Odisha Foundation Day and its Significance

OV Digital Desk

Odisha Foundation Day is celebrated on 1 April in the Indian state of Odisha in memory of the formation of the state as a separate state out of Bihar and Orissa Province with the addition of Koraput District and Ganjam District from the Madras Presidency on 1 April 1936. After losing its political identity completely in 1568 following the defeat and demise of the last king Mukunda Dev, efforts resulted in the formation of a politically separate state under British rule on a linguistic basis on 1 April 1936.

History of Odisha

On this day in 1936, Odisha was carved out as a separate province from the combined Bengal-Bihar-Orissa province by the British government. Before British rule, the territory that comprises modern-day Odisha was known as Kalinga. It was a powerful kingdom that existed for over a thousand years, from the 6th century BCE to the 4th century CE. The kingdom was known for its maritime trade, arts, and culture, and it had a significant impact on the history and civilization of India.

Over the centuries, Kalinga was ruled by various dynasties, including the Mauryas, the Guptas, and the Eastern Gangas. During the 16th century, the region came under the control of the Mughal Empire, which ruled until the British East India Company took over in the 18th century.

In 1803, the British established the Bengal Presidency, which included Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha. Odisha was initially a part of the Bengal Presidency and was administered by the British along with Bengal and Bihar. However, due to linguistic and cultural differences, the people of Odisha demanded a separate province.

The movement for a separate Odisha province gained momentum in the early 20th century, led by leaders such as Madhusudan Das, Krupasindhu Mishra, and Gopabandhu Das. In 1912, the Odisha Congress Committee was formed, which spearheaded the demand for a separate province.

Finally, in 1936, after several years of struggle and negotiations, the British government agreed to create a separate province of Odisha, with Cuttack as its capital. The new province consisted of six districts: Cuttack, Puri, Balasore, Sambalpur, Koraput, and Ganjam.

Read More: 1 April in Indian and World History 

Odisha Day Significance & Celebration

Odisha Day is a celebration of the rich history and culture of the state of Odisha, as well as a tribute to the vision and determination of its people. It is a reminder of the importance of preserving and promoting the unique heritage of the state for future generations.

Odisha Day is celebrated with great enthusiasm and patriotism throughout the state. The day begins with the hoisting of the Odisha flag and the singing of the state anthem. Cultural programs, parades, and other events are held to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the state. The day is also an occasion to remember the sacrifices and struggles of the freedom fighters and leaders who fought for the creation of the state.