Orissa News

The creation of Orissa, as a separate province was subsequently taken up by a series of administrative Committiees and Govt Resolutions. In 1919, the Montegue Chemsford reforms gave a proposal for granting of constitutional and provincial autonomy to the Oriya speaking tracts. The Sinha Resolution on 20th Feb.1920, proposed to the Governor- General in Councilthat a mixed committee of officials and nonofficials be appointed to formulate a scheme for the amalgamation of the Oriya- speaking tracts that were controlled by the Governments of Madras, Bengal and the Central Provinces with existing Orissa Division of the Province of Bihar and Orissa.To strengthen the Sinha Proposal, the Government of India appointed a Commission consisting of C.H Phillip and A.C. Duff in 1924. The Commission visited the places like Vizagpattam, Paralakhemundi, Mandasa, Icchapuram, Chikiti, Sorada, Khalikote, Barahampur, Rambha in order to ascertain the desire and opinion of the people on getting amalgamated to Orissa Proper. Based on the recommendations of this committee, the government concluded that there was a genuine and long standing deep-seated desire on the part of the educated Oriya classes of the Oriya speaking tracts to amalgamate with Orissa under one administration.

Then on behalf of the Oriya speaking people,Krishna Chandra Gajapati, the Maharaj of Paralakhemundi, went to London to attend the Round Table Conference and Maharaja Krishna Chandra Gajapati attended the round table conference and sought the unification of Orissa presented a Memorandum in favour of creating a separate state of Orissa. The Govt.of India announced in their Resolution No. F.12. VI-31 of 18th September 1931, the formation of a Boundary Commission under Samuel O’ Donnell to examine and report on administrative, financial and other consequences of setting up a separate administration and demarcate the boundaries of the proposed Orissa province. The Commission visited places and record 410 witnesses at Jamsedpur, Chaibasa, Sambalpur, Raipur, Midnapur, Gopalpur, Waltair, Kakinada, and Cuttack. In determing the boundaries they examined several factors like, language, race, geographical position and the economic interests. The Orissa province that thus came up was to include Orissa Division, Angul, Padmapur, Khariar, Vizagpattam agency tracts. This proposal was recommended by the Joint Select Committee under the leadership of Lord Linithgow. As per this Committee Berhmpur town, Jeypore estate Report, about 30% of Paralakhemendi state including Paralakhimendi town, Jalantara were included in the proposed Orissa province. Thus after a long period of struggle the Oriya people got re-united after centuries of political separation. On 1st April 1936, the new province of Orissa came into existence on linguistic basic during the British rule in india with Sir Jhon Austin Hubbak as the first Governor. A long cherished dream of Oriya people and their leaderswas fulfilled.

But the Garhjats, princely states numbering 25 remained free, thus making the administrative union incomplete. After the independence of India, these princely states were amalgamated with the exception of Seraikela and Kharsawan. It is to be noted here that on a subsequent period, the Post independent government of India, took Language as the yardstick to create administrative states.Thus Orissa was the first state to be formed on a linguistic basis. Further it goes to the credit of the leaders and the people of Orissa that they could successfully carry on with their dreams and demand for a separate state alongwith their struggle for the political independence of the country. In fact, in the Nagpur session of the Indian National Congress in December, 1920, the issue of linguistic identity was approved by the Congress which agreed that Orissa should form a separate Congress committee to be stayed as the Utkal Pradesh Congress Committee.

Post 1935 Orissa

Meanwhile, since the formation of the separate province of Orissa in 1936, the political events in India were heading towards the final phase of the freedom struggle. General elections were held in the British Indian Provinces in 1937 to form Provincial Legislatures in accordance with the provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935. In Orissa, in the said election, the Congress won 36 seats out of 60, and in July 1937, the first Congress Minstry was formed under the leadership of Biswanath Das with two other ministers, Nityananda Kanungo and Bodhram Dube.This ministry began its work for the implementation of several pronounced policies of the Indian National Congress. Constructive programmes were taken up for the welfare of the common people.The outbreak of the Second World War created in India a political crisis of great magnitude. At the call of the Congress High Command, all the Congress ministers tendered resignation in November, 1939.And the ministry was terminated.