Archive for June, 2012

Maraguda:The legendary capital of South Kosal

Following information is taken from


June 30, 2012 at 1:57 am 1 comment

Nine more tribal languages to be included in multilingual education programme

Following report is from the Hindu

The decision has been taken after undertaking linguistic survey

The State government is all set to facilitate teaching in nine more tribal languages for benefit of tribal students at primary schools under its multilingual education (MLE) programme from this academic session (2012-13).

In coordination with Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Development Department, linguistic survey has been undertaken in 14 tribal languages, including Gadaba, Bhumija, Ho and Kolha, Gond, Banjari, Paraja and Bhumia, Kharia, Mirdha, Mahali, Bhunjia, Didayi, Bhuyan, and Bhinjali to assess the multi-lingual education intervention in these languages, according to School and Mass Education (SME) Department.

According to sources, out of the 14 languages surveyed, nine languages have been identified for inclusion in MLE programme in 2012-2013. “District-level surveys have been undertaken in the existing as well as new districts to identify the schools with monolingual situations in the existing 10 languages for upscaling the MLE programme.

Altogether 200 schools from 14 districts have been selected for initiation of MLE programme in 2012-13,” says a senior officer of SME Department.

Diverse groups

Odisha is home to the largest diverse groups of tribal communities in India having 62 ethnic groups.

It is to be noted that to address the issue of systemic marginalisation of tribal children from the educational process and to build the scientifically-proven foundation in mother tongue, the State government has been adopting the MLE programme since 2006.

At present, 10 languages such as Santhali, Munda, Koya, Kui, Kuvi, Kishan, Oram, Saura, Bonda, and Juang have been selected for adoption as a medium of instruction at the primary level in the first phase.

In a phased manner during 2007 to 2010, 544 schools with 100 per cent tribal children (monolingual) were adopted with MLE approach in eight districts. In the last academic session, as many as 33055 tribal students were enrolled.

As many as 100 schools in Mayurbhanj district have Santhali language as a medium of education at primary level. Similarly, classroom teaching is imparted in 60 schools in Saura language in Gajapati district. Other tribal languages include Kuvi in 65 schools of Rayagada, Kui in 60 schools of Kandhamal, Koya in 50 schools of Malkanagiri and Oraon in 37 schools in Sundargarh district.

Children of primitive Bonda community are being taught in their mother tongue in 10 schools in Malkanagiri district.

According to sources in the SME Department, strategy to facilitate transition from 100 per cent tribal language in Class I to 100 per cent Odia by Class VI over a five-year period will be developed. Odisha Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) has been entrusted with the responsibility of initiating and developing the programme.

A State Resource Group, comprising 60 persons (linguistics, educationists, tribal experts, tribal teachers and tribal language resource persons), has been formed for the development of orthography, literature, transition plan, instruction manual, and curriculum in select tribal languages. Selection of schools is based on child census.

Curriculum material and books in 10 tribal languages have been printed for Class I and II while the same, which has been developed and is being used in Class III, IV and V, are yet to be printed.


Along this line, people of western Odisha region are demanding that the primary school education should be in Kosli language. Also, intellectuals are campaigning for the inclusion of Kosli language in the 8th schedule.

June 28, 2012 at 1:51 am Leave a comment

Kosal Bhasar Gabesana Pratisthan: An organization for the research on Kosli language

The following screen shot is taken from As far as I know, this is the only non-government organization dedicated for the research on Kosli language and culture of western Odisha. It is constantly highlighting and promoting Kosli language, arts & crafts, culture of the tribal’s through its magazine “DHOL”.

June 27, 2012 at 1:53 am 1 comment

An interview with Jitendriya Haripal

Following report is from the Telegraph:

When Sambalpuri singer Jitendriya Haripal hit the stage recently at a festival dedicated to western Odisha’s music and dance, the 65-year-old was welcomed with huge rounds of applause by thousands of fans gathered at the venue to see him perform. The voice behind the cult song Rangabati rangabati kanakalata was as energetic as ever. Haripal spoke exclusively to The Telegraph about life, music, the reason behind his passion for the stage even at this age and more.

How did you feel performing in front of such a huge gathering of your fans in Bhubaneswar?

I keep coming to the city to perform for college functions and have always been touched by the overwhelming response of today’s young crowd. But at this festival, which was focused on the folk traditions in music and dance, it was stunning to see the huge gathering.

More than 30 years after it was first performed, what do you think makes your cult hit Rangabati so popular even today?

First of all, it was not just my song but also my co-singer Krishna Patel’s. I think it was the pure folk base of the music that has a strong effect on people. The energetic beats and the simple folk words used in the lyrics make it a perfect combination to keep up the popularity of the song even after 34 years.

Haripal sings folk songs of western Odisha at the Rangabati festival in Bhubaneswar. Telegraph pictures

From being sung all over the country to abroad, what do you think is the high point of Rangabati?

Every time the music is played at wedding processions anywhere in the country, people simply break into a dance and that is the magic of the song. But the best and most memorable thing for me that happened to the song was when the BBC London Radio broadcasted it.

Having sung over 1,000 songs and performed at almost as many stage events, is there anything you still wish to achieve?

Many felicitations and praises have come my way from listeners over the years. But honestly, I’m sad that mostly people remember me for just one song whereas I have composed many other varieties of songs including patriotic albums. The new Sambalpuri songs use crude and indecent expressions and the pure folk we used to create have taken a backseat. I want to keep folk music safe and promote it.

Your family is also into music. You must be a proud father.

My youngest son Prabhat is a well-known percussionist while his wife Minu is a popular singer. Their daughter Ghungroo seems more inclined towards folk dances. (Smiles) I lost my eldest son Paras in an accident though. But I am happy to have carried on the legacy of my father Mandhata Haripal who had trained many artistes.

You always wear a cap while performing. Tell us the secret of your cap.

(Laughs) It is my logo actually! To be honest, the reason I started wearing a cap was Rangabati. This song became so popular, we used to be invited on stage shows regularly but air-conditioned facilities hampered my health. So I started protecting my head from the cold wearing this cap! Now it protects my bald head! I do take it out while singing bhajans.

How was your experience being a brand ambassador for Western Samurai, Rourkela T-20 team for the Odisha Premier League?

It was memorable. While the ambassadors included film stars for almost all teams, I don’t know how I was chosen. But the response of the crowd was great wherever I went with the team. It was really a special experience.

-Reported by NAMITA PANDA for the Telegraph

June 25, 2012 at 6:45 am 2 comments

Ghanta Badya of Ghess, Bargarh

June 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm 2 comments

If western Odisha is neglected like this, we will not hesitate to divide Odisha and break away: Gregory Minz

Following report is from OTV:

Congress MLA Gregory Minz created an uproar when he abstained from voting in the last Rajya Sabha elections defying party diktats. Here in Khola Katha with Manoranjan Mishra, he explains his position and talks about his future plans for the ensuing Rajya Sabha elections.

Q. When your party and the people of the entire state were looking at you with the faith that our representatives will behave in the most judicious way, why did you behave like in such a manner which sullied the image of entire political class? Why did you behave in such a fashion?

A. This is all about the game of spreading canards in politics. I had no other reason than a personal one to remain away from voting. I was supposed to return on 16th. But the flight was cancelled due to heavy rains. Even on 17th I could not catch the flight as I got stranded in the traffic. A special chartered flight was arranged which brought me here.

Q. Who had hired the chartered flight for you?

A. It was my party. The High Command asked me to reach here anyway. So I came.

Q. It was said that you tried to hide in the airport and you were not interested to come out?

A. This is a wrong message. I had tried my uttermost to reach in time. It was my misfortune that I could not reach in time. I am very sad for what ever happened.

Q. Were you contacted by the BJD or not?

A. No. My appointment with the doctor was fixed earlier. I was supposed to admit my wife and come back.

Q. But your party persons do they believe you?

A. I cannot help it if they do not believe me. Had it been the case then I would not have come back on 17th. I tried my level best to reach in time but failed.

Q. But your own men do they doubt you or not?

A. They will doubt and doubt definitely.

Q. What did you explain before the Narasingha Mishra Committee?

A. I have told everything before the committee. What ever had happened actually?

Q. Have you been exonerated by the Narasingha Mishra Committee?

A. I have not received anything in writing. But I was asked over the phone to work for the party in the panchatyat election.

Q. Who asked you?

A. It was Jagdish Tytler.

Q. Jagdish Tytler, is he aware of entire issue?

A. I have personally narrated the entire issue to him in writing as well as told him the thing personally.

Q. But your problem was so acute that you had to go on that date and you could not have waited for two more days?

A. The appointment with the doctor was already fixed. I had to go at any cost as I got the appointment after waiting for a very long time.

Q. Nobody from the BJD had really contacted you?

A. No, no one had approached me.

Q. So many MLAs were contacted and offered money? But you were not… how come?

A. I am a disciplined worker of the party. All these baseless allegations are hurled at me unnecessarily. I am in the party and working for the party. I am prepared to do whatever the High Command wants me to do.

Q. Was it right to put up Tara Patnaik as the candidate?

A. Look, I have to obey the decision of the party.

Q. But what was your personal choice?

A. I will say that some one from the tribal community should have been sent to the Rajya Sabha. We have been neglected continuously. The man should have been from Western Odisha since the state collects maximum revenue from Western Odisha. Still it is the most neglected part of the state. Revenue collected from Western Odisha is being spent for the development in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. We don’t like it. We have been demanding for a bridge over river Brahmani for a long time where as fly-overs come up in Bhubaneswar daily. We say that give us at least fifty per cent of the revenue collected from Western Odisha and we will not ask neither the Centre nor Odisha government. Our money will be spent for the development of our areas.

Q. Did you raise all these things when Tara Patnaik was put up as the candidate?

A. The candidature was decided at the highest level. No meeting was held to discuss the issue.

Q. So, you think that the problem cropped up because the decision was taken at the highest level?

Q. I will categorically state that the MLAs should be definitely consulted to take any such decision.

Q. So you revolted as the decision was trusted upon you?

A. No I did not revolt. I could not come due to my personal problems. Why should I disobey the decision of my party being a disciplined worker?

Q. Whom would you have voted for had you been able to come in time?

A. Definitely to the man decided by the party.

Q. But did you not feel disheartened by the party’s decision? The party is favouring an industrialist and not any one from Western Odisha?

A. I will discuss all these if ever I get an opportunity to raise these things in the party. Still, I want to warn that if Western Odisha is neglected like this, we will not hesitate to divide Odisha and break away.

Q. When you came to know that Shivaji Majhi of your party and Bhimsen Choudhury from BJP were facing charges of horse-trading and the CD had already arrived, did not you think that it had opened a black chapter in the state’s political history?

A. Definitely. When I came to know that two others had not come for voting I realised that the same charges would be treated against me as well. But I was unfazed for ultimately truth prevailed and I was not suspended.

Q. Do you believe in the Shivaji Majhi CD?

A Look, one man’s voice can be tampered in the recording. The truth will come out after the probe. I have no other comments.

Q. But how do you feel when you hear that one MLA of your party has taken money?

A. Such charges will be levelled at you if you are in politics. You cannot go ahead if you break down. But I don’t believe it. If the people of his area support like the people of my area support me than I have nothing to say.

Q. But will the charges loose significance if the people support you?

A. The people are not fools. They can make out what is what.

Q. It is time for another RS election. Will you stay put in Bhubaneswar or will you go away to Mumbai?

A. I will be the proposer of the man this time my puts up as its candidate.

Q. But will your party men believe in you? An influential group in the party believes that you already have indirectly joined the BJD and one of the vulnerable MLAs for horse-trading?

A. The party will definitely believe in me. For, despite the use of money and muscle power by the BJD, I was able to ensure the victory in two ZPs and that of two Chairmen in the last election. And I don’t know what horse-trading is all about?

Q. But horse-trading takes place in politics or not? Have you been approached by anyone in tenure as MLA?

A. No one has ever approached me. Nor has anybody ever told me that this man is distributing money.

Q. So you believe that there was no horse trading and whatever others are belling is the truth?

A. Look Bhimsen Choudhury had told in his area that he cannot vote for the Congress candidate.

Q. And what about Shivaji Majhi?

A. I cannot tell anything about him. But Bhimsen is my neighbour. He is a staunch opponent of the President of his party. I guess that could be the real reason.

Q. Who are those persons in the BJD with whom you have good relations?

A. I have good friends in all the parties be that BJD or BJP or any other party. Political rivalry is a different thing. I go to even Naveen Patnaik with the problems of our areas. My relations with him is very good.

Q. And with Pyari Babu?

A. Not so much. I go directly to the chief minister.

Q. Did you ever talk to Tara Patnaik before the elections?

A. We were being contacted over phone by some senior leaders where as he should have talked to us directly and that too in a joint meeting. It does not look nice also to vote for someone not knowing the man personally.

Q. Will vote for Tara Patnaik if your party again puts him up as the candidate?

A. Yes, I will vote for the candidate who is finalised by the High Command of my party.

Q. For you, what comes first, your conscience or the party?

A. Party comes first.

Q. What is the difference between the playing field and political field?

A. There is not much of a difference. We preferred to play attacking when I was playing and I continue to play attacking game in politics as well.

Q. But is the Congress able play the attacking game?

A. I didn’t believe in groupism in politics. In the just concluded election the BJD won not because it is popular but because it abused both money and muscle power.

Q. What is your take on the personality of Naveen Patanaik?

A. He is most welcome. He listens to everyone. But I am not speaking for the heck of politics, but he is not able to do much for the development of the state.

Q. And about Pyari Mohapatra?

A. I don’t know much about what is happening in that party. I don’t disrespect any senior politician. But what I will emphasise is the fact that for the development of the state we all must have to when the demand arises rise above the party level.

Q. One last question. Can you vouch that in the ensuing RS election you will not be lured by money power and vote in a disciplined manner?

A. Definitely. I am here in politics not to earn money. I want to work for the people and want to see that the benefits of development trickle down to the lowest level.

(Contact Manoranjan at:

June 24, 2012 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

Bomkai Saree of Subarnapur district, western Odisha

Following write-up is from


The Bomkai saree, one of the traditional sarees of east India are created by the adept artisans who excellently define the tradition and culture of India by the simple work of needle. The traditional figured saree from the southern Orissan coastal plains is the Bomkai saree. This saree is named after the vilaage where it was discovered in early 1980s.

Sonepur is located in the western part of Orissa. Sonepur hand loom woven sarees and dress material are known for their unique “Bomkai” designs locally known as “Bandha” design. This Bomkai design on the fabric (especially on Sarees) is developed by using Jala technique on handloom.


The art of weaving has been existing in this part of Orissa since 600 B.C. The scriptures in the caves of Khandagiri reveal this. By late 1980s, this hand loom cluster had begun specializing in silk weaving especially the Bomkai design (locally known as Bandha Design) without using any extra shedding mechanism like Jacquard and Dobby.

The artisan of the locality used to create Bomkai sarees since the commencement period of the fabric. It was originally made for the local maharaja, aristocracy and Bhramins of the chikiti tahsilm of the ganjam district.


The Bomkai design both the warp and weft is dyed according to the requirement. For border design, warp alone is processed, while for Palavas and anchal of sarees, weft is processed and overall saree designs, both the warp and weft are processed.

Orissa still uses the traditional jaalas for weaving Bomkai. Wooden jaalas are used and are tied the traditional way by jaala bandhaks (weavers). The technique is in itself a furthering of the tie and dye technique. In case of Bomkai, the yarn is tie dyed but the focus is not on patterns which emerge out of tying and dyeing. It is used to get the contrast colours in the saree. So, a pallav or border may have a solid dyed block or can be double shaded. The ornamentation is worked using the extra weft technique or jaala system which gives the tapestry that kind of look. The borders are woven using what most weavers refer to as phool bandhaks which flow on the designs on the border. The double shades of the saree, the border and the pallavs are worked on the basis of colour combinations. Once the dyed yarn is fitted in the pattern is worked using extra weft technique. This gives saree an almost woven, carpet like effect.

Recent innovations include the introduction of zari threads in weaving. While earlier the entire design was done in thread work with cotton or silk yarn as the fabric base. Nowadays, the saris are woven in both cotton and silk with brilliantly created angular discontinuous supplementary-weft patterns woven in the end-piece in contrasring colours.


The Bomkai cotton saris have been influenced by tribal art, and are embroidered with temple spire patterns on the border.


Bomkai sarees feature threadwork ornament borders. The supplementary bands are not woven in progressive order from large to small or vice versa, but are woven according to the choice of the weaver. Yet despite all the work in the endpiece, it is the supplementary – wrap patterns of the border that give these sarees their name. Some of border motifs are:

• MITKTA PANJI A broad band of supplementary-wrap patterning called the “ mitkta panji”, forming a latticework of small diamond shapes is the most popular border.

• TEMPLE A row of temple spires which pretty much look like triangles is also a signature border of bomkai sarees.

• KUMBHA A row of kumbha spires is favourite border motifs.

• RUDRAKSHA The motifs in the borders include ubiquitous rudraksha or bead motifs.

• FLORAL The florals and even plain bootis are also found.


Bomkai patterns are hand woven from gold or silver colored silk threads. They embellish pallu of a saree. The sarees are brilliantly created with angular discountinous supplementary-weft patterns adhere to the traditional tribal motif of orissa, which includes geometric designs, birds, elephant and flowers. Other patters have such names as rukha (pestle, stick), dombaru (small hourglass-shaped drum), kanthi phoola (small flower) and karela (bitter gourd), shankha, peacock and fish.


The motifs used are kanthiphula, Atasi flower, lotus and flies, birds, peacock, fish, elephants, ducks etc. in geometrical forms.

PEACOCK – It represents a symbol of rebirth in the mythology of Hinduism, Buddhism and islam. In Hinduism, the image of the god of thunder, rains and war – Indra- is depicted in form of peacock. In India, it is also a symbol of love.

FISH – It symbolizes prosperity and good health


The speciality of bomkai is the contrast border and heavy designs on the pallavs, while the blouses are again in contrast colours. Since, oriya sarees have close relation with jagannath culture, the four basic colours which commonly found on jagannath – black, white, red and yellow – is extensively used in oriya sarees and Bomkai is no exception.

It is the design and colour palette that makes Bomkai stand out. The vibrancy of colour combination especially contrst colours are rarely seen elsewhere. Double shaded borders vie with single solid colour borders and this is the signature of Bomkai sarees.

The contrast colours are beautiful such as yellow interspersed with black and a green border or peacock blue competing with golden border.the borders and pallav can be doubl shaded. It is the sheer contrast and eye catching colours which stand out such as grey teamed with a brilliant red, black with glazing golden border and pallav.

Few more links to Sonepuri Saree:

June 24, 2012 at 3:14 am 4 comments

History of Kosal and Odisha: A contemporary thought by Bhanu Padmo

Following article is written by Bhanu Padmo. You can download the Odia PDF here:

June 23, 2012 at 8:24 am Leave a comment

Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital, Rourkela to enroll 100 students this year

Following report is from TOI:

BHUBANESWAR: It is good news for medical aspirants. Around 150 more MBBS seats will be available for admission in Odisha this year compared to last year.

The new addition includes 100 medical seats in Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital, Rourkela, to be filled in through the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) besides the 50 seats in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhubaneswar.

Director Medical Education and Training (DMET) Dr P K Das said the Medical Council of India (MCI) has already given its go-ahead for 100 seats in the High-tech group’s upcoming medical college at Rourkela. “It is a matter of paperwork before the college officially gets going with the admission process,” he said.

Hi-Tech Group, which already has a 100-seat medical college in Bhubaneswar, has set up the Rourkela institution in collaboration with the Western Odisha Development Council (WODC). The planning and coordination department of the state government had sanctioned Rs 10 crore for the medical college in Rourkela and had provided 25-acre land.

The Rourkela college seats raises the number medical seats under the OJEE pool to 650. The counselling could not be started so far because of lack of clarity in the total number of medical seats.

Dr Das said though the MCI has given in-principle permanent recognition for 150 medical seats each in VSS Medical College and Hospital, Burla, and MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Berhampur. The Centre is yet to give its final go-ahead. “We hope the Centre would clear the matter soon paving way for admission,” Dr Das said. Though last year the two colleges had admitted 150 students each, the recognitions were provisional.

OJEE secretary Priyabrata Sahoo said the medical counseling will start soon after the DMET gives it the details of approved seats in different colleges. As reported earlier, the Centre has already announced to admit 50 students in AIIMS Bhubaneswar from the current year through the AIIMS entrance test.

Screen shot of Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital, Rourkela website.

June 23, 2012 at 8:00 am 1 comment

West Bengal govt. accord second language status to Hindi, Gurmukhi, Santhali and Odia; will Odisha govt. recognize Kosli language?

Following is a PTI report taken from ibnlive:

Kolkata, June 20 (PTI) The West Bengal government today decided to accord second language status to Hindi, Gurmukhi, Santhali and Odia in areas where over 10 per cent of the population spoke them, in official work . The decision was taken at a meeting of the state cabinet presided over by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, state secretariat sources said. The state government has already accorded second language status to Urdu in areas where over 10 per cent of population as per 2001 and 2010 census spoke the language. PTI PKC

Photo (Kosli literature, Facebook group)

June 23, 2012 at 7:38 am 1 comment

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