Maharashtra Day also coincides with International Worker’s Day or Labour Day on May 1. In India, May 1st is the day when the state of Maharashtra came into existence. One of India’s largest states – in terms of size, population and economy , Maharashtra Diwas, or Maharashtra Day, is a state holiday across the massive western Indian state. The day sees celebrations across the state, with the traditional address in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park by the Governor. Given their shared post-Independence history, it is also Gujarat Foundation Day.
The States Reorganisation Act, 1956, defined boundaries for states within India on the basis of languages. Since having two linguistic units in one state didn’t work and hence the Sanyukta Maharashtra Samiti was formed to divide the states on the basis of languages the people spoke. Hence, the state was divided into two parts- one where people spoke Marathi and Konkani was formed as Maharashtra and the other where people spoke Gujarati and Kutchhi was formed as Gujarat. In 2018, Maharashtra will celebrate 58 years of its formation.
Maharashtra Day 2018: History, Significance & Chronology of statehood of Maharashtra
January 28, 1940: The Samyukta Mahasabha Organisation was formed in Mumbai (then Bombay). During 1940-45, due to World War and Quit India Movement, the demand for separate Maharashtra was postponed.
May 12, 1946: A resolution of Samyukta Maharashtra is passed at the literary meet at Belgaum.
July 17, 1948: The Union Government appoints a commission to study the formation of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka.
Dec 1948: Formation of states on the basis of linguistic lines is opposed by the Dhar commission. However, the Congress accepts the principle of the formation of the states.
Nov 4, 1953: Shankarrao Deo, Member of Constituent Assembly of India, writes to PM Jawaharlal Nehru demanding formation of Samyukta Maharashtra.
Oct 19, 1955: Nehru proposes the formation of three states – Samyukta Maharashtra, Maha Gujarat and Bombay. However, Deo suggests the formation of two states – Samyukta Maharashtra (including Bombay) and Maha Gujarat.
Jun 3, 1956: Nehru announces Bombay as a Union territory for five years.
Aug 10, 1956: Lok Sabha passes a resolution for a bigger bilingual state of Bombay.
Mar 28, 1960: Proposal of bigger bilingual state of Bombay is proposed in Lok Sabha.
April 21, 1960: Lok Sabha approves the proposal.
May 1, 1960: The state of Maharashtra is formed with Bombay as its capital.
Maharashtra Day 2018: How do people celebrate Maharashtra Diwas
Celebrations in Maharashtra include traditional Lavani performances, the narration of poetries written by Marathi saints and processions. Maharashtra’s history finds the reference in the 4th century as it has been a part of major dynasties including the Mauryas, Chalukyas, and Satavahanas. Several culture and architecture in the state have been left behind by these dynasties. The day also coincides with International Worker’s Day or Labour Day which is being observed since the 19th century.
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