On November 4, 2011, the state of Orissa in India officially changed its name to Odisha, along with the name of its language from Oriya to Odia. This significant change was driven by a desire to revive and celebrate the state’s cultural heritage and identity. This article delves into the historical and cultural significance of the name change and the legislative process that brought it to fruition.
The Origin of the Name “Odisha”
According to historical and linguistic evidence, the term “Odisha” is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word “Odra Desha,” which was used to describe the region. The name “Odra” is believed to have originated from the Odra tribe that inhabited the area in ancient times. Over time, the name evolved into the modern-day name of the state, Odisha.
The Long-standing Request for a Name Change
The state government of Orissa had been requesting the central government of India to change the name of the state to Odisha for several years, citing historical and cultural reasons. The request was based on the belief that the name “Odisha” more accurately reflected the state’s cultural heritage and identity, and would help promote and preserve the state’s unique linguistic and cultural heritage.
The Legislative Process
The Orissa (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2010, which changed the name of the state from Orissa to Odisha, was introduced in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian Parliament) on March 23, 2010, by the Minister of Home Affairs. The Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (113th Amendment) Bill on April 12, 2010, which provided for the necessary amendments to the Indian Constitution to enable the name change.
The bill was then sent to the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of the Indian Parliament), where it was passed on April 20, 2010, after a brief discussion. Once the bill was passed by both houses of Parliament, it was sent to the President of India for his assent. The President gave his assent to the bill on November 3, 2011, and it was published in the Gazette of India on November 4, 2011, officially changing the name of the state to Odisha.
The Significance of the Name Change
The name change from Orissa to Odisha was seen as a way to promote and preserve the unique cultural identity of the state. The state has a rich history and tradition that spans thousands of years, and the name “Odisha” more accurately reflects this heritage. The name change was also a significant milestone in the state’s journey towards greater cultural and linguistic recognition and representation.
The name change from Orissa to Odisha was a long-awaited and significant change for the people of the state. It reflects the desire of the state’s inhabitants to preserve and promote their cultural heritage and linguistic identity. The legislative process that led to the name change was a culmination of years of effort by the state government, and the final outcome was a testament to the power of persistence and determination in achieving significant cultural and linguistic recognition and representation.