DIVYA DASH – IX G
Utkal Divas, also known as the Odisha Day is celebrated on 1st of April every year in the memory of the formation of the state Odisha as a separate province. Utkal Divas is celebrated all over Odisha. Big buildings and monuments are decorated on this day. Competitions are arranged by some popular politicians like the fireworks competition. Due to the fireworks, this day is enjoyed more, and the fireworks make the sky look stunning. People feel proud to be a part of Odisha, proud to be an Odia. In schools and colleges this day is celebrated with pride.
In 19 century, the oriya movement took place. But later this movement was separated, Madhusudhan, lead the ‘Union of Oriya Peoples’ Movement’ and Gopabandhu the ‘Gandhian Non-Cooperation Movement’. Youth leader such as Chandhra Sekhar Behera, Niranjan Patnaik along with Gopabandhu who resigned his Deputy Collector’s job to join the freedom movement of Odisha. Even Hare Krushna left his college studies to join the movement and others accepted Gopabandhu’s leadership to fight for freedom. Nilakantha and others joined the Swaraj Party for council entry under the 1919 Government of India Act. Nilakantha, a representative in Central Assembly in 1927, demanded for a separate province for the Odias. One the other hand the Oriya Movement achieved success under the great leaders. Finally on April 1, 1936, Odisha was declared as a separate province which is celebrated as the Utkal Divas.
Some of the famous freedom fighters who were geared up to make Odisha a freedom and separate province were:
Biju Pattanaik (1916-1997) – He was a trained pilot and the pioneer of industrial revolution in Odisha. He was the head of air transport command during the war (1940-42). He led the underground movement for the freedom of the country along with Jayaprakash Narayan and others. Biju Patnaik piloted the first plane that left Palam Airport at Delhi at dawn and landed at Srinagar Airport in the early morning. He was a great visionary who worked relentlessly for the upliftment of the people of Odisha.
Chandra Shekhar Behera (1873-1936) – He was the leading freedoms fighter of Sambalpur. He participated in the non-cooperation movement and consolidated the national freedom movement and merged his activities with Indian national Congress.
Birsa Munda (1875–1900) – He was an Indian tribal freedom fighter and a folk hero. He belonged to the Munda tribe. He spearhead the Millenarian movement that took place in the late 19th century, during the British Raj, making him an important person in the history of the Indian independence movement. His achievements are even more remarkable for having been accomplished before the age of 25.
Veer Surendra Sai – He was an Indian freedom fighter who sacrificed his life while fighting against the British and died in gloom. He protected most parts of Western Odisha region from the British rule.
This year let’s dedicate our independence to the ones forgotten! Jai hind! We all are proud of these great leaders due to whom we are now living in an independent state, and we are proud to be a part of this separate province and proud to be Odias.