Why ‘Odisha Itihaas’, composed by a previous Chief Minister, is very important; why PM Modi has actually launched its Hindi version


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday released the Hindi translation of the book, ‘Odisha Itihaas’, created by previous chief minister Harekrushna Mahatab. Releasing the book, which is already offered in Oriya and English, the Prime Minister said, “It is important that the diverse and thorough background of Odisha should get to the people of the nation.”

Dr Mahatab was birthed in 1899 to a poor household at Agarpada town in Balasore. He was influenced by the suitables of Bagha Jatin and also was influenced by Ramakrishna Mission. At an extremely young age, Mahatab joined the freedom struggle and also accompanied Mahatma Gandhi to various districts throughout his visit to the state in 1921. He ultimately left his family members to commit his life for the uplift of the Congress organisation.

He took place to become the first chief minister of the state from 1946 to 1950 and was re-elected in 1956. He likewise earned the sobriquet ‘Utkal Keshari’.

He is also attributed with setting up Bhubaneswar as the capital of the state, in addition to the building and construction of the Secretariat structure, Raj Bhawan and Setting up buildings.

Thought about as a chronicler, throughout his term behind bars, Mahatab converted a great deal of History publications. He translated Valmiki’s Ramayan from Sanskrit into Oriya and likewise created the Oriya variation of the Gita. In 1946, during his stay at Patna camp prison, he released rhymes collected from political prisoners called “Bedira Jan Jan”.

The idea behind releasing a book on the history of Odisha materialized when Mahatab was sent to prison in Ahmadnagar for taking part in the Quit India Movement. Dr Hemanta Kumar Mohapatra, in a post on Dr Mahatab published in the 2015 edition of Odisha review publication by the Government of Odisha, writes about Mahatab’s term in Ahmadnagar: “Nehru revealed Mahatab some lines from Edward Thomson’s publication ‘The Start of Indian Princes’. In this book, Thomson illustrated Jagannath Temple as a ‘well-known Shrine, the rude temple where an incomprehensible individuals reverenced ugliness as the personification of magnificent characteristic and Brahminism seems to flaunt its distinctions from all various other faiths of the modern world.’

” Mahtab was sorry because he had little historic knowledge to counter such an “uncalled for” view of a foreign historian. Also he could not name a typical publication on Odisha background for recommendation to shoot down such a humiliating version in the book of Thomson.”

It was then that Mahatab determined to discover the history of Odisha, specifically to learn about the ancient history of Lord Jagannath. He examined a lot of historical writings, consisting of that of Toynbee, Gibbon as well as other historians, and published the Oriya version of his ‘History of Odisha’ in 1948.

The choice to launch a Hindi translation on the history of Odisha, created by a prominent leader of the Congress, is thought about to be an important move by the BJP which has been trying to raise its existence in the state after making some invasions in the last elections, political experts say. A variety of political analysts and party experts likewise think that one way for the BJP to win in the following elections could be to trap Congress heavyweights to enhance their vote share.


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