Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 1:
Odisha’s well-admired patriotic song ‘Bande Utkala Janani’ is awaiting chief ministerial assent to accord it as state anthem.
A month after a committee was set up to study the legal intricacies pertaining to according state anthem tag to ‘Bande Utkala Janani’, the panel has submitted its report to Odisha’s Culture and Tourism Minister Ashok Panda last week.
A committee headed by Law secretary comprising the secretaries of Culture, Information & Public Relations and special secretary of Home department was constituted on February 24 this year.
The members were asked to study the special laws enacted by other states that have their own state songs, following which they have submitted their report.
As per sources privy to the development, the committee has expressed its views that the state government can accord any patriotic song the status of state anthem. Besides, it has suggested the roadmap to the historic moment.
The committee’s report has been put at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s disposal which is likely to get the official seal in a month’s time.
Notably, ‘Bande Utkala Jananai’ is an Odia patriotic poem penned by Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra after Odisha was accorded separate statehood on April 1, 1936.
There have been enduring demands for making the quintessential song the state’s anthem in various fora, even in the state Assembly.
With the song becoming the state anthem, it, in all likelihood, would be mandatory for every government educational institution in the state to play the state anthem daily along with other prayers and national anthem during assembly. Besides, every government institution would also be directed to perform the song during every special function.