The state of Odisha was the first state to be formed on the basis of a separate linguistic identity. The first of April is celebrated as Utkal Divas to commemorate the formation of a separate state from the province of Bihar and Orissa. This year, Odisha will be celebrating its 85th year of formation of a separate state. It would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Utkala Gourab Madhusudan Das, Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, Maharaja Shri Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Maharaja Shri Ram Chandra Bhanj deo, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Gangadhar Meher, Radhanatha Ray and many others. Sir John Hubbak was the first governor of the state.
The state was originally called Orissa but the Lok Sabha passed the Orissa Bill, and Constitution Bill (113rd amendment), in March 2011 to rename it Odisha.
This year, large congregations and gatherings for the celebration of Utkala Dibasa should be avoided and any such big event shall need prior permission from the government.
As Odisha celebrates it’s 86th year of formation, let’s pledge to stand in unity against this pandemic and always take pride in our rich culture and history.
As Gangadhar Meher said,
“Matrubhoomi Matrubhasa ra Mamata jaha hrudaye janami nahi
Taku jebe gyani gana re ganiba
Agyana rahibe kahin?”
Translation: “Those who cannot love and respect their own motherland and mother tongue, Can one count on them to be learned and wise?”