Formation of State of Maharashtra Class 8 History Notes Maharashtra State Board
After India gained independence, there was a demand on a large scale for the reconstruction of states on a linguistic basis. In Maharashtra, the demand for the state of Marathi-speaking people led to the ‘Samyukta Maharashtra Movement’ from 1946 onwards. Through various changing circumstances, the movement progressed, and finally, on 1 May 1960, the state of Maharashtra came to be formed.
From the beginning of the 20th century, many scholars began to express their thoughts on the unification of Marathi-speaking people. In 1911, the British Government had to suspend the partition of Bengal. On this background, N.C.Kelkar wrote that ‘the entire Marathi speaking population should be under one dominion’. In 1915, Lokmanya Tilak demanded the reconstruction of a state based on language. But during that period the issue of independence of India was more important, hence this issue remained aside. On 12 May 1946, in the Sahitya Sammelan at Belgaon, an important resolution regarding Samyukta Maharashtra was passed.
Samyukta Maharashtra Parishad:
On 28 July, ‘Maharashtra Ekikaran Parishad’ was called at Mumbai. Shankarrao Dev was its president. It passed a resolution that all Marathi-speaking regions should be included in one state. This should also include Marathi-speaking regions of Mumbai, Central provinces as well as Marathwada and Gomantak.
On 17 June 1947, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the President of the Constituent Assembly established the ‘Dar Commission’ under the chairmanship of Justice S.K.Dar, for forming linguistic provinces. On 10 December 1948, the report of the Dar Commission was published but the issue remained unsolved.
JVP Committee (Three Ministers Committee):
To study the conditions of creating linguistic provinces, the Congress appointed a committee on 29 December 1948. It included Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel, and Pattabhisitaramayya. It is known by the initials of these members as the ‘JVP Committee’. The report suggested that Congress accepts the concept of linguistic state in principle but the time was not proper for it. Severe response was seen throughout Maharashtra against this report. During that time Senapati Bapat organised rallies for the awakening of people. Acharya Atre got passed the proposal of Samyukta Maharashtra with Mumbai in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. It got passed by 50 against 35 votes. Due to this, the desire that Mumbai should be included in Maharashtra was proven.
Commission for Reconstruction of States:
The government of India appointed a ‘Commission for Reconstruction of States’ on 29 December 1953, under the Chairmanship of Justice Fazal Ali. This commission presented their proposal on 10 October 1955. This proposal advocated for the creation of a bilingual Mumbai State.
Marathi people of all regions should resolve to make one state was the purpose of signing the Nagpur Pact in 1953. According to this pact, Samyukta Maharashtra was formed including Western Maharashtra and Vidarbha along with Marathwada. In 1956, as per the amendment of the Constitution, Article 371(2) was included in it. According to the Nagpur Pact assurance was given regarding equitable financial provision for developmental work, ample finance for technical and vocational education, provision of state government services in particular regions by the population, and an Assembly Session once a year should be held in Nagpur, etc.
The struggle of Marathi-speaking people for the formation of Maharashtra with Mumbai had begun. A huge meeting was held on Kamgar Maidan in Mumbai. At that time Shankarrao Dev said, ‘We will oppose the separation of Mumbai from Maharashtra upto our last breath’. The emotions and demands of the people took the form of public agitation. Women also spontaneously started participating in it. Sumatibai Gore, Ismat Chugtai, Durga Bhagwat, Tara Reddi, Charusheela Gupte, Kamalatai More, Sultana Johari and many such women took part in the agitation.
On 7 November 1955, there was a meeting of labourers. Various Labour Organisations, Communists, Praja Socialists, Socialists, Peasants and Workers Party, Janasangh, etc. all these political parties participated in it. Comrade Shripad Amrut Dange presided over it. Here S.M.Joshi proposed a Resolution that Samyukta Maharashtra, with Mumbai and Vidarbha, should be created.
Beginning of Actual Conflict:
Discontent among the Marathi-speaking people was growing. A grand march led by Senapati Bapat was taken to Vidhan Sabha. Morarji Desai was the Chief Minister at that time. The government declared a ban. The police started the lathi charge and used tear gas. On that evening an open meeting was conducted on Kamgar Maidan with a mob of around 50 thousand. Comrade Dange guided the people. To accelerate the struggle for the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement, on 21 November 1955 decision of a one-day token strike was taken.
Contribution of Marathi Newspapers and Shahirs:
In this movement the role of newspapers was important. Prabodhan, Kesari, Sakal, Navakal, Navyug, and Prabhat many such newspapers worked to awaken the people. Acharya Atre started the ‘Maratha’ newspaper which played an important role in the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement. Balasaheb Thackeray took up the pen name ‘Mavla’ and drew caricatures to make the movement comprehensive. Lokshahir Annabhau Sathe, Shahir Amar Sheikh, and Shahir D.N. Gavankar through their writings aroused public awakening on a large scale.
Establishment of Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti:
The issue of the demand of the Marathi-speaking people started becoming complicated. Discontent spread throughout the state. On 6 February 1956, a meeting was conducted under the Chairmanship of Keshavrao Jedhe at Tilak Smarak Mandir in Pune. The Samiti declared its Executive Council. Comrade Shripad Amrut Dange is the President. Dr. T.R. Naravane as Vice President and S.M. Joshi as General Secretary were selected. G.T.Madkholkar, Acharya P.K.Atre, Madhu Dandavate, Prabodhankar Keshav Thackeray, and Y.K. Souni played an important role in establishing the Samiti. At the same time Senapati Bapat, Krantisinh Nana Patil, Lalji Pendse, and Ahilyabai Rangnekar contributed immensely to the Samyukta Maharashtra movement. They spread the movement to rural parts of Maharashtra.
When it was clear that Mumbai would not be included in Maharashtra, at that time there arose a huge public agitation. In this movement, 106 people became martyrs in the firing opened by the State Government. In memory of the 106 sons of Maharashtra who became martyrs for the formation of Samyukta Maharashtra, the ‘Hutatma Smarak’ was erected in Mumbai near Flora Fountain. On 1 November 1956, Bilingual Mumbai State came into existence. Later in 1957, Loksabha, Vidhan Sabha, and Mumbai Municipal Corporation elections were held. Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti was a grand success. These results made it clear that the voters were against the bilingual state and in favor of Samyukta Maharashtra.
The unveiling of a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj mounted on a horse on Pratapgad was to be done at the hands of Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 30 November 1957. At that time Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti decided to make a huge demonstration under the leadership of Bhai Madhavrao Bagal. Leaders like S.M.Joshi, N.G.Gore, Jayantrao Tilak, P.K.Atre, and Uddhavrao Patil were present. Severe demonstrations were made at Pasarni Ghat and Poladpur. The Samitisucceeded in making Pandit Nehru aware of the conditions as well as of the sentiments of the Marathi-speaking people.
The Central government favored the making of Maharashtra due to the agitation led by Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti. In this instance, Indira Gandhi, President of Congress supported the Samyukta Maharashtra movement. The Central Government consented to the two linguistic states- Maharashtra and Gujarat. In April 1960, the Parliament passed the Mumbai Reorganisation Act. According to this Act, Maharashtra State was formed on 1 May 1960. At the dawn of 1 May 1960, in the special ceremony at Raj Bhavan, on the occasion of Labour Day, Pandit Nehru officially announced the formation of Maharashtra State. Yashwantrao Chavan accepted the responsibility as the first Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
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