Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Describing how Orissa had attacked and subdued the Muslim Bengal, Dr. K. R. Quanungo writes in ‘The History of Bengal, Muslim Period’ at pp.48-52, that, Tughral Tughan Khan was no doubt out-generalled by the king of Orissa who had drawn the enemy far away from their frontier and must have concealed more than one surprising party along the whole route of the enemy’s advance. A greater disaster had not till then befallen the muslims in any part of Hindustan. The Muslims, says Minhaj [the historian Minhaj-i-Siraj who had also joined the war that was, to him, a ‘holy war’], sustained the overthrow, and a great number of those holy warriors attained martyrdom.

Relying on Havel, who noted in ‘Indian Sclupture and Painting’ that the war horses and elephants sculptured at Konarka depict the “pride of victory and glory of triumphant warfare”, Dr. K. C. Panigrahi writes in ‘History of Orissa’ at pp.413-414 that King of Orissa, Langula Narasimha “began his campaigns against Muslim Bengal in 1243 A.D. His victory over the Muslims of Bengal and his acquisition of the southern districts of Western Bengal must have enormously raised his prestige in the eyes of the contemporary Hindu Rulers, and augmented his resources, which in all likelihood enabled him to undertake the construction of a stupendous structure like the temple of Konark, designed to exhibit his power, prestige, opulence, devotion and perhaps to commemorate his victory also”.

But despite this truth recorded by history, Bankim Chandra of Bengal had overreached over a Bengali claim over Konarka through throwing an article in a school textbook in Bengali that Narasingh Dev belonged to Bengal and the Sun temple was an epitome of Bengali architecture!

Bankim Chandra’s trick was just an instance of how taking advantage of the British rule in Bengal when Orissa had kept them at bay and was the last land to have been annexed by the British but the first land to have raised a revolution against them in the entire country of India, the Bengalis had tried to misappropriate every gem of Oriya culture to create for themselves a fabricated cultural heritage. Their false claims over Sri Jaya Dev, creator of Radha and author of Sahajiya love lyrics squeezed into the Geet Govind as well as on Chaurashi Siddhacharyas, authors of Charyagitis (Bauddha Gan o Doha) have been exposed in these pages, wherein their mens rea behind this cultural dishonesty has been discussed.

It has also been discussed in these pages that the sculptures of Konark, the love lyrics of Sri Jaya Dev and the Charyagitis of Chaurashi Siddhacharyas are intricately linked to and influenced by Orissa’s now extinct Mahodadhi Civilization.

The sea in Orissa region was famous as the Mahodadhi. But the Bengalis, under circumstances hinted to above, as in the aforesaid three instances, have succeeded in changing the name of Mahodadhi to Bay of Bengal.

This wrong done to history needs correction.

The Mahodadhi civilization of Orissa was so developed that in whole of India, it was only Orissa the people of which were the pioneers amongst Indians to establish their colonies and dominions in far away lands beyond Indian limits where geographical names akin to names of Orissa give ample evidences in this regard.

Dr. Nihar Ranjan Roy informs us in ‘Brahminical Gods in Burma’,

“The ancient name attributed to old Prome is Srikshetra, so often mentioned in the Mon records as Sikset or Srikset, and by the Chinese pilgrims as Si-li-cho-ta-lo; and Srikshetra is the holy land of Puri on the ancient Kalinga coast”.

“Likewise” he also informs, “the earliest colonization of the Malaya Peninsula and Java had probably been made from Kalinga, for the Hindus of the Peninsula and the islands were and are still known as Kling.”

“The two examples from Tholan, now housed in the Rangoon Museum”, he says, “are decidedly Indian in form and composition as also in execution, done no doubt locally by Indian artists or by artists trained under Indian masters. They seem to have very intimate artistic affinities with the most recent finds of Brahminical and Mahayanist divinities from Orissa by Rai Bahadur Ram Prasad Chanda, B.A., now housed in the Indian Museum.”

Melaka, one of the thirteen States of Malaysia, was founded 2 degrees north of the equator by the shore of the Straits between Singapore to its south and Kuala Lumpur to its north by an Oriya prince, probably Hamvira (known there as Hang Tuah), which as far back as the early 15th century, had become a metropolis with traders and merchants of very many nations from east and west having there their business negotiation centers. It was developed by its founder for this purpose and also as a common shelter for seafaring traders and the response was so worm that as many as 84 different languages were being spoken there at the height of its glory. Melaka is a typical Oriya word (as in MELAKA PADICHHI RAJA YOTAKA) and the place where the prince of Orissa, its founder, breathed his last and took his final rest is famous as Tanjung Keling. When people of the place mean Kalinga (Orissa) by Keling, Tanjung means to people of Orissa even today the moving throne of the king and it stands for the chair on which seated the Gajapati Maharaja of Puri visits the temple or chariots of Sri Jagannatha.

A letter received recently from Sri Ramroop Jugurnauth of Mauritius is very significant. He writes, “My ancestors came to Mauritius more than 150 years ago. I made searches for my roots and I came to know that my ancestor came from Orissa. I also have in my possession some handwritten documents in an ancient Indian language. An Indian friend of mine forwarded it to the BHU (Language Dept). There they confirmed it to be an ancient Oriya. I therefore consider myself a cut-off branch from Oriya culture”. He further writes, “My family name Jugurnauth is infact Jagganath and it itself suggests my Oriya origin”. The pictures below are pages of handwritten Oriya manuscripts preserved by his family for 150 years in Mauritius.

Be it Mauritius or Melaka, be it Singapore or Ceylon, it is Oriyas of India that had established their colonies and commercial empires because they alone had the best of ships and shipping activities.

Even the British have admitted it. Writing to W.B.Bayley, Secretary to Government in the Judicial Department, in his Report dated 3 May 1817, E. Watson, 4th Judge, Calcutta Court of Circuit has unambiguously told of the ships of Orissa that they “were by far the best that I ever saw in any part of India”.

Nowhere any of the British authorities has recognized so eloquently any marine activity of Bengal even though they had there their seat of power.

So, it was wrong on part of the British to have named the sea that was under shipping activities principally of the people of Orissa as Bay of Bengal.

This offense the British colonialists and their Bengali collaborators have committed against the people of Orissa by obliterating the ancient name of Mahodadhi and by replacing it with Bay of Bengal shall have to be changed in respect of Orissa region.

This should be the program of Oriyas on the occasion of celebration of the birthday of Madhubabu (Kulabruddha Madhusudan Das) today.

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