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Odisha to urge Centre to accord classical status to Odissi music

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government will request the Centre to accord classical status to Odissi music which is as old as Odissi dance, a minister said.

A proposal to this effect was approved by the Heritage Cabinet at a meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and held through video conferencing, on Wednesday.

The Heritage Cabinet aims at protection of ancient monuments, temples and archaeological sites in Odisha and take steps to preserve the culture, language and literature of the state.

This form of music is very ancient, has a classical background and is different from other forms of classical music, Culture Minister J P Panigrahi said.

The state government has already accorded classical form status to Odissi music in 2008.

The Centre had recognised Odissi as classical dance in 1964 and Odia as a classical language in 2014, he said.

Since the department of Odia Language, Literature and Culture undertakes documentation and publication, the Heritage Cabinet has allowed formation of separate directorates for smooth functioning of its activities, the minister said.

The Cabinet also decided to set up a separate and autonomous directorate and create the post of a director for proper functioning of the Odisha State Archaeology.

Similarly the State Cabinet has given its approval for the creation of a separate and autonomous Directorate for the Odisha State Museum, he said.

In order to make the ancient treasures housed in the Odisha State Museum available for viewing among a wider audience across the world, especially in the light of the current pandemic, the museum will be developed into a virtual entity with digitisation, Panigrahi said.

A similar model will be followed for Ananda Bhavan Museum which memorialises Biju Patnaik.

A proposal was passed at the meeting to increase the amount for the Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman, Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja Samman, Dharmapada Samman and Byasakabi Fakir Mohan Samman from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

The Heritage Cabinet also approved to fill up all the existing vacancies in various academies, institutions and centres of the Department of Odia Language, Literature and Culture through a transparent process of widely publicised advertisements.

If needed, the posts will also be filled through the nomination process, the minister said.

Noting that Pandit Gopabandhu Dash is one of the makers of modern Odisha, who established Satyabadi Bana Bidyalaya and The Samaja newspaper, the Heritage Cabinet “approved for holistic development of his birthplace at Suando at an estimated cost of Rs 11.5 crore,” the minister said.

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