Tuesday, October 28, 2008


This is the story of BOMBAY STATE AND MYSORE STATE. No, there was no Maharashtra then. There was just one huge BOMBAY state which included the entire present day Maharashtra and places like Karwar (my good old gaon), Dharwad, Belgaum and Bijapur, alongwith some parts of Gujarat and Deccan.

In 1957, it was decided to have Linguistic States. Since Dharwad, Belgaum and Bijapur had Kannada speaking population, it was decided to merge them with the then MYSORE state. The people in Karwar majorly spoke Konkani then (some spoke Marathi too). But due to geographical convenience it was decided to hand it over to MYSORE state. (Karwar is on the tip of present Karnataka and very close to present day Maharashtra and Goa). The new state then came to be known as KARNATAKA. (So, I have strong Mumbai roots… ha ha!)

What happened to BOMBAY STATE then? When the funda of linguistic states was being chalked out, Morarjee Desai was the Chief Minister of Bombay. He, being a Gujarati, decided to club apni Mumbai city with GUJARAT state. And the new State (after handing over the Kannada speaking regions to old Mysore State), was to be called MAHARASHTRA minus Bombay (or Mumbai) city. Marathis were obviously furious when they heard this. They launched an agitation under the 'Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti' against the merger of Mumbai city with Gujarat state. Many Mumbaikars lost their lives fighting for the cause. Finally their demands were considered and a new state MAHARASHTRA was formed on 1st May, 1960 with Mumbai city included in it. That is the day we celebrate 'Maharashtra Day' every year.

All of you have seen Hutatma Chowk or Flora Fountain. Next time see it more closely. It was built in remembrance of those people who lost their lives fighting in the agitation to retain Mumbai in Maharashtra state. The agitators were fired at near Flora Fountain and the place was later renamed as Hutatma Chowk, meaning "Martyr's Crossroad". Their names are encrypted there. It’s a pity we have forgotten those Mumbaikars. If it weren't for them, Mumbai would have been part of Gujarat and we'd all be Gujaratis now. Would we then have a GNS (Gujarat Navnirman Sena) instead ?

Courtesy: My Dad, who's stayed in Mumbai nearly all his life and knows the city inside out and has seen it grow and change over the years


sk said...

Thanks to you and your father for bringing to us the historical facts about Bombay State and Maharashtra. I was not aware of these details. Very informative article......

Shagufta said...

Thanks. I take a bow :)