Utkal Diwas celebrated | Make own mother language great first to rise in life: AUSP

By A O News Service

NIRJULI, Mar 31: “Ucha heba pain kara jeba asha, age ucha kara nija matrubhasha (If you wish to rise in life, first make your own mother language great)”, senior journalist-cum founder of Arunachal Utkala Sanskrutrika Parishad (AUSP) Pradeep Kumar Behera said quoting Utkalamani  Gopabandhu Das.

Addressing participants of Utkal Diwas celebration in NERIST campus here on Sunday, he recalled that former state Governor Surendra Nath Dwivedi, was instrumental in inviting Oriyas working all over the state to Raj Bhawan  in 1992 to celebrate Utkal Diwas in an organized way first time followed by formation of AUSP with Pradeep Kumar Behera as chief adviser.

Dwivedi had facilitated participation of a 100-member cultural team from Odisha under inter-state cultural programme in 1993 Utkal Diwas celebration in Siddhartha Hall, Itanagar that had left a lasting impression on rich cultural heritage of Odisha, he recalled.

Odisha in ancient time was known as Utkala or Kalinga and Mauryann Emperor Ashoka had failed to defeat brave Utkala warriors during bloody revengeful Kalinga War even after butchering 100,000 fighters and capturing 150,000 more to earn the sobriquet Chandashoka. But deep repentance had turned him Dharamasoka by embracing Buddhism and a peace messenger.  He had sent his son Mahendra and daughter Sanghamitra to propagate Buddhism across South East Asia and the duo had returned to India via Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh which proves the historical relation of Utkal and NEFA (Now Arunachal Pradesh), Kumar said.

Motongsa, also known as Kongmu located in inaccessible jungle along Jairampur-Pagsau Pass route bordering Myanmar provides evidences of the spread of Buddhism. A huge stone slab with stone engraving and serenity justifies the divinity and importance of the pilgrimage. Buddhist monks from far and wide reach the place of pilgrimage by trekking on foot for two to three days. They worship and mediate there for days together and take shelter in the ‘staging hut’ built by former speaker Setong Sena, he disclosed.

Odisha were demarcated by Indian Govt when Orissa province was set up on 01.04.1936 with Cuttack as its capital and since then this is celebrated to commemorate the occasion, he added.

Organizing committee chairperson Dr Manjula Mohapatra also recalled the role of Kumar in enthusiastic celebration of this day after 1994 followed whole hearted support of many senior Oriyas, like Dr P K Das, who retired as NERIST director, and hotelier Sasadhara Das, popularly known as Nana, who is still extending all possible help. She called upon one and all to remain united as Oriyas and hoped that this celebration would continue in future to spread the glorious history of Oriyas. “We are celebrating in advance as Governor Lt. General (Retd) K T Parnaik has invited us for the celebration at Raj Bhawan tomorrow,” she added.

Appreciating all Oriyas who despite thousands of kilometers away from their homes have been serving in different capacities, particularly in education sector of this remote state, for last few decades, former AUSP vice president Kalpalata Behera, said in her opening remark,  exhorted them to feel proud as Oriya and continue to work with commitment to serve the humanity while showcasing the rich cultural heritage and traditions of Odisha.

The AUSP aimed at social integration with Arunachalees, said RGU HoD (geography) Prof Nishamani Kar and recalled that during celebration in 1994 at Youth Hostel, Naharlagun, then top bureaucrats Oshang Ering and Hage Kojeen were guests of the enthusiastic celebration.

“I facilitated admission of 40 to 45 Oriyas in BEd course in Hills College of Teacher Education with the help of principal Dr Mohapatra  which was move for social integration through education,” he said adding the spirit has been dampening with many senior Oriyas leaving the state after retirement. But those still serving should make their presence felt though such celebrations,” Prof Kars said.

RGU faculty member Prasanta Barik and Naharlagun Kendriya Vidyalaya teacher Dr Santosh Kumar Pradhan sought whole hearted cooperation and support of all members for grand celebration to send a louder message the Oriyas always remain united and speak univocally.

RGU faculty Dr Sushanta Nayak, who anchored the event, punctuating with numerous Oriya proverbs, like  ‘matrubhumi matrubhasa  re mamata ja hrude janami nahin, taku jadi gyani gana re ganiba agyani rahibe kahin’.

The celebration, begun with floral tributes to picture of Lord Jagannath, followed by chorus rendition of state song Bande Utkal Janani, written by Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra and punctuated by many  cultural events, like Odishi dances by Raja Rajhans (RGU  PhD scholar), Sanmay Naik, Shaktinanda Nayak, Choudhury Swapna Swain, Sina Torsa and Parbinder Kaur, solo dances by Ritumbara Das, Priyadarshini Bark and Ayush Nayak.

A documentary film screened by RGU faculty Dr  Santanu Kumar Pattanaik showcased the rich art, handicrafts, culture, terracotta, 1000-year-old famous Filigree Work of Cuttack, basket making, famous Odishi and Chau dances besides famous personalities.

The celebration also formation of new AUSP executive body with Dr Manjula Mohapatra (president); Dr Sanjeev Kumar Jena & Dr Manmohan Malla (vice presidents); Dr Prasanta Barik (GS);  Sasadhar Das & Dr Prasesh Mohanty (joint secretaries); Prof Ram Chandra Panda (treasurer); Dr Santanu Kumar Pattanail (publicity secretary); Kamalini Das, Santosh Kumar Pradhan & Dr Sushanta Nayak (cultural secretaries).

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