BELGAUM: The state government declared a holiday to mark the birthday anniversary of Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj. This year, government functions would also, be held across the state to celebrate Shiv Jayanthi. The decision is said to be the BJP government’s gift to the Maratha community residing in the state. A survey showed that nearly 70 lakh Maratha community people reside in the state.
The government said that Shiv Jayanthi would be annually celebrated in the district head quarters across the state and processions would be held. The state Maratha organisations welcomed this decision. However, the date of Shiv Jayanthi has not yet been fixed.
The Maharashtra government observes February 19 as Shivaji Maharaj’s birthday but the Marathi organisations of Belgaum and surrounding areas consider Akshaya Tritiya as Shivaji’s birth anniversary. This year, the Akshaya Tritiya falls on April 23.
The Maharashtra government formed a committee consisting of expert historians, including Babasaheb Purandare and fixed February 19 as Shiv Jayanthi.
In Belgaum, every year a procession along with several tableaux depicting the life of Shivaji is taken out. The Maharashtra government declared a holiday on Basava Jayanthi much before Karnataka declared it.