Uttarakhand Day in India Date in the current year: November 9, 2024

Uttarakhand Day in India Uttarakhand Day (Uttarakhan Divas), officially known as Uttarakhand State Foundation Day (Uttarakhand Rajya Sthapana Divas) is observed on November 9 to celebrate the statehood of Uttarakhand.

The state of Uttarakhand, formerly known as Uttaranchal, is located in northern India. Its name can be found in early Hindu scriptures; it is derived from the Sanskrit words that mean “north” and “land”, so “Uttarakhand” can be translated as simply “Northern Land”. Throughout its history, Uttarakhand was dominated by various dynasties. By the Middle Ages, its eastern part was consolidated by the Kumaon Kingdom, and its western part belonged to the Garhwal Kindgom.

By the early 19th century, both kingdoms had been conquered by the Kingdom of Gorkha (present-day Nepal). When the Kingdom of Gorpha was defeated in the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814–1816, it ceded the region to the East India Company under the Treaty of Sugauli. Following India’s independence from the United Kingdom, the former territories of the Garhwal and Kumaon Kingdoms became part of the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Sadly, the government of Uttar Pradesh failed to meet the needs of the people in the Himalayan region and put very little effort into its development, which led to lack of infrastructure, unemployment, poverty, and workforce migration to more developed regions. As a response to the issues of the hill region, a group of social activists established the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal with the objective of the formation of a separate state.

The demand for a separate state took the form of a mass movement in 1994, when people all over the region, from students to government employees, took part in demonstrations, protests and strikes. Tensions reached their peak and events took a violent turn on October 2, 1994, when the Uttar Pradesh Police fired on unarmed activists heading to Delhi at the Rampur Tiraha crossing, killing a number of people.

Sadly, even these deaths did nothing to sway either the government of Uttar Pradesh or the central government. It took four more years for the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly to pass the Uttar Pradesh Reorganization Bill and send it to the central government, and two more years for the central government to present it to the Parliament of India. Finally, the new state came into existence on November 9, 2000.

Interestingly, it was originally named Uttranachal, because the Bharatiya Janata Party that led both the central and state governments considered it more “politically neutral”. This caused a controversy among many statehood activists, and the majority of the state’s population continued to use the name Uttarakhand even though it wasn’t official. In 2006, the Indian government agreed to rename the state officially.

Uttarakhand Day has been celebrated every year since the foundation of the state. The celebrations include flag hoisting ceremonies, parades and various cultural events, with the state governor and other officials in attendance. On the occasion of the holiday, state awards are presented to people who’ve made an outstanding contribution to the development of Uttarakhand.

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Uttarakhand Day in India, Uttarakhand State Foundation Day, holidays in India, holidays in Uttarakhand, regional observances