It is official: Odisha celebrates

Bhubaneswar: It is a different kind of achievement. Ever since Odisha was carved out as a new state in 1936 on linguistic basis, in offcial parlance however it was spelt as Orissa. So a sort of struggle was on. The movement has finally paid rich dividends and the error has been rectified.

With the President Prativa Devi Singh Patil giving her assent to the bill, the new act came into force from Friday.

Now government as well as non-governmental institutions would spell it as `Odisha` not `Orissa` while the language has to be spelt as `Odia` not `Oriya`. It took 64 years.

Naturally, it was welcomed gleefully. The Naveen  government announced a day off on Saturday to celebrate the day. School and educational institutions including government establishments remained closed. The scene in the state secretariat could only be seen to be believed. For, it was an occasion to celebrate one`s own identity and self dignity. Suddenly, the entire secretariat looked like a glittering ball with thousands of employees bursting crackers, 3 hugging each other and distributing sweets.

Chief Minister Naveen Pattanaik too did not like to fall behind. He started distributing sweets. Long after the end of colonial rule in the country which was responsible for the error by default, the state and its residents got rightful justice through an official notification. From November 1, 2011, onwards it has become Odisha and its people, Odias. It is official now.