Am your City Bhubaneswar do Celebrate My Birth Day With Joy
I am as old as the history Odisha known to the world. I am the witness of the great Kalinga War in 261BC when King Ashoka gave up shored by converting himself as peace lover. Perhaps in history it was fist time any king chose Peace as a path for future and not war as a symbol of joy. I asm also the witness of many names Ekamra Kshetra, as Kalinga Nagar, Tribhubaneswar before deriving Bhubaneswar from “Tribhubaneswar” means the God of Universe (Lord Siva). During this phase I witnessed the growth of three important religions in this part of the world Saivism, Buddhism and Jainasim along with silently watched the 261 BC Kalinga War that took away many. Thus my historical significance assimilated me with a new name as “Secular City” now am blessed with the tag of SMART City.
Probably you all may not know there used to be around five thousand temples decorated me with their vibrant Kalingan sculpture. Even today, you may find hundreds of temples that still stand majestically as mute witnesses to our glorious past with chronological development of temple architecture along with small town in Sisupalagarh not very far from city centre in between 7th Century AD to its culmination in 13th Century AD all are visible within me. Sadly many of my structures that once used to visible for a long is now needs search within the concrete facades but still its beauty attracts many across the globe.
However, far away from History I became famous on 13th April 1948 when a foundation stone was laid on my chest as the Capital of Modern Odisha. Some do say I was first in the race in Independent India’s as planned Capital City of a province. I still remember that day when the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru arrived from New Delhi to add a new name in my life; a moment that energised me when he told “Bhubaneswar Would not be a city of big buildings for officers and rich men without relation to common man rather it would grow with reducing differences between the rich and poor. The New Capital would embody the beautiful art & heritage of Odisha, and it would be a place for inspiration for many”.
There was a time I was ruled by plants, species, animals, water bodies but many of them are now victims of mushrooming development. The Secretariat Building, the Governor House, the Forest Park, the Airport area are once upon a time was full of forest having the play grounds of Deer, Peacock, Leopard, Bear and many rare birds but all of them are gone. Same time my body once used to be full of water bodies, lakes, rivers carrying blue water are now either vanished or are carriers your raw sewer & wastage or encroached by restricting many innocent to witness my beauty.
In this 68 year journey as capital of Modern Odisha I got lots of friends like you, whom I never hurt rather always kept welcoming to stay within me forever. However, some of your act has turned my body temperature more than that I can breath, many of my veins are out of water at the same time am not able to smile in Spring, not sure how long will survive to fulfill your dreams; as once those used to rule me are taken over by cars, bikes, autos, malls, apartments, flyovers, buildings etc more than that I can accommodate. Such act did reduced my fertility level to grow plants & species that once used to give me an Identity of Medicinal or Herbal City, as I used to be full of many medicinal plants i.e. neem, kochila, karanja, sala etc that use to attract many people to chase my fragrance to get healed.
Perhaps where am now is not what Nehru has ever dreamt nor the man Otto H Königsberger who planned my future has ever thought. In near to last seven decades i din’t hurt anyone to fulfil many of your dreams but am now a hot chimney thanks to some of your selfish activities. Interestingly the principle that structured me sixty eight years ago as a Women could easily walk to a Health Centre, Market, School without depending on others; a children would able to walk into school, play ground located in walking distance; A city driven by Grid Shaped Square as the basic of city planning were the driving principle were core of Neighbourhood based city planning inspired by great Cities of former Soviet Union, Barcelona in Spain, Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, London in UK, Stuttgart in Germany were some of the city that some way other ignited your Bhubaneswar in those time when Singapore even was not even born nor thought of a city state.
Well those are seems my history that never shaped my beauty rather taker today wants Bhubaneswar to be Singapore with same principles of Neighbourhood that were forgotten while dreaming of a world class city within SMART City. People who decorated me six to seven decades of go were given ecological sensitive planning as priority while now concrete jungles having big towers are either standing or will have to stand in place of green space or by squeezing public space or water ways so that their dreams would be fulfilled.
Well near to seven decades after i feel happy to see all my inspiring city are international inspiring city as the Olympic Host City or Soccer World Cup city, where as Bhubaneswar hosted only Champions Trophy in Hockey and i have got a tag of from Green Capital to Hottest City. My hope of serving you people now remains on will Bhubaneswar be able to ground it’s 1948 Neighbourhood dream in 2016 SMARTCITY, so that not only women but all others be able to walk freely, a child could go to school without any fear, a child may find space to play in Neighbourhood play ground, if not Olympics then at least Bhubaneswar could be host of National Game and your Bhubaneswar get back it’s lost Spring while cooling down the City.
Wish I will continue meeting many more dreams who are yet to see me; hope you will ensure that am able to get fresh air, get cooled and veins flow once again with water surrounded by plants that will heal many of you even though some trying to make me Singapore or Amsterdam or Vancouver or Hong Kong, well i have no problem in fulfilling your dreams but do take action to cool me down to fulfil your dream, let me get back my spring but let your decision don’t snatch away my identity as Temple City.
So please do Cheer for me; Treat me one amongst you; Don’t Boil Me Cool Me Down; I promise to be your Amsterdam, Singapore, London; Don’ forget to Celebrate My Birth Day.