BHUBANESHWAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday released the Hindi translation of ‘Odisha Itihaas’. The book was written by freedom fighter and first chief minister of Odisha Harekrushna Mahatab.
“History of Odisha represents the historical strength of entire India,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event in New Delhi.
Modi praised the role of tribals in the freedom movement of the country. “There are innumerable stories of grit, sacrifice and chivalry of the tribal communities. It was very difficult for British rulers to step into their areas. It is the most important thing to bring their story before the world. These stories should be documented and told to the future generation,” he added.
He said the Paika rebellion, Ganjam Revolt to Sambalpur struggle, land of Odisha always gave new energy to the fire of revolt against the British rule. He remembered the great tribal leader of the Quit India Movement, Laxman Nayak. “Odisha is the complete picture of cultural diversity,” the PM added.
Remembering Mahtab’s contribution in the freedom struggle, Modi also noted that during the Emergency, Mahtab went to jail opposing the party under which he became chief minister. “He went to prison for both independence and for saving the country’s democracy,” he added.
Modi lamented the fact that many important events and stories of the freedom struggle could not come before the country in proper form. He said in the Indian tradition, history is not limited to kings and palaces. History evolved with people over thousands of years, he added.
He called for taking the history of Odisha and its grandeur to all parts of the world. He made a call for making the Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav a truly People’s movement and expressed that this campaign will lead to the flow of similar energy as was witnessed during the independence struggle.
The book, available in Odia and English so far, has been translated into Hindi by Shankarlal Purohit. Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Harekrushna Mahatab’s son and Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahatab were also present on the occasion.