Bhubaneswar: It was on this day, the Indian state of Odisha came into being on April 1, 1936, around a decade before India achieved Independence from the British colonisation. The day is celebrated as Odisha day or Utkal Divas to encourage the remembrance of the same and foster a spirit of unity among the citizens of the state.
Utkal Divas, a day for Odisha, is celebrated every year April 1 in the memory of making Odisha as a separate state out of Bihar and Bengal April 1, 1936.
After losing its complete political identity in 1568 following the defeat and demise of last Hindu king Mukunda Dev, an effort resulted into the formation of a politically separate state under British rule on linguistic basis on this day.
The movement was powerful with the leadership of Utkala Gouraba Madhusudan Das, Utkala Mani Gopabandhu Das, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Gangadhar Meher, Basudeba Sudhaladeba, Radhanath Ray, Bhubanananda Das and AP Patro, along with thousands of others. It all started in 1903 and took 33 years to finally get Odisha recognised as a separate province. No one can forget the endless struggle of eminent persons.
At the time the newly formed Orissa, which is known as Odisha has six districts –Cuttack, Puri, Balasore, Sambalpur, Koraput and Ganjam. In the year 1948 and 1949, the region of Odisha was almost doubled with addition of 24 princely states.
In 1950, Odisha became a constituent state of India.
Let’s have a glimpse of Odisha:
Previously, Orissa was the core of the Kalinga Kingdom. In 250 BC, it was conquered by King Ashoka, which resulted in the state flourishing for almost a century under the rule of the Mauryan Dynasty
Many great temples in Puri, Bhubaneswar and Konark were built under the Hindu dynasties. King Narasimha Dev built the Sun Temple at Konark.
In 1576, coastal Orissa fell to the Mughal Empire. Parts of the coast were taken over by the Marathas in the mid 1700s.
After the Carnatic wars, the southern coast of Odisha was merged with the Mardras Presidency by the East India Company. Bihar and Orissa became separate provinces born of the Bengal coastal region in 1912. Modern day Odisha was formed as a province for the people speaking Odia April 1, 1936.
Utkal divas 2020:
Every year, the government had organised several functions starting from village to block level and district to state level to celebrate the foundation day of the state but due to novel coronavirus pandemic, the 45-year-old tradition will be broken as the government has also instructed officials even not to hold any kind of event on this occasion.
People commemorated the sacrifices made by leaders for the formation of Odisha as a separate State on this day in 1936 when it was carved out of the combined Bengal-Bihar-Odisha province.