Bombay or Mumbai or as the localites call it, “Aamchi Mumbai” is the urban dream of every Indian. It is the heart and home for more than 10 million people and many others who flock from different parts of states, cities and countries. Initially called as Bombay, was then changed to Mumbai in the year 1996. The word Mumbai was derived from the name of goddess Mumba who was worshipped by the Koli residents. Mumbai as we know today, the most populous city was not formed alone. What it is today is a contribution of the historic rulers, politicians and initial settlers. Let us have a look on how this beautiful and populous city of India was formed.
Like many other Indian states and cities, presidency of Bombay was retained by India. A major player in the independence movement, Bombay hosted the first Indian National Congress in 1885, and the Quit India campaign was launched here in 1942 by frequent visitor Mahatma Gandhi. The city became capital of the Bombay presidency after Independence, but in 1960 Maharashtra and Gujarat were divided along linguistic lines – and Bombay became the capital of Maharashtra.
The history of Mumbai recounts the growth and collection of seven islands on the west coast of India. The Kolis also known as the Maharashtrian fishing community were the first settlers on these islands. The Maurya Empire during the 3rd century BCE transformed the people of this island to Hindu and Buddhist religion. Interestingly, though there were religion transformations, the ruminants of koli culture remain huddled along the shorelines of the city from then to till date. From 6th century AD till the 14th century AD, Hindu dynasties swayed over the islands. Then, the Muslim Sultans of Gujarat annexed the area until the Portugal rule came over in 1534. Eventually, the British government took possession of the islands in 1665 and leased it to the East India Company for the paltry annual rent of UK£10.
The Mumbai state government is formed by 288 elected MLAS to the legislative assembly for a term of five years. As in the parliamentary system, the party is formed by command of the majority. The leader of the majority in assembly becomes the Chief Minister and selects the cabinet members. From the formation of the state in 1960, the Congress party or Congress led alliance have ruled the state for the major part. Non-Congress government was first formed in 1978, then in 1995 with Shivsena-BJP alliance, and most recently in 2014 with a BJP led alliance. Though, BJP and Congress have come to power in Mumbai, The Shiv Sena’s influence exits in the city majorly. The rise of the pro-Maratha regionalist movement, spearheaded by the Shiv Sena came to power in the city’s municipal elections in 1985. Since then, the city has seen the names of many streets and public buildings changed from their colonial names. The airports, Victoria Terminus and Prince of Wales Museum have all been renamed after Chhatrapati Shivaji, the great Maratha leader, although the British names of these and many major streets are still in popular local use.
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