are now talking about 'Odisha' [w Odia = adjective]
Is that now the approved spelling?
Should I go through all my references and change 'Orissa' to 'Odisha'?
I'd be happy too. Just let me know.
Did you say Orissa? It's Odisha now
The state crafted on April 1, 1936, and spelled "Orissa" in the Indian Constitution adopted in 1950, wasn't the correct spelling of the state's name which, in its language, ought to be spelled as it is pronounced - "Odisha".
The BJD government, taking exception to the manner in which state's name is spelled in Schedule I of the Constitution, advised the Centre to make the correction and the Union government has in principle agreed to do so, officials said.
The name of the state and its language are mentioned in Schedule I in Devanagari as Udisa and Udia respectively, and 'Orissa' in English.
"It ought to be 'Odisha' and 'Odia' instead," said state home secretary T K Mishra, who earlier this week took up the matter with Union ministry of social justice in New Delhi.
"We had sought the changes about a year ago by writing to the department of official languages, Government of India. The Centre has agreed and asked us to get the formal approval of the state cabinet. It also wants the state assembly to adopt a resolution to this effect. Thereafter, the Centre would carry out the amendment in the Constitution," Mishra added.
The state government, officials said, noticed the mistake when the department of official languages had in 2001 sought its views on changes, if any, required in the name of the state and language.
"Nobody had ever stumbled upon these mistakes. No wonder Hindi-speaking people have been wrongly pronouncing Odisha as Udisa. We want the Union government to make the changes so that state's name is spelt and pronounced correctly," a senior officer said. "Subsequent to the amendment, we would also want all communication of the state government to spell it 'Odisha' and not the anglicized 'Orissa'.
The state's language should also be called Odia, not Oriya," he added.
Considering the changes in states' names from Mysore to Karnataka, Madras to Tamil Nadu and Uttaranchal to Uttarakhand, a section within the state government had even suggested that Orissa's name be changed to Kalinga or Utkala by which it was known historically. But the government rejected the proposal, saying it could trigger a controversy.
The state cabinet has passed a proposal to introduce a bill in this regard during coming monsoon session of the assembly, chief secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy said on Monday.
It will require making an amendment to the Constitution, the chief secretary added.
According to Home Secretary T K Mishra, the state's name has been wrongly spelt in the Constitution. Ever since the BJD-BJP government came to power in 2000, it has been demanding the change.
Mishra said though the state's name is written as Udisa in Hindi and Orissa in English, the real name is Odisha.
Similarly, the state's language is written as Udiya in Hindi and Oriya in English while it should be Odia.
"We hope that the Constitution will be amended accordingly to effect the changes in this regard by end of this year," Mishra said.
Former Chief Minister and leader of opposition J B Patnaik praised the government's move to amend the Constitution. It should be done soon, he said while noted novelist Santanu Acharya complimented everybody associated with the move.
"It is the question of state's pride," said Acharya.