April 1, 2014

April 1st is #UtkalaDibasa!



April 1st happens to be a very special day for over 5 Crore (50 million) people belonging to the eastern state of Odisha in India. This was the day - 1st April 1936- that Odisha was born as a state. Odisha's people are also called Odias. Today Odias are dispersed across India and the world, in this increasingly globalised era and all celebrate #UtkalaDibasa or Odisha Day with great joy and reverence. Odia is the language of the people of Odisha. This ancient, rich and great language has recently been announced as the Sixth Classical Language of India and the very first Indo-Aryan language which has been granted this highly esteemed status. Odissi is the classical dance of Odisha- one of the most subtle, beautiful, graceful dance forms of India.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-43bY6ZE5iNU/T3hE41J6TXI/AAAAAAAAAFo/AMoISG8ThgI/s400/Utkal+Divas.jpg
On auspicious #UtkalaDibasa I convey my best wishes to all Odia brothers and sisters..Source

Odisha since historical times has had several names- Udra Desa, Kalinga, Utkala, Odisha. Hence April 1st is popularly called Utkala Dibasa : 'Utkala' name was popular during 19th and early 20th centuries when Odia freedom fighters took up the cause, and 'Dibasa' means Day. Famous patriotic song written by Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra 'Bande Utkala Janani' was made the state anthem upon Utkala's independence on April 1st, 1936. For full lyrics, click here.


http://eodisha.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/125th-birth-anniversary-of-Kanta-Kabi-Laxmikant-Mohapatra-Writer-KantaKabi-LaxmikantMohapatra-BirthAnnivesary-Odia-Odisha-BandeUtkalaJanani-UtkalaSammilani-Respect.jpg
Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra who wrote 'Bande Utkala Janani'- Odisha's state anthem


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Utkala Gourab Madhusudan Das Source



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Source

Infact, Odisha was the first state to be formed on linguistic basis in India- much before India's independence. The movement for an independent Odisha and for Odias to have a distinct identity, was marked by blood, sweat and toil of our great Odia freedom fighters such as Utkal Gourab (Pride of Utkal) Madhusudan Das and Panch-Sakha : Utkal Mani (Gem of Odisha) Gopabandhu Das, Acharya Harihar Das, Nilakantha Das, Krupasindhu Mishra, Godavarish Mishra. Many other Odia stalwarts too have given their lives towards the cause of Odisha's upliftment and freedom. Their sincere and determined approach since 1895 finally made the British relent. Thus, Government of India Act 1935 provided for formation of an Odisha state- which would be separate from Bengal and Bihar. Earlier Odisha, Bengal, Bihar, Meghalaya all formed the British province of Bengal.

http://eodisha.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Famous-Persons-of-Odisha.jpg
Source Eminent personalities of Odisha, : (From North East to South west; top then bottom)
Biju Pattnaik, Nilakantha Das and Madhusudan Das, Gopabandhu Das and S.C.Bose, Fakir Mohan Senapati and Harekrushna Mahatab, Gangadhar Meher

Since then, Odisha has come a long way in her path towards progress. The new millennium especially has marked continuous growth in Odisha's GDP and faster industrialisation with an eye on sustainability of her rich environment and tribal heritage. Abundant in minerals; pristine natural wonders like beaches/forests/hills/waterfalls/lagoons (Chilika is the largest brackish water lake in Asia!) and so on; ancient heritage like manuscripts, Buddhist sites, monuments (Puri Jagannath Temple, Lingaraj temple, Konark temple are world famous sites...yet there are many breath-takingly beautiful temples, caves, structures belonging to even pre-historic era; art and craft making (Pipli handicraft, Pattachitra, Brassware by Tribals, Tribal Arts and lots more); array of mouth-watering dishes and sweets (Dalma, Mansa Kassa, Guguni, Besara, Rasagulla, Podapitha and lots more!); rich handlooms making a power statement worn by Indian women leaders, anchors and foreigners alike (Sambalpuri sarees)- Odisha is yet an unexplored jewel of India and the world as such. The land of the origin of Jagannath Cult..indeed the Land of Jagannath- the Lord of the World- is the pure land of Odisha.

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From your right to left: Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra, Lord Balabhadra Source

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Source



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Source

#UtkalDibasa is not just a day to celebrate the birth, beauty and progress of Odisha. On this auspicious day, we must also look at the challenges faced by as well as the high potential of this great land for further progress. Only a fraction of this progress is being achieved now. The Central Government, Odisha Government and the Odia people must all work hard to help achieve Odisha's high potential of growth.

The Centre must not neglect Odisha which is frequently prone to natural calamities. After Cyclone Phailin, the Prime Minister and indeed, no Cabinet Minister visited Odisha, reeking of total disregard for our Federal Structure envisaged by India's visionary Constitution Makers. The negligence of Odisha even during a calamity which should have been declared a National Emergency, has been condemned by all thinking citizens of India.

The Special Category Status is another issue which needs to be discussed here. Odisha must get Special Category Status based on criteria of 1969 by way of her:
(a) economic and infrastructural backwardness [in addition being battered by repeated calamities so that people who recover from one calamity again lose assets as they face another and remain backward]
(b) over one-third of land being hilly and of difficult terrain and
(c) sizeable proportion of SCs and STs (STs=22%, SCs=16.5% of Odisha's population).

http://www.clickodisha.odialive.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/tribals-of-odisha.jpg
Source


Even latest criteria based on Multi-Dimensional Index finalised by Raghuram Rajan Panel makes a strong case for Odisha being granted Special Category Status. Yes it is true that Odisha has a rich base for economic development as argued by the Centre and Planning Commission. Still, without necessary supporting infrastructure and in lieu of domination by PTG (Primitive Tribal Groups) in resource areas, Odisha is unable to harness the same. Unfairly the Centre continues to deny this. The Finance Commission and Planning Commission must NECESSARILY grant far more funds than currently being given, RIGHTLY DUE to Odisha for her growth. This is because the Centre gets disproportionately huge revenues from Odisha compared to other states as royalty from mines and other taxes, which is instead diverted to other states. A wonderful link explaining the unfairness is given here.

However adverse the situation, Odias have always faced all challenges to surge ahead for development. Now the focus must remain on pulling more people out of poverty through sustainable and inclusive growth. Road network has vastly improved, still the interiors need to be connected with the main roads and highways. Naxal menace is lately being effectively countered, yet more clearly needs to be done especially for development of Naxal affected blocks.
  
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Source

 Connectivity through ports, railways, quality roads, airways needs to be further boosted so that people from world-over can enjoy the marvels of Odisha. Simultaneously, transport of goods and services can effectively take place. Already the Odisha administration is working efficiently to ensure more industries come up, especially IT and steel. Housing, healthcare, education are getting a boost especially in eastern Odisha yet this needs to spread out pan-Odisha.

Renewable energy is rightly being focussed upon. More off-grid renewable energy generation must be encouraged in the sunny and water-rich state of Odisha. As industrialisation is heralded, coastal tree belt must be conserved as a bulwark against cyclones. Unabated pollution of rivers, seas and air needs to be firmly checked so that mindless industrialisation, fishing or exploitation of resources does not destroy our beautiful state.

There's so much more to write yet I must stop at a point! Will start winding up my post dedicated to Utkala now by saying very important lines now......

Our wonderful state Odisha today celebrates her birth-day. Let's join in to make Utkala Dibasa even more special by working our hardest forever for the unending prosperity of the serene, sublime, rich land of Odisha!  

Let's preserve Odisha's rich culture, traditions, monuments, language and heritage for people all over the world to experience and especially for future generations!

Jai Hind! Jai Utkala! Watch this awesome rendition of 'Bande Utkala Janani'!



I would like to end this post with the immortal words of Utkal Mani Gopabandhu Das:

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Source


The great patriot Utkal Mani Gopabandhu Das says above in Odia and goosebumps come to my skin as I write this:

"ମିଶୁ ମୋ ଦେହ ଏ ଦେଶ ମାଟିରେ
"Let my body mix with the soil of this land, 


ଦେଶବାସୀ ଚାଲି ଯାଆନ୍ତୁ ମୋ ପିଠିରେ
Let the citizens walk right over my back, 

ଦେଶର ସ୍ଵରାଜ୍ୟ ପଥେ ଯେତେ ଗାଢ
In the path of the nation's freedom how many ever pits may be there, 

ପୁରୁ ତହିଁ ପଡ଼ି ମୋର ମାଂସ ହାଡ"
Let all those get filled up with my flesh and bones......"




**This is my post for A to Z Challenge 2014 with the letter 'A'- April 1st is #UtkalaDibasa!


35 comments:

  1. Wow Great Amrita. Great post...

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    1. Thanks so much Alok! :D Do come to Odisha...I'll b glad 2 host U! :)

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  2. Nice to read about Utkaladibasa Amrita...All the best for the challenge :)

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    1. Thanks a lot Nabanita! :D Yes I've started the challenge with the celebration of #UtkalaDibasa! :) Delighted & excited for April!

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  3. i was not aware of these insight things .. thank you for bringing it up :)

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    1. My pleasure Ankur! And my duty too....we know so less abt the beautiful state we stay in!!

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  4. I am passing from the A to Z as I am helping behind the scenes this year. You are off to a grand start but posting every day can be hard work so take care to pace yourself and good luck.

    I hope to be back again soon but have many blogs to visit at present....

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    1. Thanks a lot Rob! I'm delighted by your encouragement! Yes I am upto the challenge!! :D At least a 200 wrds post everyday from me! Hope U get back 2 read & comment on them! :D

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  5. Great post..finally some celebration around our forgotten state.

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    1. Thanks a lot! Yes...blogs n social media r WHR we can create awareness.... Wat better way than taking d a to z challenge?!

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  6. Nice and informative post about the place we belong to :) :) Happy Utkal divas to you

    Wish center pays little attention and help state govt.

    http://thetalesofatraveler.com

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    1. Hey thanks a lot! Didn't know U wer from Odisha! :-D

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  7. This post was insightful amrita :)

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    1. Hey thanks so much! Glad u found many insights...:-)

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  8. Very nice and informative post! Though I have never been to Odisha, i wish to visit this beautiful state.

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    1. Thanks a lot Ratna! Glad U found it useful! U r most welcome to our beautiful n most hospitable state with simple n good people! :-)

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  9. It's posts like this that make A to Z such an education. You've brought up stuff I've never heard of--well other than the country of India. A feast of info.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. Thanks so much Lee! I'm overwhelmed by ur response! My endeavour will b to put in more informative posts on India and the world throughout April! So glad I joined d challenge! :-D

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  10. Good info on this, I wasn't aware more than half the things mentioned here.

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    1. Thanks a lot Indrani! Glad I could enlighten U more! :-)

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  11. Please include a bit about agricultural sector, living of 80% people in your article. Odisha have to import potato, onion,most vegetables,fish,egg from neighboring states

    BJD govt have neglected agriculture sector. Farmers are not aware of modern agricultural techniques. Thatswhy Odisha have the lowest output per acre for many food grains.

    odisha farmers have to sell their produces at throughway prices during harvesting season due to no facility of cold storages.

    BJP ll establish cold storages in each block, ll set up an Indo-israel excellence centre for agriculture in Odisha for modern agriculture. BJP in power ll assist farmers in set up of protected agriculture (poly house/greenhouse), drip irrigation to minimise effect of extreme weather condition.
    #AbkibaarModiSarkar

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    1. Good points @DhenkanalBJP. Progressive. Yet I wish U had posted these without being "Anonymous"!

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  12. BJP in power ll rapidly industrialise Odisha. Two industrial corridors Paradeep-Rourkela, Dhamra-Berhampur have been proposed. Tax breaks ll be given to entrepreneurs who establish their factory in the corridor

    Manufacturing, Agri-processing, Biotechnology ll be the top priority to created employment & Industrialised Odisha

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    1. Again gr8 points! Very valid n right growth strategy...wish U posted without cover of anonymity! :-)

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  13. This is such an amazing post on Odisha. Apt for Utkala Dibasa.
    So wonderful that you have shared all this info & enlightened many about the Soul of India - Odisha. Well written!
    Do plan to write & share more such info, Amrita.
    Odisha deserves it!

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    1. Thanks so much Anita!! Yes I will share more info! :D Odisha sure deserves lots more! U also write! We'll all add 2 d info pool on our gr8 state!

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  14. Odisha is one of my favourite places to visit. Beautiful handicrafts and handlooms, Lots of new information here, very comprehensive post. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. Very informative and well thought out post! all the best for the challenge!

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    1. Hey thanks so mch! All the best 2 U too! :)

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  16. Great work Amrita...Bravo...keep it up...and keep writing.

    Whereever you go,wherever you are, whatever you are - speak a bit on Odisha.

    May Lord Jagannath be with you and bless you.

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    1. Thanks so mch Anonymous for sch good wishes! Wish U disclosed urself... :(

      Jay Jagannath! :)

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  17. Amen!
    Very nicely shared. Special Status issue looks convincing.
    Odisha deserves the best.

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    1. Thanks a lot Anita! Yes we ALL must work hard 2 uplift our #Odisha! :)

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  18. Bahut Badhia info - you can all odisha related things www.eodisha.org

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