Why Do We Celebrate Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day On May 1? Here's All You Need To Know

Explore the rich post-independence history of Maharashtra and Gujarat on May 1st, celebrating their linguistic identity and statehood while advocating for the Marathi and Gujarati-speaking communities.
Why Do We Celebrate Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day On May 1? Here's All You Need To Know
Why Do We Celebrate Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day On May 1? Here's All You Need To KnowThe Bridge Chronicle

On May 1st each year, while the world observes International Labour Day, in India, this date holds special significance for the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. It marks a crucial moment in post-independence history, symbolizing the establishment of these states based on linguistic boundaries—Maharashtra for the Marathi-speaking community and Gujarat for the Gujarati-speaking community.

Before the formation of Maharashtra, the entire region of Maharashtra and Gujarat was known as the state of Bombay and included people speaking four major languages including Marathi, Kutchi, Gujarati, and Konkani.

The roots of this celebration trace back to the early 20th century when the demand for a separate state for Marathi-speaking people began gaining momentum. The Indian National Congress approved a resolution for linguistic states, but it wasn't until India gained independence in 1947 that this desire gained traction.

The Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti was established in 1956, advocating for a distinct Marathi-speaking state that encompassed Bombay City and other Marathi-speaking territories within the state of Bombay. This movement culminated in the reorganization of states along linguistic lines, leading to the establishment of Maharashtra on May 1, 1960.

Similarly, Gujarat Day, also celebrated on May 1st, marks the establishment of Gujarat as a separate state in 1960. The demand for a Gujarati-speaking state dates back to the 1920s with the Mahagujarat Movement gaining momentum in the 1950s. The creation of a separate state for Gujarati-speaking people was advocated by a panel formed by the Indian government, which eventually led to the formation of Gujarat on May 1, 1960, with Ahmedabad as its capital.

The celebrations on Maharashtra Day and Gujarat Day are marked by various cultural events and ceremonies. In Maharashtra, celebrations take place at iconic locations like Shivaji Park in Dadar, Mumbai, with parades, cultural programs, and speeches highlighting the state's achievements and heritage. Gujarat commemorates the day at the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, showcasing the state's cultural vibrancy and progress.

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