In a landmark decision, Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra on Wednesday decided to abolish caste-based names of residential colonies.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s office said in a statement that the government chose to rename the localities to maintain social harmony and national unity.
The CMO added that names such as “Mahar-wada, Bouddh-wada, Mang-wada, Dhor-vasti, Brahman-wada and Mali-galli”, which pointed to the community that resided in a certain area, were not suited to a progressive state like Maharashtra. The names refer to Dalits, Dalit Buddhists, the community that handles dead animals, and gardeners, among others, the New Indian Express reported.
The government said that the localities will now get names like Samata Nagar, Bhim Nagar, Jyotinagar, Shahunagar and Kranti Nagar.
Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde said the move will bring about a change in the mindset of people. “We want to abolish the caste system gradually,” he was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express. “Everyone has an equal right to live with dignity. No one should be discriminated on the basis of caste and religion.”
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had suggested the renaming of the caste-based colonies earlier.
The move was hailed by DMK leader MK Stalin as a way to further progressive ideas in society.
I wholeheartedly welcome this announcement by the Maharashtra Government.
Tamil Nadu and DMK have always been at the forefront of the movement to rid society of caste.
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) December 3, 2020