Maharashtra Day 2021: History, significance of occasion marking foundation day of state

The state of Maharashtra marks the 61st foundation day on Saturday, 1 May, 2021. Every year, 1 May is celebrated as Maharashtra Day along with Gujarat Day as both states were formed on this date.

Due to the second wave of coronavirus, Maharashtra Day will be observed in a simple manner this year, with small ceremonies for unfurling the national flag that will be held at various district headquarters across the state.

To mark this day as a special one, Prime Minister Narender Modi took to his Twitter handle and extended greetings to the people of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

History of Maharashtra Day:

In the year 1960, the state of Bombay was divided into two new states which were Maharashtra and Gujarat. This decision was taken under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.

A request for a separate state started in 1940 for Marathi-speaking people. The Samyukta Mahasabha Organisation was then formed (in present-day Mumbai) for statehood.

The demand for a separate state was raised because the core issue was linguistic identity.

The Sanyukt Maharashtra Organisation demanded and continued their protest for a separate state till 1960. During that same year, the Bombay Reorganization Act was passed by India's Parliament to divide Bombay into Gujarat and Maharashtra. Later, the legislation came into effect on 1 May, 1960.

Significance of Maharashtra Day:

Every year on 1 May, Maharashtra observes this day as a public holiday. Educational institutes, banks, government offices, and several establishments remain shut on this special day. Also, liquor sales across the state are prohibited on Maharashtra Diwas.