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It is a matter of great joy that the immortal song “Bande Utkal Janani” written by Kantakabi Laxmikanta Mohapatra has been declared to be the State Anthem a few years back. However I am very pained to hear the very distorted versions of the song being sung at various official occasions including the government functions and programs.

                To the best of knowledge the tune and music for the song  “Bande Utkal Janani” was composed by the legendary singer and music composer Sangeetsudhakar Balakrushna Dash. He was formerly a faculty at Kala Vikas Kendra and from childhood I have been a student of Kala Vikas Kendra, Cuttack. As a part of its Choral Group & Orchestra I have performed the original version on many occasions.

                However on many occasions, even when the Hon’ble Chief Minister is present a different and at times disported version of the song is sung which is a disrespect to the song and the poet.

                The magazine Odisha Review of  April – 2013 has reported that :

                “The Department of Culture has prescribed three stanzas to be sung with Late Balakrushna Das's musical tone without music as well as the music only. Also the music would be played by the Police Band Party. The Department shall ban all other forms of this State Song after it is declared as the State Song. It is unfortunate that some private T.V. channels do not mention the name of the poet nor display his photograph when this song is played.”

                 However in practice the other forms have not been banned and are prevalent everywhere and no one bothers to adopt the original version. The T.V. Channels are also playing a modified and modernized version of the state anthem which is most undesirable.

                In the fifties, Sri.  Balakrushna Dash had directed this song in All India Radio, Cuttack and I am sure a recording of the original version shall be available with them. Otherwise the same can be availed form his disciples like Smt. Shyamamani Devi or others.  

                I request you to kindly procure or  prepare and release the original version which should also  be placed at the Government websites at the earliest for which the people of this state shall be grateful and obliged.

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