(Happy Maharashtra Day)
Exactly 50 years ago we had a new beginning. The people of Maharashtra had given lives to make this happen. The day is celebrated for the formation of Maharashtra state.

History – Samyukta Maharashtra Chalwal

The Indian National Congress had pledged to introduce linguistic states prior to Independence. However after Independence, Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel were

Samyukat Maharashtra Chalwal

adamantly opposed to linguistic states. They perceived linguistic states as a threat to the integrity of India. For the first time and perhaps the only time, RSS and its chief Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar supported Nehru and Patel against redrawing of the map along linguistic lines. The catalyst to the creation of a States Re-organization Commission was the fasting death of Telugu nationalist Potti Sriramulu. In 1956, the SRC (States Re-organisation Committee) under pressure from Nehru and Patel recommended creation of linguistic states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka but recommended a bi-lingual state for Maharashtra-Gujarat, with Mumbai as its capital. Further, they recommended the creation of Vidharba state to unite the Marathi-speaking people of former Hyderabad state with Holkar’s Nagpur state. This led to the creation of the predecessor movement Samyuka Maharashtra Parishad, inaugurated on November 1, 1956, causing a great political stir and, under the leadership of Keshavrao Jedhe, a whole party meeting was held in Pune and Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti was founded on February 6, 1956. In the second general election the Samiti defeated the stalwarts of Congress by securing 101 seats out of 133, including 12 from Mumbai. The Congress party could form a government only with the support of Gujarat, Marathwada and Vidharba. Yeshwantrao Chavan replaced Morarji Desai as the Chief Minister of the bi-lingual Bombay State.

Flora Fountain/Hutatma Chowk

S.M. Joshi, Shripat Amrit Dange, N.G. Gore and Prahlad Keshav Atre fought relentlessly for Samyukta Maharashtra, even at the cost of sacrificing the lives of several people and finally succeeded in convincing Congress leaders that Maharashtra should form a separate state. The resignation of C. D. Deshmukh, the then Finance Minister of the Nehru Cabinet, had its salutary effect.

In January 1956, demonstrators were fired upon by the police at Flora Fountain in the capital city of Mumbai. Flora Fountain was subsequently renamed Hutatma Chowk or “Martyr’s Crossroads” in their memory. It is estimated that in all, 105 people were shot by security forces. Morarji Desai, who was the then chief minister of Bombay state was later removed and replaced by YB Chawan as a result of criticism related to this incident.

Finally on May 1, the bi-lingual state of Bombay was partitioned into states of Maharashtra and Gujarat with Bombay(now Mumbai) as the capital of Maharashtra.

Summary

Lets remember the martyrs and celebrate the spirit that they instilled in the state. Happy Maharashtra day to all.

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