Raj Bhawan hosts Utkal Diwas celebration | Odisha & Arunachal boast of uncanny similarities: Guv

  • ‘Attitudinal change key to development’

By A O News Service

ITANAGAR, Apr 01: Ethnic rich Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha being inhabited by numerous tribal groups, one of the highest ST-SC populations of India, are not only examples of ‘unity in diversity’ but also have uncanny similarities in cultural heritage, traditions, lifestyle, art and handicrafts, Governor Lt. General (Retd) Kaiwalya Trivikram Parnaik said during Utkal Diwas celebration in Raj Bhawan here on Monday.

Addressing Oriyas serving in various capacities in the state, Parnaik said that the foundation day celebration of all states/UT by Raj Bhawan was initiated by him last year as desired by Prime Minister Nararendra Modi toeing the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shesta Bharat for the occasion to serve as a platform to known each other as a step towards national integration.

Congratulating the Oriyas on this historic occasion and appreciating their contributions to state building, he said that Oriyas have been important partners in state’s progress and hoped that the goodwill will continue to prevail for contributing to make Arunachal Pradesh as model state in future.

Odisha, ancient kingdom of Kalinga, is found mention in ancient history, including in Triumalai inscription of Rajendra Chola-I dating back to 1025, besides mentioned in Mahabharata and Ramayana as ‘Odra Rashtra’ by Anatavarman Chodaganga in c. 1135, Mughal rule under Akbar and Jahangir, Maratha rule in  1751 to 1883,  East India Company of British ruled from 1935 to 1948, he said, adding the state also finds reference in Kausha king of Ramayana and Matsya Kingdom where five Pandvas had taken secret exile for a year during Maharbharata while Buddhism, which symbolizes knowledge, purity, and enlightenment – known as golden truth, spread from Kalinga by emperor Ashoka after Kalinga War in 261 BCE through his son Mahindra and daughter Sanghamitra across South East Asia.

The state was demarcated by Govt of India comprising of this Odia-speaking districts out of Bihar and Orissa Province with addition of Koraput and Ganjam districts from Madras Presidency this day in 1936. But, Oriya  soldier of Indian Army lance naik Albert Ekka, while fighting in Indo-Pak was of 1971 was killed in action in the Battle of Gangasagar was and posthumously awarded India’s highest military award, Param Vir Chakra for his valour in the face of the enemy. Odisha is not only famous for Chau dance, Sambalpuri saree, Konark Temple and chariot festival of Puri’s Lord Jagannath, but has become a sports hub of India by giving many members of India’s hockey team. All Oriyas are proud today as Odisha’s Droupadi Murmu is President of India, said the governor and exhorted them to continue to contribute to nation building with greater zeal.

Governor’s secretary Sharad Darade, in his welcome address earlier, said that the state, finding  mention in national anthem Jana Gana Mana as Utkala has grown in leaps and bound including under developed Kalahandi, Bolangir and Korapur districts with Kalahandi becoming a rice bowl of the state.

After the 1999 super cyclone hit the state for the National Disaster Management Authority to seeing into action, the Oriyas soon adopted disaster resilient structure.  Moreover, the Golden beach of Puri is one of the best in the world to draw large number of tourists and Lord Jagganath devotees, he added.

Pioneer state journalist Pradeep Kumar Behera, in his address, recalled that Utkala Diwas was celebrated in this Raj Bhawan first time in 1992 at the initiative of then Governor Surendra Nath Dwivedi, who had invited  Oriyas working all over the state to celebrate  the Day time followed by formation of Arunachal-Utkal Sanskrutika Parishad (AUSP) with him as chief adviser.  In 1993, a 100-member team from Odisha had attended Utkal Diwas at Siddhartha Hall here under inter-state cultural programme with his initiative, he infromed.

Pointing out that Mahinda and daughter Sangamitra after propagating Buddhisim had returned home from Burma (Myanmar) through Changlang district of this state. Its evidence – Ashokan edict engraved between 268 and 238 BCE, is visible on a hillock in Motongsa, located along Jairampur-Pangsau Pass, which has turned a pilgrimage for Buddhist monks. They trek for two to three days to reach there, mediate for days together. After learning this, former speaker Setong Sena had built a ‘staging hut’ near a hilly stream for the monks to rest, he said and urged the governor to take steps for its protection besides developing a good foot path for the monks to reach there.

Moreover, the Orissan rock art of 10th to 12th century AD is also visible at Malinithan, where Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati as Mali and Malini with garlands had welcomed Lord Krishna, when he was on his way to Dwarka after eloping Rukmini, princess of Bhismak Kingdom, whose remains are found near Lower Diband Valley district HQs Roing.

As the Oriyas are committed to their assigned tasks, he quoted famous poet Radhanath Ray and exhorted all of them to continue walking and walking without getting tired before the eyes are closed for ever the life is a long path and so much distance is yet to be covered.

The governor, who was present with his wife Anagha Parnaik, witnessed traditional Odishi dances – Maelajada – Rasar Kali and Pancha Rasi Dalkhai after the event begun with rendition of state song Bande Utkala Janani.

During tea, both interacted with the Oriyas when the governor said that during tours to various districts he has been urging villagers to constitute a volunteer team for the village to maintain cleanliness and ultimately they would become sanitary inspectors.

Recalling his tenure in Jammu and Kashmir as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Indian Army’s Northern Command, he said the Sadbhabana programmes conducted by the Army for the villagers suffered by insurgency were not yielding the results. However, on analysis it was realised that attitudinal change of the villagers was key to bring the desired results.

The Oriyas, mostly serving as senior faculty members of Rajiv Gandhi University, National Institute of Technology and other educational institution of the state, have been led by AUSP president Dr Manjula Mohapatra, principal of Hills College of Teachers’ Education, Governor’s PRO Atum Potom introduced at the beginning of the celebration.

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