Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Cuttack MP and son of Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab- Bhartruhari Mahtab and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister recalled that about one and half year ago the country celebrated 120th birth anniversary of ‘Utkal Keshari’ Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab. Dedicating the Hindi edition of his famous ‘Odisha Itihaas’, PM Modi said that that it is important that diverse and comprehensive history of Odisha should reach people of the country.
The Prime Minister remembered Dr Mahtab’s contribution in the freedom struggle and lauded him for his struggle for the reformation in society. He also noted that during the Emergency, Dr Mahtab went to jail opposing the party under which he became Chief Minister.
“Mahtab went to prison for both independence and for saving the country’s democracy”, said PM Modi.
The Prime Minister noted Dr Mahatab’s important role in Indian History, Congress and taking history of Odisha to national platform.
PM Modi emphasized that with struggles like The Paika Rebellion, Ganjam Revolt to Sambalpur Struggle, land of Odisha always gave new energy to the fire of revolt against the British rule. Surendra Sai of Sambalpur Andolan is a source of inspiration for all of us, he added.
The Prime Minister remembered the immense contribution of leaders like Pandit Gopabandhu, Acharya Harihar and Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab. He paid tribute to the contribution of Ramadevi, Malti Devi, Kokila Devi and Rani Bhagyawati.
The Prime Minister also noted the contribution of the tribal community who always troubled the British with their patriotism and valour.
PM Modi remembered the great tribal leader of the Quit India Movement, Laxman Nayak.
The Prime Minister said that history of Odisha represents the historical strength of entire India. This strength, reflected in the history is connected with the present and future possibilities and work as a guide for us, said the Prime Minister.
The book titled ‘Odisha Itihaas’, available in Odia and English so far, has been translated into Hindi by Shankarlal Purohit.
Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab was a notable figure in the Indian Independence Movement. He also served as Chief Minister of Odisha from 1946 to 1950 and from 1956 to 1961.
He wrote the book ‘Odisha Itihaas’ in Ahmednagar Fort Jail, where he was imprisoned for more than two years during 1942-1945.