The problems of the division of Odisha

The arbitrary division of Odisha in to many fragments led to many complicated problems as follows:

1. Negligence Odia language

Due to arbitrary division of Odisha, Odia language suffered from negligence. It was treated as the language of a minority people in all those three provinces. The chauvinism of the three dominant groups, viz., Bengali, Telugu and Hindi threatened the existence of Odias. Eminent Bengali scholars like Rajendralal Mitra and Kantilal Bandopadhyaya refused to recognise Odia as a distinct language. They pressed the Government to, ‘make Bengali the medium of teaching and introduce Bengali textbooks in schools of Odsha. In Ganjam region Telugu was imposed onOdia schools and in Central Province Hindi was made compulsory for the schools of Sambalpur tract.

2. Failure of the Government to tackle natural calamities

The disunion was responsible for the failure to tackle natural calamities like drought, famine and flood etc. because the three Governments could not take concerted measures simultaneously to deal with them. It was evident during the Great Famine of 1866 which took a heavy toll of lives and caused untold hardship to the surviving population. It led the Secretary of State for India, Strafford Northcote to admit in 1868 that reuniting the, Odia-speaking people would help to reduce the danger of neglect by the administrative divisions. In 1885, Henry Rickets, Commissioner of Oris sa division suggested uniting Sambalpur with Odsha Division on the ground of racial and cultural affinity with other parts of Odsha. H.G. Cooke, the Commissioner of Odsha, in the Annual Report of 1894-95 strongly advocated for inclusion of the Sambalpur tract in Odsha division.

3. Miserable economic life due to division

The economic life of the Odia-speaking people was in danger due to division. Their economic resources were divided among three divisions. The trade and commerce suffered a lot when the mouths of the Suvarnarekha and the Budhabalanga and the ports of Pipli and Chandbali were silted. There was no political will of the Government to solve the crises. All those became evident after the Famine of 1866.

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