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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Great Odia Camouflage

In the durbar of Akbar, there once appeared a polyglot.  After marvelous display of his skills, he challenged the mighty emperor’s court to instantly ascertain his native tongue. Birbal was up for the game. He came close to the polyglot, embraced him and in a flash of second, twisted his arm intently. The polyglot cried out ‘Bou lo, marigali’ (meaning, ‘O Mother! I’m dead’). He was identified as a native of erstwhile Utkal.
Five centuries later, there has been no significant change. It is hard to identify the quintessential ‘Utkaliya’ of Moghul era or the ‘Odia’ of independent India, though they appear everywhere. They lack a distinct identity, in stark contrast with neighboring states like Bengal (where people swear by their Bangaliana) and Andhra (which, unfortunately, is undergoing a tumultuous phase currently).
Why has this been so?  Why has this race (for the lack of a more appropriate term) been so meek and mild in ascertaining its own identity?
The reasons behind this unique ca…