Mumbai: The name Shivaji Park is now history. From now on, it will be known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Park after the proposal for the renaming of the ground was presented and approved in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) general body meeting on Wednesday.
The demand for renaming the ground was raised by the standing committee chairman, Yashwant Jadhav, at the general body meeting. Shivaji Park is visited by ordinary citizens and political leaders.
According to Jadhav, it is insulting to refer to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as Shivaji, and therefore, he had sought that the park be renamed. The proposal was unanimously approved by all the corporators.
Situated in Dadar, hivaji Park was opened to the public by the BMC in 1925. It was originally called Mahim Park. A statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was installed in the park in 1966. Many government programmes were held on this ground.
A proposal to name the ground Shivaji Park was approved on May 10, 1927, in the BMC, at the behest of Municipal Councillor Avantika Gokhale. Ninety-three years after, on Wednesday, a proposal for the re-renaming of Shivaji Park was tabled and approved.
Shiv Sena founder and chief Bal Thackeray addressed Sainiks every year at this spot on Dussehra, for 40 consecutive years. The swearing-in ceremony of the present Maha Vikas Aghadi government was also held on this ground, on November 28, 2019.
This public park in Dadar is the largest park in the island city. Like the Azad Maidan and August Kranti Maidan (formerly Gowalia Tank Ground), it is of historical and cultural value because of the political and social gatherings it has witnessed, both in pre- and post-Independence Mumbai.
The 113,000 square metres (28 acres) open space is renowned as the cradle of Indian cricket.
Cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli, Sandeep Patil and Kiran More opened their innings here. It is considered a platform of opportunities for athletes to excel in their sports career, having nets for cricket, tennis courts, Mallakhamba training ground and football.