This is the ultimate victory of the Odia race. Not a month, year,10 or 20 years,84 years have elapsed. It’s late, but victory is ours in the end. A new chapter has been added to the race of Odias. Bande Utkala Janani- the song that has been reverberating in the hearts of numerous Odias since the formation of Odisha as a state- is now accorded the status of State song. Again we extend our heartfelt thanks to Odisha government for such a feat.
Bande Utkala Janani is the emblem of the pride and self-esteem of the Odia race that encompasses its glorious history, culture, tradition, language, and livelihood.
Bande Utkala Janani, the priceless work Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra, is entrenched deep into the hearts of numerous Odias. Every Odias take pride while singing the song. Though late over the years, the Odisha Cabinet has accorded it the status of State song. They deserve accolades for making the moment memorable for every Odias.
It is apt to recall that Bande Utkala Janani was being played at Utkala Sammelan as the welcome song in 1912, the forum which was uniting the Odias to press for the demands of the special statehood of Odisha.
The song was sung on April 1, 1936, when Odisha acquired full statehood. In 1994 during the legendary Biju Patnaik’s regime, Speaker Yudhisthir Das had approved the song in an all-party meet as a valedictory song in the Assembly session.
Likewise, in 2000 Odisha Assembly Speaker Sarat Kumar Kar has ruled that people must pay respect to the song by standing wherever the song was played, either in the state assembly or outside.
It is pertinent to mention that the campaign for according Bande Utkala Janani as the State song had started in 2002. A number of individuals and organizations forged ahead with the mission for contributing their bit to achieve this.
The dream has come true. No one should hesitate to extend heartiest thanks to those who were a part of the great endeavour.
This is the opportune time to pay glowing tributes to Kanta Kabi when the State Cabinet has taken the historic decision to accord Bande Utkala Janani as the State Song.
The song was first sung before the Lion’s Gate of Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri in 1908. Kanta Kabi penned the immortal work when he was 18. Bande Utkala Janani was sung in Puri Utkala Sammelan in 1908. Later in 1912 in Balasore Utkala Sammelan the song got status of a welcome number of the special session.
Bande Utkala Janani was reverberating in the minds and hearts of Odias since 1908. This is the song that has united them to fight for the statehood during the freedom struggle. Therefore, the state cabinet’s decision to recognize as the State Song is a befitting tribute to Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra.
The recognition to the song has come at a time when the state is battling the COVID-19 pandemic. The Odisha Government headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has successfully attached a glorious page to the history.
We have been criticizing the government for its omission and commission and we consider this as our democratic right. But, we must extend our full cooperation and thanks to the government for taking such a historic decision and all the more when the decision is related to the pride and self-esteem of Odia people. Our wholehearted support will remain as an example for the coming generation.
During Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s regime, Orissa and Oriya were converted into Odisha and Odia. This is a remarkable feat of the government as the erroneous English spellings were corrected. Not only this, but Odia language also got the classical status by his government. That day was remarkable for the Odias.
The system has to be criticized for the delay, but the decision on this score must be applauded. It is worthwhile to mention here the excerpts of the resolution passed by the State Cabinet.
The resolution said: “Bande Utkala Janani is the immortal work of Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra, the uncrowned king of Odia literature. This song vibrates with patriotism and provides moral courage to every Odias to forge ahead. He will always be adorned by the Odias for his endeavour to bind together the mother tongue, motherland, and the Odia race who had downplayed his personal miseries for such effort. The State Cabinet pays glowing tributes to Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra on this occasion”.
Let all of us unanimously acknowledge the resolution passed by the State Cabinet and cherish the historic moment in our history.
Bande Utkala Janani