Bhubaneswar: Recognising the popularity of the famous folk song ‘Rangabati’, the Odisha Government on Wednesday renamed ‘Bilung’ village in the district of Sambalpur as ‘Rangabati Bilung.’
Bilung village is the native place of Mitrabhanu Gauntia, lyricist of the famous ‘Rangabati’ song, has been renamed as Rangabati Bilung. His contribution to the cultural heritage of Odisha is astounding. He has composed about 1000 Sambalpuri songs.
Gauntia is particularly acknowledged for the chart buster Rangabati and therefore remains iconic. He has also received Padmashree Award in 2020 in addition to Odisha State Sangeet Natak Academy Award and Akashvani National Award for music.
The Revenue and Disaster Management Department issued a notification to this effect on getting a no-objection certificate from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
‘Rangabati’ continues be one of the most popular songs in Odisha. Male singer of Rangabati is Jitendra Haripal, who received Padmashree award in 2017. Rangabati song was first recorded in All India Radio (AIR), Sambalpur in 1975-76.
After its wide popularity, the Indian Record Manufacturing Company Ltd. (INRECO) recorded this song in disc format in 1976, but the disc was finally released in 1978-79. The music composer for this number is late Prabhudatta Pradhan. The co-singer with Jitendra Haripal is Krishna Patel. Rangabati has unique distinction of being re-created in many other regional languages of India and the song is very popular in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar as well as Chhattisgarh.
During 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.