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MAHARASHTRA DAY


~ Anubhooti Shaw


INTRODUCTION

The current state of Maharashtra was established on this day 57 years ago. The States Reorganisation Act of 1956 defined language-based state boundaries within India. People in Bombay at the time spoke a variety of languages, including Marathi, Gujarati, Kutchi, and Konkani, which clearly did not work out. As a result, the Sanyukt Maharastra Andolan began demanding its own state. Every year on May 1, Maharashtra Day commemorates the statehood of Maharashtra following its separation from the Bombay State in 1960. The state was established on linguistic grounds on this day in 1960.





HISTORY

Parliament passed the Bombay Reorganization Act in 1960, dividing the multilingual state of Bombay into Gujarat and Maharashtra. On May 1, 1960, the law went into effect.


In 1940, the demand for a separate state for Marathi-speakers began. The campaign for statehood was led by the Samyukta Mahasabha Organization. Due to the Quit India Movement and World War II, however, the fight was put on hold. Many commissions calling for an independent state took more than two decades. Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister, declared Bombay a Union territory for five years in 1956. Later, the Lok Sabha passed a resolution in support of Bombay's bilingual state. The state resolution was proposed by the Lok Sabha in March 1960. The Lower House accepted the resolution on the State of Bombay a month later. The state of Maharashtra was founded on May 1, 1960, with Bombay as its capital.


An organisation called the Sanyukta Maharashtra Samiti started a campaign to split the state of Bombay into two separate states. People who primarily spoke Gujarati and Kutchhi would be grouped together in one place, while people who primarily spoke Marathi and Konkani would be grouped together in the other. The Bombay Reorganisation Act of 1960, which was passed in Parliament on April 25, 1960, resulted in the formation of two states: Maharashtra and Gujarat.




CELEBRATIONS

Maharashtra celebrates Independence Day with zeal, from speeches to colourful parades. The majority of schools, universities, and offices in the state and federal government jurisdictions are closed on this day. Maharashtra Day is marked by a parade in Shivaji Park, Dadar, during which the Maharashtra Governor delivers a speech. The state government and the private sector both initiate new ventures and schemes on this day. In Maharashtra Diwas, liquor sales to Indians are prohibited in the state.


Maharashtra also issues a notification designating May 1 as a public holiday to be observed as Maharashtra Day. This day is commemorated by numerous programmes held by all colleges, offices, and businesses. The festivities this year are likely to be cancelled due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. With 10,498 active cases, 1,773 cured cases, and 459 fatalities, Maharashtra is the worst-affected state.


While the rest of the world commemorates International Workers' Day on May 1, Maharashtra commemorates a much more significant event in its own history. The Governor addresses a huge crowd at Shivaji Park in Mumbai during a parade. Both state offices are closed, and the selling of alcohol is banned.


On May 1, the Maharashtra state government and the private sector will inaugurate and launch a number of new projects and schemes. On Maharashtra Day, such institutions and ventures also hold annual celebrations. Every year, the Maharashtra government issues a notification designating May 1st as a public holiday to be observed as Maharashtra Day. This holiday is observed by all schools, offices, and businesses that fall under the jurisdiction of the state and federal governments. Various programmes are held to commemorate the day.

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