Thursday 3 February 2022

Odisha Handloom Saree Representation - Budget 2022

The annual Budget session in India (and in other parts of the globe too) is keenly awaited, analyzed, and discussed. Many eager eyes are glued to the screens. Experts and media, sharing the views of all categories, are consulted and represented. Popular newspapers, especially business dailies, are referred and quoted.

Let us take a leading financial daily, The Economic Times (ET), for example. ET has published many articles about the Budget. Many non-subscribers also purchase copies of the newspapers to better understand the Budget.

Even the quotes used by the Finance Minister in her Budget speech find discussion-

In her shortest-ever Budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman invokes ‘Mahabharata’, says tax collection in line with ‘dharma’ :

While the current Budget’s speech quote references are written about, past Budget quotes are also shared as has been done in the news reports published this year.

Similarly, what the Finance Minister and other members of the team had worn is also a matter of great interest every year. There is observation regarding the “Budget fashion history” too-

Bow tie & pinstripe, to Nehru coat and ikat prints: Your guide to Union Budget fashion history from East India Company to Modi govt :

But, some information is being wrongly shared viz. old spelling of Odisha state, and using the words "ikat" and "prints" together. 

Actually, ikat is the tie and dye process and such work is linked to handloom.

While "print"/printing etc refer to printed Sarees manufactured in mills/factories. 

To refer to the ikat work, we can use words like designs/patterns/motifs etc. and NOT prints.

Nirmala Sitharaman Madam has been very ‘vocal for local’ and has constantly supported ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ not simply by her words and speeches, but by actually walking the talk. ‘Actions speak louder than words’.

Personally, I feel very delighted when I see people using our local products, especially products of my home-state, Odisha. Many such products are registered as Geographical Indications (GIs). When well-established and famous personalities use our products, the idea, information, and message reaches many. It is a win-win situation.

This post has more about this- Newsmaker Geographical Indications


How will public and the readers learn about these products?

When the information is shared, right?

It is anybody’s guess what will happen when the news media do not publish the name of the product or the state’s name or publish with old/incorrect spellings.


There are no such details- either product’s name or state’s name- in this report published by ET at 11:12 AM on February 1, 2022-

On day of Budget 2022, Nirmala Sitharaman chooses rusty brown saree :

But, at 10:56 AM, the same paper ET had already published the Saree’s name and state’s name-

Style check: For her 2nd pandemic Budget, Nirmala Sitharaman dons a rust-brown Orissa handloom saree :

However, they had published the old name of the state.

Were they so much in a hurry to publish that they did not bother to even check the spelling of Odisha state?

Why will anyone need to check something? When one is in doubt, right?

Their team is so convinced that the correct spelling of Odisha state is “Orissa”?

Many of us have read that in school having done our schooling before 2011 when the said change name change happened.

But, 11 years is a long time.

And we expect better from credible sources that are backed by 24X7 news-research teams.

When people overlook, and do not even bother to spell the name of the state correctly or update it after being informed, how and what can we expect regarding a product like a Saree?


Shakespeare had written - “A rose by any other name sells just as sweet.”

But, what would he and other important personalities like the King have said had they been addressed by any other non-related name? Would they have been all welcoming if, God forbid, expletives had been used to address them? What do the modern day thinkers say about this?

In several WhatsApp groups, it has been observed that even Odias write the old spellings of state and language i.e. Orissa and Oriya instead of using the new spellings- Odisha and Odia. Odissi dance is also being spelled in a number of ways – even by Odissi dancers and writers/journalists themselves! What more can we say or expect?

By the way, the SpellingsAre Odisha, Odia, and Odissi.

But, if such facts are stated and requests for corrections are made, some of the said group-members take it as a personal insult, some react very badly, while many others do not bother and continue using the same spellings despite several interventions. Some defaulters try to shame the person who dared to raise this issue! They ask/argue-

“What is there to you? Why are you so bothered?”

“Mind your own business! My wish I will use whatever spelling I wish!”

“Who appointed you as spokesperson? What will you get by such moral policing or representation?”

The problem is that most people do something only after someone “appoints” them or someone assigns them a task to do or if it is a part of their job/office-work and they are forced to do. Such people ask about the intentions and qualifications of those who spend most of their waking hours being involved selflessly and being self-driven and having self-initiated discussions and actions.

They do not understand that such attitude and improper usage is influencing others and many continue using old spellings with gay abandon.

A name is the identity. By misspelling or misrepresenting, people show how much respect they have for a product or state.

Whenever posts regarding misinformation and misrepresentation are shared, very few support. When people do not even want to ‘like’ or ‘share’ such posts, how will the information reach everyone?

Even after the correct information is shared and requests are made to update the wrong reports or articles, few make attempts to update the wrong information. No doubt, news media are always hard-pressed for time and they have newer reports to share as news is about what has happened and is happening now.

“Why bother about old news? That event has already passed! Everyone already saw that Saree! They have already read this report! Why waste time?”

Thus, the existence of such wrong information continues, and the misinformation is actively and tacitly allowed and rampant.

They do not understand that timely interference and action can ensure correct information for all – even for the future generations. One who is conducting a research or doing a study or writing a book regarding handlooms deserves authentic information from credible sources like newspapers and media. By not making updates, some media houses are showing how much they care about such issues. Such an attitude, despite having a great background and able team, is dangerous and a serious impediment to establish facts.

We were happy to see our request being honoured by WIONews, who instantly updated their articles with the correct spelling of Odisha. 

Their website would certainly have garnered extra views yesterday as we had shared their report’s link in many groups and on social media too. This is a lesson for ethical journalism. How many have the time and courage to entertain requests for updates in their busy schedules? And yet, if they choose not to do so despite repeated requests, what do they think their choices are reflecting about their values and intention?

Whenever such topics come up, many stay silent. There is hardly any discussion, leave alone demand for action! That is how the truth does not come to light or takes a very long time. This had been and is still being observed for the Rasagola case.

Did you watch the Budget 2022 session? Did/Do you know the name of the Saree worn by Sitharaman Madam?

More details in this post- Budget 2022 Odisha Handloom- Bomkai Saree (Body Bomkai with Sambalpuri Bandha aanchal)

We look forward to action from the Team Economic Times:

Dear Reader, Did you know that the spelling is ODISHA? Is it fine that the old spelling should be continued to be used? Please share in the comments below.

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