Maharashtra Day commemorates the formation of the state in 1960. On May 1, 1960, the Bombay Reorganisation Act came into effect, creating Maharashtra, following many protests and demonstrations in support of the new state.
The Act, in fact, created two new states out of the erstwhile Bombay State — Maharashtra, for the Marathi-speaking people, and Gujarat, for those whose mother tongue is Gujarati. Both states went on to become business hubs and prospered.
Maharashtra Day, which falls on the same day as the International Labour Day, is now a regional public holiday.
History and significance
After gaining freedom from colonial rule, the provinces and princely states were reorganised into the Union of India through the States Reorganisation Act, 1956. The Act proposed the reorganisation on the basis of the language spoken in a region.
Initially, Bombay State was formed for people who spoke Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, and Kutchi.
Two significant groups emerged — those speaking Marathi and Konkani, and those who spoke Gujarati and Kutchi. This triggered the demand to divide the Bombay State into two. To achieve this, the Bombay Reorganisation Act was passed in the Parliament in April 1960.
Thus, Maharashtra Day celebrates not just statehood but the legacy and culture of the people of Maharashtra.
Multiple events are held across Maharashtra to mark the occasion. A grand celebration is held at Shivaji Park in Mumbai which is attended by the Governor.
The celebrations have remained muted over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, events may be held but at a small scale as COVID-19 cases have seen a surge recently in parts of the country.