Maharashtra Day / Gujarat Day in India Date in the current year: May 1, 2024

Maharashtra Day / Gujarat Day in India On May 1, the Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat celebrate their foundation anniversaries (Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day, respectively). They commemorate the dissolution of Bombay State in May 1960, which resulted in the formation of two new states.

In 1947, British India was divided into two sovereign states: India and Pakistan. Following Indian independence, some of the princely states merged into existing provinces, others were organized into new provinces, and a few became separate provinces. As a result, most Indian provinces, and corresponding states, were multi-ethnic and multilingual.

The 1956 State Reorganization Act reformed the boundaries of Indian states and territories based on linguistic lines. However, some of the newly organized states were still multilingual. For example, the state of Bombay was expanded by the addition of Kutch State, Saurashtra State, Nagpur Division and Berar Division of Central Province and Berar, and Marathwada region of Hyderabad. As a result, it was composed of different areas where four main languages were spoken: Gujarati, Marathi, Konkani, and Kutchi.

Soon after the reorganization, the Samyukta Maharashtra movement demanded the creation of a separate Marathi-speaking state with the city of Bombay as its capital. Similarly, the Mahagujarat movement demanded the creation of a separate Gujarati-speaking state. It took them four years of campaigning to persuade the state leaders (President Rajendra Prasad, Vice-President Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru) to divide Bombay into two states by language. As a result, on May 1, 1960, Bombay was dissolved and two new states, Maharashtra and Gujarat, were created in its place.

In Maharashtra, the state foundation anniversary is a public holiday namedMaharashtra Day. It is a non-working day for all schools, universities, government agencies and companies across the state. On the occasion of Maharashtra Day, the state government organizes various events dedicated to the culture, traditions and language of Maharashtra. For example, a parade is held at Shivaji Park in the state capital of Mumbai, where the state governor delivers a speech.

Besides, the launch of various new programs, projects, campaigns and initiatives in Maharashtra often takes place on May 1. For example, the Marathi language Wikipedia was launched on May 1, 2003.

Unlike Maharashtra Day, Gujarat Day is not a public holiday. It is not celebrated as widely, and Gujarat residents don’t get a day off on May 1.

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Maharashtra Day, Gujarat Day, holidays in India, regional holidays, state foundation anniversary