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Bande Utkala Janani” gets state anthem status in Odisha- CM.NAVEEN PATTNAIK

Bande Utkala Janani” gets state anthem status in Odisha-CM.Naveen Pattnaik

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Sunday decided to accord state song status to ‘Bande Utkala Janani’, a patriotic poem which is regarded as a symbol of Odia pride.

The proposal to grant the state song tag to the poem penned by Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra was approved at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha said.

It is a historic day for the 4.5 crore people of Odisha,” he said.

Till now, it was considered as Odisha’s unofficial state song.

All the verses of the song have been accorded the privileged status, the minister said.

The song will now be played or sung at government functions and Assembly sessions and the tune and manner in which it will be sung will be decided and recorded by the Information and Public Relations Department.

People must stand up in respect till the anthem ended. The exempted persons will be old and sick people, differently-abled persons and pregnant women. Children must also stand up until it ends, Arukha said.

The School and Mass Education Department has been advised to ensure that the song is included in the curriculum in schools and colleges.

Hailing as “historic” the decision taken at the meeting held through video conference, Arukha recalled that the chief minister had recently appealed to Odia people across the world to sing Bande Utkal Janani at 5.30 pm on May 30, as a mark of honour to frontline COVID-19 warriors.

Noting that the song has been inspiring people of Odisha for a long time, the minister said it was a long standing demand of the people to accord state song status to ‘Bande Utkala Janani’.

‘Bande Utkala Janani’ which means “I bow to thee Mother Utkala, is an ode to the land of Utkala, the ancient name of modern-day Odisha, and its people.

The song inspired a whole generation of freedom fighters to fight against the British and was used as a

powerful weapon by the Utkal Sammilani that spearheaded the movement for creation of the then Orissa as a separate province.

Since 1912, it used to be sung at various sessions of the Utkal Sammilani, the organisation that had spearheaded the agitation for a separate province on the basis of language, Arukha said.

Ever since Orissa became a separate province in 1936, the iconic song has been occupying a special place among the people, the minister said.

Rendering of the song was made mandatory at the end of every Assembly session since 1994.

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