Bhubaneswar: As the whole of Odisha is celebrating Utkal Divas, the day Odisha became the first state in the country to be formed on linguistic basis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his greetings to the people of Odisha on the auspicious occasion.
“On Utkal Diwas, I convey my greetings to the kind & industrious people of Odisha & hope that Odisha’s development will attain new heights,” Modi tweeted.
Utkala Dibasa is celebrated on April 1 every year to commemorate the sacrifices of people for the formation of Odisha province in 1936. In ancient times, Odisha was named Utkal, which was a part of the Kalinga dynasty spanning central and eastern India and ruled by King Ashoka. History suggests the northern parts of Andhra Pradesh and parts of Madhya Pradesh were part of Kalinga kingdom. The State was named as Orissa then.
Odisha was the first State to be formed on linguistic basis in 1936.
Utkala Gaurav Madhusudan Das, Utkalamani Gopabandhu Das, Maharaja Shri Ramachandra Bhanjadeo, Maharaja Shri Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Raja Baikunthanath Dey, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Gangadhar Meher, and Gourishankar Ray were among those who fought for the political identity of the state.
The revolution started with the formation of Utkal Sammilani – a social organisation started by Utkal Gourav Madhusudan in 1903 – aimed at preserving the culture and language of Odisha. The idea to start the revolution emerged with the lost political identity of the state in 1568 after the defeat and death of the last Hindu king of the region Gajapati Mukunda Dev.