ONI Bureau: Days after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to officially recognise Hockey as the national game of India, eminent persons and odia lovers from Odisha staged protest and rally demanding state anthem status for Bande Utkala Janani. The issue was first highlighted by the odia daily newspaper ‘Nirbhaya’.
They condemned Sona Mohapatra and Rituraj Mohanty for their remix of Odisha’s popular Sambalpuri folk song “Rangabati” with patriotic song ‘Vande Utkal Janani’. They also alleged that Naveen Patnaik has been adopting a step-motherly attitude towards the Odia language and culture.
Odisha’s unofficial state anthem Bande Utkala Janani was penned by Kanta Kabi Laxmikant Mohapatra, a reputed nationalist poet and was made the song of the State in 1936.