The state Cabinet on Wednesday decided to rename settlements, slum pockets and gaothans across Maharashtra that have caste-based names.
As per the Cabinet decision, settlements with names such as Maharwada, Mangwada, Bramhanwada and Mali Gulli – indicating the caste of people living there – will be renamed after iconic leaders or as Samata Nagar, Bhim Nagar, Jyoti Nagar, Shahu Nagar and Kranti Nagar.
“Since it is not a matter of pride to have such names in a progressive state like Maharashtra, the decision has been taken with an aim to create social harmony and increase national unity,” said a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office.
Earlier, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had expressed displeasure over the caste-based names of settlements, slum pockets and other areas. Taking note of Pawar’s suggestion, NCP leader and Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde moved a proposal before the Cabinet.
Officials said that the urban development and rural development departments will implement the decision in the areas falling in their jurisdictions.
The state social justice department had issued an order last September — in accordance with an order issued by the President under Article 341 of the Constitution — to remove the term Dalit from all government records, documents and certificates and replace it with Scheduled Castes and Neo-Buddhists.
In 2011, the name of Dalit Vasti Sudhar Yojana was changed to Scheduled Castes and Neo-Buddhists Vasti Sudhar Yojana. Also, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Dalit Mitra Award was renamed as Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Samaj Bhushan Award in 2012.