Odisha Berhampur University was first to start Journalism teaching programme in 1974. Chintamoni Mahapatra, a journalist turned journalism teacher was the person who ushered journalism education in Odisha. Besides Berhampur University, till mid-1980s there were not many institutions that provided journalism teaching in Odisha. Things began to change from late 1980s.
Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) opened a campus in Dhenkanal in August 1993 and offered Post Graduate Diploma in English Journalism with 40 seats. IIMC began to attract, train and provide a steady stream of young professionals to the local papers that were on par with the best in the country.
Presently there are more than 15 institutes in Odisha both government and private offering various courses in journalism and mass communication. Among them Sambad School Of Media and Culture is one. This school is backed by Sambad media house. Nearly 300 students pass out from such institutes every year in the State.
The field of Odia journalism does not encompass to the level achieved by its neighbours. This is because of the reading behavior of the Odia people and the lack of experiment in journalistic writing. Apart from this lacunae, there is another problem which posed itself as the wall against the development of Odia journalism. i.e. those who pursue journalism, lack interest in the subject, usually deserting their opted profession. Majority of them prefer to work in PR, HR sector. So, the day long practice of news presentation style remained unchanged. Still now the stereotype concept is followed by many journalist. In print media the style of samaj and prjatantra remained unchanged. In electronic media, the news presentation style is more or less borrowed from doordarsan and trained at Etv. In print media( esp. regional language) very few journalists challenged the old style and experimented some thing new. because, lack of readership surveys and proper analysis the new styles borrowed form English and Hindi media and successfully implemented here. But, among the new generation writers and journalists who dared to change the old, Lambodar Prasad Dash is one. His news stories on naxlaite activities and crime scene are excellent. simple to understand and can draw enthusiasm even in a first time reader. He is an alumnus of Berhampur University journalism department. In his 13 years career as many as 200 articles published in different news papers, Magazines. Presently he is serving as Bureau Chief of Aromv, A daily odiya news papers owned by Chandra Mishra, Another noted journalist from Orissa. Journalist Lambodar got several opportunities to reform his writing style when he was working under some of the noted journalists like, Gopal krushna Mahapatro, Sarat Mishra, Ranjit Guru, Gaourahari das, Prasant Pattanaik, Nabin das, etc.
Odisha is connected to India through roads, railways, airports, and seaports. Bhubaneshwar is well connected by air, rail and road with the rest of India. The Biju Patnaik airport is being expanded to accommodate wide bodied aircraft. Few highways are getting four lanned.
According to the 2001 census of India, the total population of Odisha is 36,706,920, of which 18,612,340 (50.89%) are male and 18,094,580 (49.11%) are female, or 972 females per 1000 males. This represents a 16.25% increase over the population in 1991. The population density is 236 per km² and 85.01% of the people live in rural areas and 14.99% live in urban areas.
Oriya is the official language of Odisha and spoken as a native language by about 73% of the people. Other linguistic minorities in the state are Bengali, Hindi, Telugu, Santali. The literacy rate is 63.61% with 75.95% of males and 50.97% of females being literate. The proportion of people living below the poverty line in 1999–2000 was 47.15% which is nearly double the all India average of 26.10%. Scheduled Castes and Tribes form 16.53% and 22.13% of the state population, constituting 38.66% of the State population. Some of the important tribes are Santhal, Bonda, Munda, Oraon, Kora and Mahali.
Data of 1996–2001 showed the life expectancy in the state was 61.64 years, higher than the national value of years. The state has a birth rate of 23.2%, a death rate of 9.1%, an infant mortality rate of 65 per 1000 live birth and a maternal mortality rate of 358 per 1,000,000 live births. Odisha has a HDI of 0.579 in 2004.
The dominant ethnic group are the Odia people. Many other groups are defined as Scheduled Tribes. Odias comprise 73% of Odisha's population while various tribal groups comprise most of the rest.
The history of Odia Literature has been mapped by historians and linguists along the following stages, Old Odia (900–1300 AD), Early Middle Odia (1300–1500 AD), Middle Odia (1500–1700 AD), Late Middle Odia (1700 AD – 1850 AD) and Modern Odia (from 1850 AD till the present). But this rude categorization could not skillfully draw the real picture on account of development and growth of Odia Literature. Here, we split the total periods in different stages such as: Age of Charya Literature, Age of Sarala Das, Age of Panchasakha, Age of Upendra Bhanja, Age of Radhanath, Age of Satyabadi, Age of Marxism or Pragati yuga, Age of Romanticism or Sabuja Yuga, Post Independent Age.
The beginnings of Odia poetry coincide with the development of Charya Sahitya, the literature thus started by Mahayana Buddhist poets. This literature was written in a specific metaphor named "Sandhya Bhasha" and the poets like Luipa, Kanhupa are from the territory of Odisha. The language of Charya was considered as Prakrita.
The first great poet of Odisha is the famous Sarala-Das who wrote the Mahabharata, not an exact translation from the Sanskrit original, rather an imitation of the same. Among many of his poems and epics, he is best remembered for his Mahabharata. Chandi Purana and the Vilanka Ramayana are also two of his famous creations. Arjuna Das, a contemporary to Sarala Dasa, wrote Rama-Bibha, a significant long poem in Odia.
Towards the 16th century, five poets emerged, though there are hundreds year gap in between them. But they are known as Panchashakhas as they believed to same school of thought, Utkaliya Vaishnavism. The poets are: Balaram Das, Jagannath Das, Achyutananada Das, Ananta Das and Jasobanta Das. The Panchasakhas are very much Vaishnavas by thought. In 1509 Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to Odisha with his Vaishnava message of love. Before him Jaydev had prepared the ground by heralding the cult of Vaishnavism through his Geetagovinda. Chaitanya’s path of devotion was known as Raganuga Bhakti Marga, but the Panchasakhas differed from Chaitanyas and believed in Gyana Mishra Bhakti Marga, which has similarities with the Buddhist philosophy of Charya Literature stated above.
The Panchashakhas, however, are the direct disciples of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Along with another seer Shri Arakhsita Das, they are called also as sada-goswami (six Lords). These five saints primarily believed in Vaishnavism and also additionally cultured and developed Gyana Mishra Bhakti Marga as stated earlier (beliefs about the body, the mind, the soul, and the Parambrahm). They have composed numerous manuscripts, mâlikas, devotional poems, Sadhana descriptions, and other religious scriptures. Also, many prophecies are described by these seers in there numerous literature. Most of the literature were written in hand on palm-leaves using the Devanagari or the Oriya script.
The two prime works from the five writers are the Bhâgavata by Jagannath Das and the Jagamohana Râmâyana by Balarâm Das. Till today Jagannath Das’s Bhâgavata is the most valued book in Oriya literature. Besides this great work he (Jagannath Das) also composed Artha Koili, Darubrahma Geetâ, Shunya Bhâgabata, Dhruba Stuti etc. Balaram Das, apart from Jagamohana Râmâyana, has also composed various works such as the Lakshmi Purâna, Vendântasâra Guptagitâ, Nâma-mâhatmya, Bhâva samudra, Sisu Veda, Kamalalochana Chautisâ, Kânta Koili. Shri Ananta Das, also known as Shishu Ananta Das has composed various devotional literature, e.g., Chumbaka malikâ, Nilagiri charita, Hetu Udaya Bhâgabata, Artha Târeni Prasnottara, Anâkâra Samhitâ, Bhaktimuktipradâyaka Geetâ. Similarly, Shri Jasovanta Das composed Shiba Shirodaya, Premabhaktibrahma Geetâ, Âtmaparatey Geetâ, Gobindachandra.
Acyutananda was the most prolific writer of the Panchasakhas and has written numerous books (called as pothi's), believed not in one life but in many successive lives. He is known as the Mahapurusha, which means - a great man. A few works of him are: Shunya Samhita, Chaurashi Yantra, Gurubhakti Geeta, Khila Haribamsa, Gupta Bhagabata, Kaivarta Geeta, Kaala Nirghanta, Tera Janma Sharana, Brahma Ekahshara Geeta, Gopala Ogâla, Bhava Samudra, Garuda Geeta, Brahma Shankuli, Ananta Bata Geeta, Kali Kalkpa Geeta, Asta Gujjari, Gujjari Raasa, Brahma Kundali, Mahagupta Padmakalpa, Chausathi Patala, Chayalisha Patala, Chabisa Patala, Dasa Patala, Neetya Raasa, Manmatha Chandrika, Shiva Kalpa, Achyutananda Janma Sharana, Chitta Bodha, Raasa Maala, and Panchasakhaa Bhajana. The Shunya Samhita dealt with spiritual knowledge as well as physical sciences like solar science, atomic and molecular concepts, and aerospace concepts. The term Chauraashi Yantra describes '84 yantras' embedded within the human body, the later itself is ~84 fingers in length and each Yantra is located for each finger-length space. However, the most popular one seems to be an "Oracle of Prophecies" named as Bhavishya Malika. Among prophecies also are Aagata bhabishya lekhanaa and Bhavishya Paraardha. About the Identification of his disciple and the primary devotees, he had composed the Jaiphula Malika. Also his copper oracle (Tamrapothi) which appears to mysteriously read the mind and provide suitable answers is still available today, operated by a priest in Kakatpur.
Shri Arakhsita Das, the seer of Olasuni, had written the Mahimandala Geeta, the Bhakti Tikaa, the Saptaanga Abadhuta Samhita, and the Tatvasara Geeta.
At the end of age of Panchasakha, the prominent poets are Dinakrushna Das, Upendra Bhanja and Abhimanyu Samanta Simhar. Verbal jugglery, obscenity and eroticism as the characteristics of Shringara Kavyas, became the trend of this period to which Upendra Bhanja took a leading role. His creations were Baidehisha Bilasa, Koti Brahmanda Sundari, Lavanyabati were proved land mark in Odia Literature. Upendra Bhanja was conferred with the title Kabi Samrat of Odia literature for the aesthetic poetic sense and verbal jugglery proficiency. Dinakrushna Das’s Rasokallola and Abhimanyu samanta Simhara’s Bidagdha Chintamani are prominent kavyas of this time.
Fakir Mohan Senapati
The first Odia printing typeset was cast in 1836 by the Christian missionaries which made a great revolution in Odia literature. Instead of palm leaf inscription, the books were being printed and the periodicals and journals were published. The first Odia Magazine of 'Bodha Dayini' was published from Balasore in 1861. The main object of this magazine was to promote Odia literature and to draw attention to the lapses in government policy. The first Odia paper, 'The Utkal Deepika' made its appearance in 1866 under the editorship of late Gouri Sankar Ray with the help of late Bichitrananda. The publication of these papers during the last part of the 19th century encouraged the modern literature and acted as a media to provide a wide readers range for the writers, The educated intellectuals came in contact with the English Literature and got influenced. Radhanath Ray (1849–1908) is the prime figure, who tried to write his poems with the influence of Western Literature. He wrote Chandrabhaga, Nandikeshwari, Usha, Mahajatra, darbar and Chilika wee the long poems or Kavyas. Fakir Mohan Senapati (1843–1918), the prime figure of modern Odia Fiction Prose is the product of that generation. He was considered the Vyasakabi or founder poet of Odia language. Fakir Mohan Senapati is well known for his novel Chha Maana Atha Guntha. It is the first Indian novel to deal with the exploitations of landless peasants by the feudal Lord. It was written much before the October revolution of Russia or much before the emerging of Marxist ideas in India.
With rise of freedom movement, a literary though was emerged with the influence of Gandhiji and idealistic trend of Nationalism formed as a new trend in Odia Literature. Much respected personality of Odisha culture and history, Utkalmani Gopabandhu Dash (1877–1928) has founded a school at avillage Satyabadi near Sakshigopal of Odisha and an idealstic literary movement influenced the writers of this age. Godabarisha Mohapatra, Kuntala-Kumari Sabat the other renowned name of this age.
With the emergence of soviet Russia in 1935, a Communist party was formed in Odisha and a periodical named "Adhunika" was published by the party. Bhagawati Charan Panigrahi and Sachidananda Routray were the founder members and writer/poets of the party. Bhagwati turned to fiction writing and though Sachidananda Routray (who is better known as "Sachi Routra" or Sachi Babu) has written some short stories is actually remembered for his poems. Influenced by the romantic thoughts of Rabindranath tagore, during the thirties when the progressive Marxian movements was in full flow in Odia Literature, Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, the brother of Bhagabati Charan Panigrahi, the founder of Marxian Trend in Odisha, formed a group circa 1920 called "Sabuja Samiti." Mayadhar Mansingh was a renowned poet of that time though he was considered as a romantic poet, but he kept the distance away from the influence of Rabindranath successfully.
As the successor of Sachi Babu, two poets Guruprasad Mohanty (popularly known as Guru Prasad) (1924–2004) and Bhanuji Rao came with T.S. Eliot and published their co-authored poetry book "Nutan Kabita". Later, Ramakanta Rath modified the ideas. Sitakanta Mohapatra, Soubhagya Kumar Mishra, Rajendra Kihore Panda, Brajanath Rath, Jayanta Mahapatra, Kamalakant Lenka, J P Das, Brahmotri Mohanty, Mamata Dash, Amaresh Patnaik, Hrushikesh Mallick, Sunil Kumar Prusty, Sucheta Mishra, Aparna Mohanty, Pritidhara Samal, Basudev Sunani, Gajanan Mishra, Bharat Majhi are some poets of this contemporary age. In the Post-Independence Era Odia fiction assumed a new direction. The trend which Fakir Mohan has started actually developed more after 50’s of last century. Gopinath Mohanty (1914–1991), Surendra Mohanty and Manoj Das (1934– ) are considered as three jewels of this time. The other significant fiction writers are Chandrasekhar Rath, Dr Jagannath Prasad Das, Shantanu Acharya, Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo, Rabi Patnaik, Debraj Lenka, Tarun Kanti Mishra, Krushna Prasad Mishra, Akhil Mohan Patnaik, Jagadish Mohanty, Kanheilal Das. Satya Mishra, Ramchandra Behera, Padmaja Pal, Binapani Mohanty, Prativa Ray, Yashodhara mishra and Sarojini Sahoo are a few writers whose writings have created a new age in the field of fiction. Jayanti Ratha, Susmita Bagchi. Paramita Satpathy, Hiranmayee Mishra, Chirashree IndraSingh Supriya Panda, Gayatri Saraf, Mamata Chowdhry are few fiction writerw in this period, In the field of drama, the traditional Odia theatre is the folk opera, or Jatra, which flourishes in the rural areas of Odisha. Modern theatre is no longer commercially viable. But in the 1960, experimental theatre made a mark through the works of Manoranjan Das, who pioneered the new theatre movement with his brand of experimentalism. Bijay Mishra, Biswajit Das, Kartik Rath, Ramesh Chandra Panigrahi, Ratnakar Chaini, Ranjit Patnaik continued the tradition.
As a whole, Odia literature is a strong wing of Indian Literature to represent in world forum.
The language spoken by the majority of the people is Odia. English is widely used for official purpose and Oriya is used as regional language. Oriya belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Europeanlanguage family, and is closely related to Bengali and Assamese. A few tribal languages belonging to the Dravidian and Munda language families are spoken by the Adivasis (original inhabitants) of the state. The state has a very opulent cultural heritage, one of the richest in India. The capital city of Bhubaneshwar is known for the exquisite temples that dot its landscape. The famous classical dance form, Odissi originated in Odisha. Contemporary Odisha has a proud cultural heritage that arose due to the intermingling of three great religious traditions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The culture of the Adivasis is an integral part of modern Odia heritage.
Odissi or Orissi dance and music is classified as a classical music of India.Odissi is the oldest surviving dance form in India on the basis of archaeological evidence. Odissi has a long, unbroken tradition of 2,000 years, and finds mention in the Natyashastra of Bharatamuni, possibly written circa 200 BC. However, the dance form nearly went extinct during the British period, only to be revived after India's independence by a few Gurus, such as Guru Deba Prasad Das, Guru Mayadhar Raut, Guru Pankaj Charan Das, Guru Mahadev Rout, Guru Raghu Dutta, and Guru Kelu Charan Mahapatra. Odissi classical dance is about the love of Krishna and his supposed consort Radha, mostly drawn from compositions by the notable Odia poet Jayadeva, who lived in the twelfth century AD.
Ghumura Dance (or Ghumra Dance) is one of the most sought and leading folk dance form in Odisha. It is classified as folk dance as the dress code of Ghumura resembles more like a tribal dance, but recent researchers argue different mudra and dance form present in Ghumura bear more resemblance with other classical dance form of India. The timeline of Ghumura dance is not clear. Many researchers claim it was a War dance in ancient India and used by Ravana in Ramayana. Ghumura dance is depicted in Konark Sun Temple confirming this dance form is since the medieval period. In the Madhya Parba of Sarala Mhabharata Ghumura has been mentioned as: "Dhola Madala Gadi je Ghumura Bajai Ghumura je Ghumu Ghumu Hoi Garajai" In Chandi Purana mentions: "Biratwara Biradhola Daundi Ghumura Kadamardala Bajanti Mari Galatura" Ghumura was also used as a Darbari dance in the princely state of Kalahandi and played by the earstwhile Kalahandi state during war times. The typical mixed sound that comes out of the musical instruments like Ghumura, Nishan, Dhol, Taal, Madal etc. and the expressions and movements of the artists make this dance to be a Heroic Dance. Since thousands of years Ghumura dance has evolved from a war dance to a dance form for cultural and social activities. The dance is associated with social entertainment, relaxation, love, devotion and friendly brotherhood among all class, creed and religion in the present days. Traditionally this dance is also associated with Nuakhai and Dasahara celebration in Kalahandi and large parts of South Western Orissa. Ghumura dance is still hidden in the village level in South Western Odisha and some parts of bordering Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Kalahandi region has taken a leading rule in popularizing and retaining its unique identity of Ghumura dance. Kalahandi is mainly known as land of Ghumura. Ghumura dance has got the opportunity to represent the nation in various international events Delhi, Moscow, Kolkata, and various other cities in India. Ghumura dance is also one of the most researched folk dance form in Odisha.
Kau dance (or Chau dance) is a form of tribal martial dance attributed to origins in Mayurbhanj princly state of Odisha and seen in the Indian states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. There are three subtypes of the dance, based on the original places where the subtypes were developed. Seraikella Chau was developed in Seraikella, the administrative head of the Seraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand, Purulia Chau in Purulia district of West Bengal and Mayurbhanj Chau in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha.
Mahari Dance is one of the important dance forms of Odisha and originated in the temples of Odisha. History of Odisha provides evidence of the 'Devadasi' cult in Odisha. Devadasis were dancing girls who were dedicated to the temples of Odisha. The Devadasis in Odisha were known as 'Maharis' and the dance performed by them came to be known as Mahari Dance.
It was during the reign of Chodagangadeva, Maharis were employed in the temples of Puri. After Chodagangadeva's death, Ananabhimadeva built Natyamandapa in the Jagannath temple for the dance performances inside the temple. Moreover, in those days, the Mahari dancers belonged to different categories namely, the 'Nachunis' (dancers), the Bahara Gauni, the Bhitara Gauni and the Gaudasanis.
The Mahari Dancers of Odisha are supposed to follow certain restrictions, such as:
They cannot enjoy.
They should dance on the ceremonies connected to Jagannath.
They should adhere to the specifications made by the Sastras.
They must always wear clean cloths.
The dancer cannot be physically handicapped.
At the time of the performances, the dancers are not supposed to look at the audience.
The Maharis are married to the Lord at the age of nine.
Before their performances, the Mahari dancers pay their obeisance to the Lord.
In Odisha, one can also come across another type of Mahari dancers, who are known as 'Samarpada Niyoga'. The duty of the 'Samarpada Niyoga' is to dance during the ceremonial procession of the deities. These dancers perform during the Ratha Yatra, Jhulana Yatra, Dola Yatra, etc.
The Western Odisha has also great variety of dance forms unique to Odisha culture. The children's verses are known as "Chhiollai", "Humobauli" and "Dauligit", the adolescent poems are "Sajani", "Chhata", "Daika", "Bhekani" : the eternal youth composes "Rasarkeli", "Jaiphul", "Maila Jada", "Bayamana", "Gunchikuta" and "Dalkhai", The work-man's poetry comprises "Karma" and "Jhumer" pertaining to Vishwakarma and the "Karamashani" deities. The professional entertainers perform Dand, Danggada, Mudgada, Ghumra, Sadhana, sabar – Sabaren, Disdigo, Nachina – Bajnia, Samparda and Sanchar. They are for all occasions, for all time with varieties of rhythm and rhyme.
Pala is a unique form of balladry in Odisha, which artistically combines elements of theatre, classical Odissi music, highly refined Odia and Sanskrit poetry, wit, and humour. The literal meaning of pala is turn. It is more sophisticated than the other Odia ballad tradition, Daskathia. Pala is presented in three ways. The names can be mentioned as baithaki or `seated`, in which the performers sit on the ground throughout. The other one is thia or `standing`. This is more popular and aesthetically more satisfying, in which they stand. Badi is a kind of thia in which two groups vie for excellence. This is the most entertaining, as there is an element of competition.
Gotipua dance is another form of dance in Odisha. In Odia colloquial language Gotipua means single boy. The dance performance done by a single boy is known as Gotipua dance, When decadence and declination came in to Devadasi or mahari tradition due to various reasons this Gotipua dance tradition evolved as sequel as these performance were practiced to please the gods. It is totally unknown that when exactly this danced form came in to practice. Still some historians say that this dance tradition appears to have originated during the region of Prataprudradev (1497 AD to 1540 AD) and gained popularity in the subsequent Muslim Rule. Ray Remananda the famous Vaishnavite Minister of King Pratapruda and ardent follower of Sri Chitanya is the originator of this boy dancing tradition, As Vasishnavs were not approving of the females in to dance practices so it possible that the dance tradition must have come after Sri Chaitanya came to Odisha. The Gotipua Dance Tradition is now seen in the village Raghurajpur situated 10 km away from Puri town, situated on the banks of river Bhargabi. It is otherwise known as the Crafts Village as various Odia handicrafts’ craftsmen reside in this village contributing their expertise in Patta Painting and other handukrafts.
Prince Dance Group,a dance group based in Berhampur, Odisha, India led by Krishna Mohan Reddy. It has won a reality show India's Got Talent on an Indian TV channel "Colors" The group is unique that the members are from a remote part of India and most of them are from disadvantaged sections of different parts of Ganjam district. Two of them, Padmanabha Sahu (24) and Telu Tarini (13) are physically challenged. They have won the hearts of all Odias, including chief minister Naveen Patnaik, and even outsiders with their performance in the programme "India's Got Talent". The group, comprising 26 artistes held the audience and the judges engrossed with their act from the mythological Mahabharata and Vande Maataram.