Aurangabad formally renamed ‘Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar’, Osmanabad becomes ‘Dharashiv’
With the orders in place, the region, districts, tehsils and villages of Aurangabad and Osmanabad have been renamed ‘Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar’ and ‘Dharashiv’ respectively, states the notification issued by Santosh Gawde, deputy secretary, state revenue department
Mumbai: At the special state cabinet meeting being held in Aurangabad, the Maharashtra government officially renamed Aurangabad as ‘Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar’ and Osmanabad as ‘Dharashiv’. Both districts are part of the Marathwada region. The state government issued two notifications to this effect on Friday.
With the orders in place, the region, districts, tehsils and villages of Aurangabad and Osmanabad have been renamed ‘Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar’ and ‘Dharashiv’ respectively, states the notification issued by Santosh Gawde, deputy secretary, state revenue department.
“We have now officially renamed Aurangabad as ‘Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar’ and Osmanabad as ‘Dharashiv’. We have made it foolproof and there is no technical glitch left in it,” said chief minister Eknath Shinde after the state cabinet meeting.
The decision was first taken by the erstwhile MVA government on June 29, 2022, in its last cabinet meeting with Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister. As a gesture, the MVA government had approved a proposal to rename Aurangabad airport as ‘Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Airport’ in March 2020.
The MVA government’s decision to rename Aurangabad and Osmanabad was reconfirmed by the Eknath Shinde-led government on July 16, 2022. The decision was put on hold, following a petition in the Bombay high court challenging it. On April 21, the high court restrained the state from using ‘Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar’ in official communications and records till it decided on the petition challenging the state’s decision to rename the historic city.
“In the subsequent hearings, the petitions were dismissed, and we have already got approval from the union home ministry for the renaming. Thus, formal notifications were issued on Friday,” said a senior official from the state law and judiciary department.
“Government of India has no objection to changing the name of Aurangabad to Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Osmanabad city to Dharashiv,” stated orders issued by Shyamal Kumar Bit, undersecretary at the ministry of home affairs in February.
The renaming of both districts and cities is a controversial issue and a long-pending demand raised by right-wing groups and late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. Chhatrapati Sambhaji was the son of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji and was killed by the then Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.
The renaming demand sprang up in the late 1980s. Over 25 people were killed in a communal riot in 1988 and in the subsequent elections, the Shiv Sena won the Aurangabad municipal corporation elections. On May 8, 1988, Bal Thackeray announced the renaming of the city to ‘Sambhaji Nagar’ and a resolution was passed by the municipal corporation in 1995. Following this, the then Shiv-Sena led government issued a notification seeking objections and suggestions from the people.
Osmanabad was renamed after its historical name, Dharashiv.