Monday 8 June 2020

Bande Utkala Janani - Odisha Rajya Sangeeta

I was  delighted to see the ‘Breaking News’ on OTV News yesterday (7th June, 2020) that "Bande Utkala Janani" - patriotic poem & ode to Odisha by Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra- now has the "State Song" status.
This had been the demand from many for several years. 
Great to see that is finally official. "Better late than never."
Thanks to our honourable Chief Minister, Shri Naveen Patnaik, and our State Govt. for finally ensuring this.
Bande Utkala Janani

Now, many will get to hear, sing & know the meaning of this beautiful song.
Let us all make an attempt to know and understand the song and give it its rightful due.

Many events & functions in Odisha begin with ‘Bande Utkala Janani’ as the opening song.
I feel our national/state anthem/song should be sung everyday in schools & colleges & institutions. This should be mandatory.
This will instill a sense of pride, patriotism & purpose.

Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra (1988-1953) was a great nationalist poet of Odisha, who penned hundreds of patriotic poems. His creation "Bande Utkala Janani" is accorded status of official song of Odisha state.
Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra
Courtesy: Odisha Reference Year Book 2020 by B.K.Publications, Bhubaneswar

On May 30 2020, when Odias around the world joined together & proudly sang “Bande Utkala Janani” heeding to our CM’s clarion call, we got to see our song spelled differently by many.

Which of these spellings have you used?
  • Bande Utkal Janani, 
  • Vande Utkal Janani, 
  • Vande Utkala Janani
State Song Odisha

Why should we use "Vande" at all?
It is used for our National Song.
But, for our State Song why are we not strict and use only "Bande" to confirm with the Odia spelling and pronunciation? 

There was/is no uniformity of usage even in different offices and districts of the state Govt.
(A simple search on Google or Social Media confirms this point. Do check the recent posts.)

For the May 30, 2020 event, different English media used different spellings for Bande Utkala Janani.

You may argue that- “So what? Spellings don't matter as long as your intention is clear! Everyone imbibed the spirit & sang from the core of their heart!”
But, spellings do matter.

Let us all use the common spelling & hashtag-
Bande Utkala Janani 
and certainly NOT multiple ones like - #BandeUtkalJanani, #VandeUtkalJanani, #VandeUtkalaJanani etc.

Our National Anthem, 'Jana Gana Mana' is called 'Jatiya Sangeeta' in Odia.
Our National Song, 'Vande Mataram' is called 'Jatiya Geeta' in Odia.
As Bande Utkala Janani was accorded 'Odisha Rajya Sangeeta' (and not 'Rajya Geeta') status, thus many felt that 'anthem' was more suitable.

When there was this breaking news yesterday, some media and many people wrote about the song getting accorded the "anthem" status! 
There seemed to be a confusion about what it should be called in English- State Song or State Anthem?

It was important for us as we were giving final touches to our video for which work was on by my sister, Amrita Sabat, and creative Team Utkalamrita, Sabat Exports. 
Coincidentally, Amrita had chosen 'Bande Utkala Janani' as the song of our video! 
It features 9 Global Odia ladies wearing different handlooms of Odisha. 
You can watch the video on YouTube- 

We wanted to have the correct information in our video.
Should we write- State Song or State Anthem? 

I called up some intelligentsia for their views.
Well-acclaimed literary personality Dash Benhur, Professor Jatin Nayak, and journalist Siba Mohanty were of the opinion that the word "anthem" should be used only for our National Anthem and we should call Bande Utkala Janani as the "State Song".

While writer Gourahari Das, and senior culture officials of Odisha State Govt., Shri Manoranjan Panigrahi and Dr. Lenin Mohanty felt "anthem" was more appropriate.

Researching online gave different results with both anthem and song getting used interchangeably!
State Song or Anthem
We are a nation first. States belong to the nation. They must have songs and not anthems.
While I was engaged in this research, Ms. Sasmita, journalist from Dharitri newspaper, called me up to ask my views. I shared the above concerns, including usage of uniform English spelling.

It finds publication in the Dharitri newspaper dated 8th June, 2020 here.
Bande Utkala Janani

Bande Utkala Janani

Probably, most English media of Odisha state subscribe to this view and thus many have referred to "Bande Utkala Janani" as "State Song" in their news-reports in today's papers.

We need to ensure uniform spelling in all the media and the public should follow the same.
Just like we joined in for singing our song on May 30, 2020.

Requesting our State Govt. to issue such orders for usage of uniform spellings - BANDE, UTKALA, JANANI, RASAGOLA etc. all across.
Bande Utkala Janani

Have you heard Bande Utkala Janani? If no, do watch the video shared above.

The intention of this post is to sensitize people, especially fellow Odias to be particular about using the correct spellings and not adopting the 'chalta-hai' attitude.
If we don't take care of our spellings, who else will?

More in my blog posts-

July 4th 2020 is Niladri Bije (of this year 2020 as per tithi).
We are celebrating it as #RasagolaDibasa.
Request all to please use the correct spelling of RASAGOLA.
We are proud that "Odisha Rasagola" got the GI Tag last July.

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