On this day, 57 years ago, the existing state of Maharashtra was formed. The States Reorganisation Act, 1956, defined boundaries for states within India on the basis of languages.
The then Bombay though had people speaking various languages like Marathi, Gujarati, kutchi and Konkani, which obviously did not work out. So the Sanyukt Maharastra Andolan started demanding a separate state.
The protest continued till 1960 when the Bombay Reorganization Act was passed by India’s Parliament to divide the multilingual state of Bombay into Gujarat and Maharashtra, with Ahmedabad. The legislation came into effect on May 1, 1960.
Even as the rest of the world celebrates International Worker’s Day on May 1, Maharashtra continues to celebrate a much bigger event in its own history. A parade is held at Shivaji Park in Mumbai where the Governor addresses a large gathering. All offices in the state remain closed and sale of alcohol is prohibited.