Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 1:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wished people of the state on its 81st foundation day.
Prime Minister Minister Modi took to micro-blogging site Twitter to convey his greetings.
“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.
Similarly, Chief Minster Naveen Patnaik too extended his greetings on Twitter.
“Remembering the pioneers of #Odisha statehood movement on 80th anniversary of #OdishaDivas,” Patnaik tweeted.
“#UtkalDivas, a day to remember the contributions and sacrifices made by the people of Odisha for the formation of Odisha. Let us celebrate the beauty, culture and art of our Odisha on this auspicious day,” Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram tweeted.
Notably, Utkal Divas is celebrated on April 1 to commemorate the sacrifices of people for the formation of Odisha which was the first state to be formed on linguistic basis in 1936.
In ancient times, Odisha was a part of the Kalinga kingdom temporarily conquered by Asoka. With the gradual decline of Kalinga, several Hindu dynasties arose and built temples at Bhubaneswar, Puri, and Konarak. After long resistance to the Muslims, the region was overcome (1568) by Afghan invaders and passed to the Mughal empire. After the fall of the Mughals, Orissa was divided between the Nawabs of Bengal and the Marathas. In 1803 it was conquered by the British.
After a century of British Empire conquering Odisha, revolution for formation of separate state gained momentum with the formation of Utkal Sammilani – a social organisation started by Utkal Gourav Madhusudan in 1903.
The social reformers like 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 played a pivotal role in the fight for the political identity of the state.