Orissa is now Odisha, Oriya is Odia

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Lok Sabha Tuesday cleared legislation seeking to rename Orissa as Odisha and the language spoken in the state as Odia from Oriya.

The bill to alter the name of the eastern state was introduced in this years budget session and was passed on the first day of the month-long winter session by electronic balloting.

MPs overwhelmingly supported the constitutional amendment bill to do away with the legacy of British name given to the state.

The central government had received a proposal from the Orissa government in 2008 after the state assembly moved a bill to change both names in deference to the manner in which the name of the state is pronounced in the local language.

The state is called Udisa in Hindi and Orissa in English, and the language Udiya in Hindi and Oriya in English as per the constitution.

This required an amendment to the constitution and had to be approved by two-thirds majority of the house.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who moved the bill, said the house was honouring the wishes of the people of the state by clearing the legislation.

Many Indian cities and states have been renamed after independence, including Kanpur (formerly Cawnpore), Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Kolkata (Calcutta), Pune (Poona), Kochi (Cochin) and North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) to Arunachal Pradesh.

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