Odisha celebrates Utkal Diwas 2022
Polity & Governance
5th Apr, 2022
Odisha celebrates the 87th foundation day of the state today, known as ‘Utkal Divas’, with utmost pride and glory. It is on this day that the state became independent in the year 1936.
About Utkal Divas:
- Utkal Divas, also known as Odisha Day and Utkala Dibasa, is celebrated on April 1 every year in memory of all the struggle that went into gaining a separate identity for the state that was once part of Kalinga ruled by emperor Ashok, and later by Kharavela.
- Odisha became the first independent state on language basis in India on this day 86 years ago.
- The state became a separate province, after a long struggle of over three centuries. The state was carved out of the combined Bengal-Bihar-Orissa province.
Why is Odisha Day important for the people of Odisha?
- The region became part of Kalinga after it was conquered by Magadha King Ashoka in 261 BC to expand his Mauryan rule.
- After Mauryan rule, King Kharavela’s rule began in Odisha.
- Kharavela managed to avenge the Mauryan invasion by defeating Magadh.
- Historians credit Kharavela for laying the foundation for Odisha’s fame as a land of art, architecture and sculpture. He also managed to establish a powerful political state.
- Gajapati Mukunda Deva was the last Hindu king of Odisha. He was defeated by the Mughals in 1576.
- A few hundred years later, the British took over and divided the state into different parts.
- The northern and western districts of the state became part of what was then called Bengal presidency.
State’s struggle for independence
- The new province of Odisha was formed after people’s continued struggle, which finally paid off on April 1, 1936.
- Sir John Hubbak was the first governor of the state.
- The state was originally called Orissa but the Lok Sabha passed the Orissa Bill, and Constitution Bill (113rd amendment), in March 2011 to rename it Odisha.