Odia Identity and Language Movement of Odisha



            Ancient history of India reflects that the people living in the geographical tract of present Odisha had a unique Identity in the world. The Odia language has played a significant role in establishing the uniqueness of the people of this land. In the 12th century AD ‘Chodagangadev’ the king of Eastern-Ganga family has laid the foundation of modern Odisha by uniting all the territories into one in the name of “Sakalatkola” and made the Odia language the dominant speech of Odisha. In 15th century ‘Kapilendradev’ used the word ‘Odisha’ and introduced ‘Odia’ as the Official Language of state administration. This resulted in the development Odia Language, literature and culture in a Sanskrit dominated society which established the identity of a race. It was jeopardised in the 16th century AD as a result of foreign aggression. The attempt of British-India administration in 19th century to withdraw the vernacular language from schools and administration for which the people of Odisha resorted to organised protest, kwon as Language Movement in the 19th century and could restore the same in the first half of 20th century AD. The objective of this paper is to discuss about the historiography of “Odia Identity” on language basis which has been initiated in the 10th century AD and took a concrete shape in the 15th century AD and after some turmoil how it was restored in 1936 with the formation of separate Odisha State.This paper is prepared on the basis of secondary data following 


Key Words: Odia Identity, Odia Language, Language movement, Vernacular Language, Odisha State.

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