas) egos had caused their waterloo in Bhima-Koregaon war. This case is similar to a famous scientist Madam Mary Curie (radium woman) invented a metal "radium". Interestingly, radium itself caused her death subsequently, due to emission of dangerous alpha, beta and gamma rays with which she ought to live quite often for scientific experiments, and as such, ultimately radium spoiled her body. So was the case of Hindu scriptures and Brahmin Nazi Peshvas that they loved their poisonous scriptures which caused their waterloo ultimately. In light of this, indeed! I would say that those religious scriptures based on weak fundamentals will cause downfall of preachers/followers sooner or later, because people cannot be fooled all the times and all the ages. Furthermore, it is just like a building based on weak foundation causes its whole destruction. I would like to question to this generation people, the citizens of India that the Mahars had fought in favour of British was not a proud thing; but why such dilemma had occurred, which compelled Mahars to do so?, is a moot question which we all have to think deeply in order to build up strong nation for ages to come. As such, we Indian need the living philosophy which leads all of us to facts of life, perennial humanism and compassion without trogen horse (deception) in our middle and not the speculative philosophy which leads us to anything supernatural and the invisible (non-existing) legendary world and ultimately to trogen horse (deception).

In memory of the great triumph British built up "Victory Tower " engraving names of our ancestors who lost their lives in this first ever battle for Human rights. It is a glaring fact in the history of mankind teaches that no society can rule over another society for ever, because latter would always remain in opportunity to retaliate on former, is inevitable. British Government engraved the victory note including names of our ancestors who had sacrificed their lives. Also in memory of the victory, the note engraved , is :"One of the proudest triumphs of British army in the east.".

British came to India. They gave humanitarian treatment to depressed class people , inquired about their grievances with homely manner. As such, obviously the depressed class people had attracted towards British immensely. British used to visit this place 1st day of every year to pay tribute to the Victory Tower during initial years after this war. Dr. Ambedkar always thought why should not we visit this place and pay tribute to our brave ancestors ? During 1926 British Government banned recruitment to depressed class in army and police along with dismissing existing people of depressed class on ground of economical condition. In view of this, next year i.e. during 1927 Dr. Ambedkar launched an agitation against the British government for this injustice by arranging a massive rally at this Victory Tower. Lacs of people assembled here from various destinations to participate in this massive rally. Dr. Ambedkar had made aware to British government of sacrifices of the ancestors who caused to lay foundation of British empire in India. On the contrary , depressed class was getting bad treatment in reign of British. So, Dr. Ambedkar had appealed British government not to betray sacrifices of our ancestors. Since then, Bhima-Koregaon became a pilgrim place of depressed class people. Samata Sainik Dal ( founded by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar ) compulsorily used to visit and pay tribute to The Victory Tower every year.

British were outsiders, yet they built up this memorial “Victory Tower”. But it is surprised to note that why so-called superior class do not keep such type of gentle heart and treat depressed class brother in humanitarian manner though they talk too much on patriotism relentlessly , but their action in social life is different. Adith Karwell stated , " 'Patriotism' means not mere love shown to map of the country; but love between man to man in fraternal sense irrespective of caste, creed, race and etc.". In light of this, I opine that superior class's patriotism is merely remembrance to neutral item i.e. “Map of India” rather than anything, as their real social life is quite different vis-à-vis depressed class people which attributed to “Manusmriti” and other Hindu scriptures.."

I also visited and paid tribute to our miraculously brave ancestors on 1st day of this millennium year. I found people more than a lakh people had visited from different parts of India to celebrate new year day by remembering our ancestors. My eyes became tearful on watching old guys were literally weeping at this place while paying their rich tribute. Such was the sentimental atmosphere prevailed there. I earnestly appeal to our reader, especially to youngsters that they must visit to this place on 1st January instead of indulging mad overnight show of Happy New Year. Our saviour and master Dr. B.R. Ambedkar used to visit this place without fail. Bhima-Koregaon is situated on the bank of Bhima river, 30 Kms. away from Poona towards Ahmednagar.

In conclusion, I like to state about an experience of, one of the patriots, Mr. Chaphekar who had experienced such kind of incidence in his life . He closely observed the social life in India that upper caste people unnecessarily hated depressed class people as latter did not take part in freedom of India. Rather, latter were interested in achieving their human rights and working for ancillary movements. According to Mr. Chaphekar , latter were not wrong, on their part vis-à-vis human right movement. He expressed regretfully , “If we Indian do not treat our depressed class brother equally , sympathetically as a human being, what is use of our endeavours to make India free? For whom we are going to achieve independence ?” Indeed! His statement in his autobiography is still today existing as a glaring reality in social life. The glaring reality in regretful words of Dr. Ambedkar. i.e. After having failed that Hinduism could not be revised, he stated , “ Hitherto we were knowing that untouchability/ casteism was stigma on Hinduism; but we have now confirmed that the stigma is not on Hinduism ; but the stigma is on our physical body , stamped by Hinduism.” (Ref :- Ambedkar Ani Karl Marx : Author- Dr. Raosaheb Kasbe.)

Bibliography:- 1) Marathi Journal “Bhartiya Janata”. Shourya Din Special Issue dated 1/1/2000 at Bhima-Koregaon Pilgrim. 2) Marathi Book “ Ambedkar ani Karl Marx : Dr. Raosaheb Kasbe.

3) Dr. Ambedkar’s speech in the Constituent Assembly, while presenting the first draft of the Constitution of India, on 4th Nov. 1948.

4) Autobiography of Dr. D.R. Jatava.

5) Marathi book ‘Nagvawnshiyanno Tumch Asmita Geli Kuthe?’ i.e. Erstwhile Nagawanshi— Mahar! Where did did your valour and martial spirit go?, author Shriniwas Bhalerao

6) Times of India, dated 31/03/03, article under caption ‘Dalit battles’ an interview of Raja Sedhar Vundru, Editor of ‘Dalit Millennium’ with Rajesh Ramachandran on intentionally forgotten war of Bhima-Koregaon




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