The problems of the division of Odisha

Odisha’s arbitrary division into numerous fragments resulted in a slew of complicated issues, including the following:

Negligence Odia language

Due to Odisha’s arbitrary division, the Odia language suffered neglect. It was treated as a minority language in all three provinces. The chauvinism of the three dominant groups, Bengali, Telugu, and Hindi, posed a threat to Odias’ existence. Eminent Bengali scholars such as Rajendralal Mitra and Kantilal Bandopadhyaya argued against Odia’s recognition as a distinct language. They lobbied the government to’make Bengali the primary medium of instruction and to introduce Bengali textbooks in Odisha’s schools. Telugu was imposed on Odia schools in the Ganjam region, and Hindi was imposed on Sambalpur tract schools in the Central Province.

The government’s inability to deal with natural disasters

The disunion was directly responsible for the inability of the three governments to respond to natural calamities such as drought, famine, and flooding simultaneously. It was evident during the Great Famine of 1866, which claimed a large number of lives and inflicted untold hardship on the survivors. It prompted Strafford Northcote, the Secretary of State for India, to admit in 1868 that reuniting the Odia-speaking people would help reduce the risk of neglect by administrative divisions. In 1885, Henry Rickets, Commissioner of Oris sa division, proposed that Sambalpur be merged with Odsha Division due to its racial and cultural affinities with the rest of Odsha. H.G. Cooke, the Commissioner of Odsha, argued forcefully in his Annual Report for 1894-95 for the inclusion of the Sambalpur tract in the Odsha division.

Awful economic life as a result of division

Due to division, the Odia-speaking people’s economic well-being was jeopardised. Three divisions were established to manage their economic resources. Trade and commerce suffered significantly when the Suvarnarekha and Budhabalanga river mouths, as well as the ports of Pipli and Chandbali, became silted. The Government lacked the political will to resolve the crises. All of these became apparent following the 1866 Famine.