history : What-are-Balaji-Vishwanathans-views-on-the-state-of-Odisha
Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:
When I think of Odisha, I think of a few things:
- Truly mesmerizing temples of Jagannath & Lingaraj. I have been to 1000s of temples around the country and I have found these two to be very mysterious and special.
- Kalinga warriors who kept even Emperor Ashoka at bay and eventually helped him reform. At various points of time in Indian history, Kalingas were among the most progressive and powerful.
- The dance form of Odissi – one of the 8 major dance forms of India (along with Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Manipuri, Mohiniattam & Sattriya).
- The river Mahanadi and the various water related disasters that attack there (cyclones, floods etc). I was once stuck in a cyclone in Puri and it was drenching.
Like Bihar, Odisha has an amazing ancient history but is still not performing to its full potential.
Here are a few things to do:
- Build a world class metropolis: While Cuttack and Bhuhabneswar both are great cities, they are not designed to be major metropolises. Orissa government must try to build one world class metropolis. That would significantly change the state's development.
- Build a strong future of the interior people: Coastal Orissa is progressive in every sense, but it is in the interiors where high level of exploitation occurs, feeding a massive need for a maoist movement.
- Focus on the children: Even by India's poor standards, Orissa's infant and maternal mortality rates is very high. Out of every 100 children born, 5 of them die as infants. That is a subtantial waste of human life & indicator of health and economic levels.