If you haven’t listened the old tune of ‘Bande Utkala Janani’ song from a 1932 gramophone record by Gokul Mohanty (78 RPM Odia Recordings), then listen it here.
Bande Utkala Janani is an Odia patriotic poem written by Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra in 1912. When Odisha became a state on 1st April 1936, this poem was made the state anthem of Odisha.
This song was first sung at the Utkal Sammilani’s Conference at Balasore in 1912, This song was used as a powerful weapon by the Utkal Sammilani to emancipate Odisha.
In a meeting at Bhadrak, where the poet Kantakabi was felicitated, the then young leader of Odisha Harekrushna Mahtab admitted that the poet Laxmikanta’s patriotic songs have inspired him a lot.
The State Government’s decision to stand up to pay respect when the song is played has been praised. Therefore, it was made compulsory at the end of any Odisha Legislative Assembly Session and in the beginning of school prayer in State Govt schools in Odisha during the 1990s.