Are the dreams of freedom fighters fulfilled?

Posted by Devika Rath
April 1, 2017

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A small state of eastern part of India ,Odisha is full of natural resources, natural beauties ,wild life reserves, beaches , temples, monuments, the art and festivals which was carved from Bengal and Bihar and formed as a separated  state on 1st april,1936 celebrated as Utkal divas not only in state but also where people of Odia reside across the globe to remember the contribution and sacrifices made by the people .

Prior to this Odisha was the center of Kalinga kingdom, although it was temporarily conquered by Asoka, decline of this gave rise to many Hindu dynasty temples in state wide. After the long resistance to the Muslim the region was overcome by afghan invaders and pass to the mughals.Mukunda Dev the last king of Hindu Dynasty lost completely political identity in 1568. After 1751 the Marathas gained control of the region for almost half a decade and around 1803 the region was invaded by the British .In British occupation of Odisha the land was subjected to administrative the negligence, miss management, excessive taxation brought economic devastation. As a result Odia lost identity. However a big step was taken to strengthen the Odia language and culture against Hindi, Bengali and Telugu.

The statement of H.H. Risley,secretary of government of India in 1903-05 as “when the people speaking a distinct language were distributed over areas too small to constitute a substantial portion of a province they were neglected” which laid to be the foundation stone for the leaders of the odia movements for the demand of its own separate political identy.

With the local newspaper of that time like Utkal Dipika,Samabalpur Hitaisini,Prajabandhu ingate the local people separate formation of the state.

The language controversy surfaced to substitute Bengali for odia as medium with a number of attacks and counter attacks and counter attacks involving odia vs Bengali.

A series of administrative committee and government resolutions lead to create separate province of Odisha. In 1919 Montegue Chandra reforms gave a proposal for granting of the constitution. On the behalf of odia speaking people  Krishna Chandra Gajapati ,the maharaja of Paralakhemundi went to London to attend round table conference and presented a memorandum in favor of creating separate state on the basic of linguistics.

But it is unfortunate at even after 80yrs of celebration of Utkal Diwas ,the dreams of the esteem couldn’t be fulfilled .Though the odia language has been certified and law been enacted for official use but it has remain within the law book. The practical scenario is different. The odia , in that difficult time  have tried their best to save our culture and mother tongue but today it is being neglected. In a general survey it is found that when a child starts going school parents emphases on English language rather than mother tongue. English language has become a parameter of intelligence, modernity and aristocracy. In some tourist places in Odisha , the vendors, purohits approach the visitors with different language even if their mother tongue is odia.In this situation a question arise in my mind are the dreams of our freedom fighters are fulfilled ?Are the scarifies  made by our freedom fighters to save culture our language has gone in vein? In the era of Globalization people who consciously or unconsciously should not neglect the mother tongue. Each one should be proud of its rich culture and mother tongue.

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