Bhubaneswar, July 22 (LocalWire): Odisha government has renamed Bilung revenue village in Sambalpur district after the iconic Sambalpuri song Rangabati, the birthplace of its lyricist Mitrabhanu Gauntia, revenue department principal secretary Bishnupada Sethi said on Wednesday.
It is a rare moment in history as it has seldom happened that a village has been renamed after a song.
The Rangabati song has surpassed time to remain one of the most popular hit songs in Odisha, with it still being played in weddings, processions and parties.
The district collector, revenue divisional commissioner and board of revenue had recommended to the state government for renaming the village.
After the approval of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the proposal was forwarded to the Govt. of India which approved the change of name of the village from ‘Bilung’ to ‘Rangabati Bilung’ he said.
The song was first recorded in All India Radio in 1975-76.
Mitrabhanu Gauntia, the lyricist who was born in Bilung and has composed over 1000 Sambalpuri songs.
Gauntia was awarded the Padmashree in 2020, apart from the Odisha State Sangeet Natak Academy Award and Akashvani National Award.
He is particularly acknowledged for the chartbuster Rangabati and therefore, remains iconic.
The male singer of the song, Jitendra Haripal, was also awarded the Padmashree in 2017.
The song, which celebrated its silver jubilee in 2004, has become a part of Odisha’s ethos and panoramic culture.
It has the unique distinction of being recreated in many other regional languages of India and is very popular in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar as well as Chhattisgarh.
During the 7th World Water Forum in South Korea (2015), Korean dancers danced to the tune of Rangabati. Before that, the song was officially recognized and played on the tableau of Odisha, during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi in 2007.