Bhubaneswar: People from all walks of life today rose to the occasion in paying glowing tributes to Utkalmani Pandit Gopabandhu Das on his 141st birth anniversary through various programmes organised by the state government, political parties and organizations.
The Samaja, Odisha’s leading daily founded by the great leader, observed the occasion in a different way in felicitating freedom fighters.
In memorial functions held in all the 30 districts, people cutting across social strata offered floral tributes by garlanding the statue of Utkalmani.
The speakers speaking at various functions highlighted the ‘service to the mankind is service to God’ philosophy propagated by the great nationalist leader.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik flanked by senior leaders of his party garlanded Utkalmani’s statue at the state assembly premises and offered floral tribute to the multi-faceted nationalist leader.
Utkalmani, who was a multi-faceted public figure in per-independence era, had founded the Samaja which later went on to become the mouthpiece for Odias till the present day.
Reports reaching here from district headquarters said functions were held at schools and colleges to commemorate his birth anniversary.
Utkalmani was a shinning symbol of Odia identity and he dedicated his life for the downtrodden while devoting his entire life to the cause of Odia people. He has carved out a permanent niche in Orissa’s history because of his crusade against untouchability, widow remarriage, campaign for literacy besides compassion for poor and destitute, speakers said while addressing functions in various parts of the state.