It could be a long-standing demand of the people of Odisha, which was never given rapt attention. But, this time, the issue has been raised by a Retd. Bureaucrat. Mr. Prasanna Mishra, a former Union Secretary and an active member in social media, who has urged the Defence Minister to establish a Kalinga Regiment to honour Odisha’s ancient martial valour.
Prasanna Mishra, who also held the post of Editor of ‘Sanchar Daily’ for a brief period, has requested Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to set up the Kalinga Regiment at Dhauli where the historic Kalinga War was fought in 262-261 BC.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who had visited Odisha in March 2015, has come across similar questions, but avoided the demand, saying “One cannot raise regiments only on the basis of caste or region. However, I would ensure that the impact of defence activities is felt more in Odisha”. The demand for Kalinga Regiment was first raised by late Biju Patnaik and then pursued by many others, but in vain.
Mr. Prasanna Mishra, an active user of Facebook and Twitter, has chosen the auspicious occasion of Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das’ birth anniversary today to list his demand in the interest of the people of Odisha and our rich culture. Hopefully, the matter will be taken up at the highest level by the media the state government as well as the Union Ministers from Odisha.
Prasanna Mishra has also sought the naming of Paradip Port after legendary Biju Patnaik, who was instrumental in setting up the port. He has made this demand many times in the past, but it seems the present government in Odisha is not so keen to honour the legend even though they are winning elections after elections using his name and legacy.