Utkal Divas


Utkal Divas, or Odisha Day is celebrated commemorating the formation of our state which was previously divided into provinces of Bengal and Bihar. The three decade long movement by Utkal Sammilani lead by revolutionaries like Utkala Gouraba – Madhusudan Das, Utkala Mani – Gopabandhu   Das, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Pandita Nilakantha DasFakir Mohan SenapatiGangadhar Meher and many more, culminated into the unification of Odia speaking tracts of the country and formation of the province of Orissa on a linguistic basis. Odia was given recognition as an independent language as opposed to its previous status as an offshoot of Bengali.

Now that we are done quoting Wikipedia, let’s come to what Utkal and Utkal Divas stands for today.

Odisha is more than the bottle tossing incident at Barabati Stadium. Odia culture is not represented by the tacky Odia daily soaps or the present day illogical regional cinema. Odisha resides in the glory of the Konark Sun Temple and Puri Jagannath Temple, the works of writers like Manoj Das and Pratibha Ray, the songs of Akshaya Mohanty, Odissi, Chhau and Mahari dance forms, the taste of Rasgullas, Kheer and the dozen varieties of Pithas your grandmother makes the best in the world.

Odisha is one of the country’s fastest growing IT centres and the birth place of Sand Art in India.

Arguably the country’s “least talked about” state, Odisha, is like India. Culturally diverse and historically, a gem. But sometimes so annoyingly stupid, secretly, it makes you want to run away from. But Odisha is my home. I will always be the Pakhala eating, Rangabati humming, Chota Mora Gaan Ti quoting guy who swears in his head in “khanti” Odia for maximum self-satisfaction.

This Utkal Divas, atleast promise yourself you won’t ask yourself next year, a week before April 1st, why there is a holiday for April’s Fools’ Day. And we’ll see where it goes from there. #BandeUtkalaJanani

Matrubhoomi Matrubhasha ra Mamata Jaa Hrude Janami Nahin,
Taku Jadi Gyani Ganare Ganiba
Agyani Rahibe Kahi
                                                                    -Gangadhar Meher


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