Fabled Orissa: A Critique

By Brundabana Mishra

Under the edifices of the three principal subjects, “Firstly, how Orissa had achieved legendary status in the ancient time; secondly how those achievements and glories vanished and how the province cleared ways for its invaders; and finally how the present generation has forgotten the fabled past and succumbed to the foreign imposed subjugation from where it never managed an escape till the present time”, Saroj Kumar Rath developed his article “Fabled Orissa: From Glory and Grandeur to Colonisation”. Nevertheless, the author has fall short of certain points and as he encompassed millennia for his study, he fail to address all his hypotheses in historical context. The author had set a new chord to the rhythm of the costal Orissan history not to the “fabled Orissa”, which he claimed. Nonetheless, somehow he fails to provide fine-tuning to his musical accord of “from glory and grandeur to colonisation”. When the author talks about Orissa from the past to present the first and foremost point which need to be analysed are: What was and what is Orissa at least in the sense of geo-political boundary? How it became present Orissa? In the historical context who represented Orissa? Secondly, when the author raised the most vital point how Orissa lost her glory, the chronological sequences and factor that played vital roles to the colonisation of Orissa are conspicuous by its absence. Thirdly, the author accused the present generation for forgetting the rich history of their ancestors but he never provided adequate reasons to prove his hypothesis. By looking in to the content and context of the article, I would like to divide my critical observation into two parts. The first part will be supposition to the author’s imagination and contextualization of Orissan history and the second part will be a critical approach with valid reasons on the observation, hypotheses and question raises by the author.

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